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E-Commerce Tools for Small Businesses

Starting your own small business is much easier these days. There are a myriad of tools that allow a small business owner to attract new customers. The Internet allows a business to attract and help your prospects and customers each step of the way, in ways that are easy for you as the small business owner. Using these new tools will help your company grow its revenues and perhaps even eclipse your offline sales.

Internet

Open A Merchant Credit Account

The first thing your company needs to do is open a merchant account. What this does is allow your company to accept credit cards. Accepting credit cards allows your company to accept payment wherever your customer happens to be. Making online purchases is also much easier when your business accepts credit cards.

Build A Website 

Your small business should have a website. This is because the majority of your customers are looking for products online. A credit card company can use their website to help people find best credit cards on the market. Consumers could compare business credit cards offers before applying for a business line of credit. A quick Internet search will yield many different web hosting solutions available to you. Most of them are free to use and require no knowledge of HTML.

Alternatively, you can find someone to do a low cost website for you and then you can maintain it yourself. You can expect to pay between $750 and $1500 for a basic design.

Increase Sales Through Better Customer Service 

Customers benefit because they can find whatever they are looking for. If you write articles on your website or sell products, a simple keyword search will take the customer to exactly where they want to go. Your customer can then click on the item to add it to their shopping cart. Check out needs to be FAST. Savvy Internet shoppers expect a transaction only take a couple of minutes tops.

You can even have your website include with live chat support in case your buyer has questions. It’s just as good as talking to a sales associate in a traditional brick and mortar store.

Social Media Can Help As Well 

Social media can be your best friend – if you run a good business. Allow your customers to tell their friends what they think about you. Use a social media widget to let your customers share what they love about your business with other potential customers. Affiliate marketing can also benefit from social media use as well. It is a good platform to post affiliate links as well as increase referrals. On Twitter, the proper use of a relevant hash tag can help get your conversation noticed as well.

Running a small business can be quite lucrative. Business owners have tools available to them that make running a business much easier. Costs are also significantly reduced because you need fewer employees and less money devoted to advertising. Using the new e-commerce tools available for free or little upfront investment helps your small business reach its target market in ways never possible before.

YOUR TURN: What did you need to do in order to do e-commerce for your business? Are there questions you have that I could help answer? Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to reply or find an expert to respond to you.

4 Responses to E-Commerce Tools for Small Businesses

  • Bring people into your business by allowing (free) membership and give incentive to the members, especially free membership will encourage public and will convert normal customers into regular customers.

  • To add to this Phil, I would actually include using Freshbooks.com for invoicing, and Quoteroller.com for proposal building (if needed). Also, a great project management software such as Teamworkpm.net is helpful if any delegation is needed (I’m not a fan of Basecamp)

    To boot, all the tools about integrate with each other in some capacity, streamlining your processes.

    Good post!

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