Although ecommerce has a very low barrier to entry as compared to a brick and mortar store, one can still lose a lot of time and money. A common approach for the first time entrepreneur is to first hire a web development agency to build an ecommerce site complete with all the software needed to do online transactions.
After completion of the site, the person then proceeds to get traffic by either using pay per click advertising or by hiring a marketing agency. Once traffic arrives, the person then finds out whether the business idea is good. At this point a lot of money has been spent on the ecommerce site, getting traffic, and on a product inventory.
The problem with this approach is that too much money is committed before knowing whether there is a viable market. You must first find out whether people are even searching for what you are selling. A quick way to determine this is to use Google Keyword Planner or Wordtracker to get traffic estimates on searches for your product.
The best way to use these tools is to compare traffic estimates for your product against estimates for proven products. If you can find proven products that are similarly priced with similar levels of traffic, then you probably have sufficient traffic for your product. Although traffic can be obtained from social media, people with intent to purchase something frequently use search engines.
The next step is to do a search for your product in the search engines to find out if anyone else is selling the same or a similar product. If you can’t find any listings, then there’s a good chance that a market doesn’t exist. It is exceedingly rare these days to uncover an untapped and profitable market. If your product idea is the first of its kind, then you should search with keywords that express a need for what your product does.
Once you have proven that demand exists, the next step is to test the market using a free open source ecommerce platform combined with an inexpensive but reliable web hosting service. An important criterion for selecting an open source platform is its popularity. Popularity means there’s more information and more solution alternatives available. For example, WordPress is extremely popular and has a number of free ecommerce plugins. There is a lot of online information about setting up WordPress as well as its more popular ecommerce plugins. This information exists in both text and video formats.
After your ecommerce site has been set up, you are now ready to do some testing. This testing can be done using limited amounts of pay per click advertising. You can also test various keyword phrases to find out which produce sales. If you get sales from your pay per click campaign, you then know you have a viable product. If not, then you haven’t lost much money or time in testing your idea.
If you are looking for reliable ecommerce hosting, Applied Innovations has a number of hosting options available including shared hosting plans if you wish to test an ecommerce concept. Contact us today for more information.
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