New businesses face fierce competition from day one; you can give yourself an edge by taking some online classes in business management or marketing. Open a retail store on main street in any town and you're limited to customers who pass by or know about you. Open an E-tailing business online, and you can be seen and sell to customers in any part of the world. That's why e-tailing is fast replacing bricks and mortar retailing as a way to sell products and services.
E-tail sales increased 37% between 2007 and 2008, averaging over $15 billion in annual sales. Your first step in accessing a piece of this lucrative pie is deciding on a product that you want to market on the Internet, something that people want or need and that currently enjoys strong demand. Categories are wide open, from books and beauty products to health supplements and specialty gourmet foods. The best kind of product for e-tailing is one that is consumable, so that the customer will want to purchase from you again to replace item once it's been used or consumed.
Study the websites of people who are already successfully e-tailing the product or category you're interested in. What makes you want to buy from them? What could you offer in your e-tail business that would be different or even more enticing to a customer?
Decide upon a name for your E-tailing business and secure a registered domain name for your website, something that includes your business name or the name of your product and is easy to remember.
There are numerous software packages available for you to design your own website, but it's worth the investment to hire a professional website designer so that the first impression you make on a visitor to your E-tailing business is a memorable one. You also want to ensure that either you or your designer will be able to easily update or add news of promotional specials or other changes to your website on a daily basis or as needed.
Investigate how to work with your suppliers and vendors to get the product as economically as possible, possibly even working with drop shipments for your product so that you can save on shipping charges and maximize your profitability.
Have your website built with easy shopping cart payment privileges that encourage your customers to place an order safely and securely by using their credit cards. A good way to market your E-tailing business and website is to ask people to sign up their e-mail address to receive news and special promotions from your business. This is a great way to keep in touch with current and prospective customers and remind them to check the website for new offerings or special deals that are time-limited. Other marketing strategies can be learned through online courses in marketing and in general business theory.