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How to do business online

Setting up an online shopping gig

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By Joe Ferreria

The evolution of the electronic era from the 1960s to present day is changing the standard pattern of purchasing goods and services. What started out as a means of electroni­cally transmitting business documents is now being used extensively to sell goods and services by virtually everyone.

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A recent study shows this pattern of change. In terms of preference there is an even split, with 51 percent of consumers now preferring e-commerce over brick-and-mortar stores that represent 49 percent of buying preference.

While the method of purchase and deliv­ery has shifted, there are fundamentals that remain before getting into e-commerce.

To enter a business venture, there should be a marketing plan, operating plan, and financial model.

The marketing plan should answer the question “Who is the customer?” It should be noted that buying things is an emotional rather than a logical exercise. Profiling this emotional behavior is the most important aspect of one’s business.

The target market and its demographics should be determined. There should also be a guesstimate of the average age of the com­munity, the financial capability, the number of children per family, the cars in the garage, the number of Automated Teller Machines (ATM), etc.

E-commerce, however, is different be­cause the customer circle is even larger. People sell all kinds of unique as well as ordinary things.

In building the marketing plan therefore, a majority of it will have to do with the prod­uct that is being sold. The focus of the plan would be to zero in on the difference of the products from others.

For those who are new to e-commerce, it is safer to enter the food and clothing industries in order to gain insights of how e-commerce goes. After acquiring enough experience can they introduce their unique and original products.

Next, the operating and financial plans should be very well thought out. Businesses that have plans without a long treatise on the operat­ing and financial system are deemed to fail.

In the early days of Facebook, it is simply a way of electronically communicating with one another on-campus. Mark Zuckerberg has spent a lot of his time on this project’s operating system. His genius was in building something where he could accommodate more than a billion customers efficiently.

Then, a domain, which is like a store ad­dress, is bought and should be given a unique name. The Domain Name service can gener­ate and suggest alternative domain names.

The next step is to get a hosting service like BlueHost. A host is a bank of several computers where the e-commerce software and data resides. Privacy and security in this regard should be prioritized because of the presence of cybercriminals.

WordPress is widely used as the content management system (CMS) since it is free. The website should then be calibrated for e-commerce because it is the ordering and pay­ment system. Behind this would be a physical delivery service. It is important to learn more about webpage construction and e-commerce with several sources available online.

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