E-commerce business tips
Understand basic pricing before hiring a vendor.
Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of hiring a vendor without fully understanding the pricing structure necessary to build an e-commerce website. This can lead to unrealistic expectations, with buyers thinking that their e-commerce programming and design will be much cheaper than it actually is.
Double check compatibility.
Before signing a contract or buying any software, make sure that your IT staff and the developer or e-commerce service provider all agree on the components that need to work together: your existing inventory systems and website, your merchant account, the e-commerce system, any customer service apps, etc. Experienced vendors can make almost any combination of tools work, given enough time and money - just be sure you understand how much of each it's going to take.
It's not free money.
The days of just putting up an e-commerce site and watching it make money are gone: don't launch with unrealistic expectations. You'll need to advertise your site (online and off) and build up a customer base. Just as in any business, it's an investment that will take time to pay off.
Make it easy to use.
If the shopping process is too complicated, you'll lose customers. Make sure your products are organized the way customers think about them - not necessarily the way you think about them.
Running your new store will require time and effort - make sure you plan for regular updates and promotion.