In response, some people choose terribly cumbersome names. They find out that “Tshirt.com” is taken and then learn that “HockeyTshirt.com” is also taken. So they create an unworkable domain name like VeryCool-HockeyTshirt.com. Not only is it too long, it contains a hyphen, which should be avoided (some users forget to put them in, sending them to your competitor’s site.)
Your business plan lays it all out. It details what you sell and where your profit comes from; how much inventory you’ll have on hand and where you’ll store it. It lays out your return policy — and you’ll need one of those. Most important, your business plan details your total start-up cost, from your ad campaign to Web designer to monthly server fees.
Realize a couple of key facts: A) the prices for e-commerce software have fallen, so you don’t need to spend a fortune unless your needs are complicated, and B) many of today’s e-commerce packages include a full range of tools in one package, from an inventory management system to marketing tools. Many of today’s merchants prefer this “all-in-one” approach because it makes life simpler.
A Web analytics program tells you how shoppers are using your site. It reveals where users come from, what pages they visit and what keyword searches brought them to the site. An analytics package enables merchants to calculate their conversion rate. (Your “conversion rate” is the percentage of your visitors who make a purchase — a critical fact to know and track over time.)
MemberGate is a membership content management platform that lets you create membership sites. It also protects your content against non-members at the same time. It gives you access to a fully integrated shopping cart platform, an affiliate program, and sleek website designs. You have options to integrate surveys discussion group feature, an integrated blog to publish your latest news from. It even has in-built search engine optimization so that your pages get discovered easily once you launch your site. It is integrated for banner ads, RSS management. There are still many more features that will make your membership site appealing to both yourself and your customers.
Scott runs a podcast as well as a blog, so content marketing is a big part of their promotional strategy. However, as I’ve seen with several sites so far, this free content isn’t found until you scroll down to the site’s footer. The main top navigation is all about offer and the paid side of the site. This is definitely an interesting idea. As a “blog guy”, my instinct has always been to have that content front-and-center right at the top. Clearly, it can work the other way, too.
I always look for the blog. 🙂 On Guitar Tricks, it is pretty much buried down in the footer. What this shows me is that their entire site is pretty much designed to become part of the membership. Their blog goes under the “News” section of the membership. It is open to the public. I can see the point of this, though, because essentially the entire site is gated. Unless a person finds them on search, by the time a person finds the blog, they’re an email subscriber and have the free membership.
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Most people think that the journey of starting an online store first starts when they sign up for Shopify. But successful online stores take a few earlier steps to help them achieve long-term success. The idea stage isn’t simply about having an idea and executing on it, it’s about building a foundation. Here are a few ideas for your ecommerce checklist: