Choosing to have an online storefront could probably be one of the best things that you can do for your business. Not only would you be able to increase your client reach, you would also be able to cut down on your marketing expenses. Unfortunately, breezing through the creation of your online store could be next to impossible especially if you do not have any idea on what to do next.
Although starting an ecommerce site from scratch might seem like fun, it would entail a lot of hard work especially if you do not know how to write codes. Having said that, the easiest way would be to have shopping cart platforms. Most of these platforms are free so you need not worry about how you can get your hands on one. Some of the more popular platforms are Magento, AgoraCart, ZenCart and PrestaShop.
Once you have chosen which shopping cart platform to work with, you need to take care of how you would be accepting payment from your online buyers. Now, in order for you to be able to accept payment, you need to have anhigh risk merchant account. Coordinate with your bank so that they can set you up with one. If on the off chance your bank is not willing to give you a Canadian merchant account, you can always seek the help of other financial institutions. They might, however, charge a certain fee. Keep in mind that, if your business is considered a high risk one, you might have a harder time getting the said type of account.
As soon as you have secured your merchant account, you need to scout for a proper payment gateway. If the Canada merchant account is where the payment goes to (via credit or debit card for your item), the payment gateway is what allows you to be able to process these credit and debit cards. Some of the more popular payment gateways include PayPal, Authorize.Net, Stripe and 2Checkout.
After you have incorporated your payment gateway with your online store, you can now start uploading your products. Most online store platforms come with an inventory system so you need only to input how much of each item you have. The system would automatically monitor how much of each item you are able to sell and how much are still left in your inventory. Now, you need to make sure that it indicates all the information needed per product. As much as possible, use attractive but actual pictures of the products you carry. Make sure that the images you would be using are in JPEG format so that your site’s loading time would not be affected.
Now that your online store is up and running, you need to make sure that you reach out to the right set of people. Publish press releases online in order to let people know that you are now open for business. If you already have an existing database of clients, send them an email about your online debut. If you have the budget for it, you can even send them discount codes as a way to celebrate your launch.