All businesses have to start somewhere. Amazon and Apple were once one-man operations in garages. Real estate mogul and Shark Barbara Corcoran turned a $1000 loan into a billion-dollar empire. And us at Responsival? Our CEO slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of an active worksite loft, drywalling between websites and business meetings. True story (proof at the bottom of the page).
Getting off the ground is tough (ask out CEO who slept on the floor for several months), and knowing which path is right for your business is a confusing number of questions and involves a high level of uncertainty. Should you attend trade shows? Rent a storefront? Sell online? The opportunities are limitless, which in this case is not a good thing.
It can be hard to decide whether or not your business is ready to sell online, which is why Responsival - the leading name for website design in Pittsburgh - is here to break down everything you need to know when deciding to sell online. We’ll start by making the decision to sell online, break down how to start your e-commerce business, and show you great examples of e-commerce websites for inspiration.
Deciding whether or not e-commerce is right for your business is a tough decision to make. E-commerce, for many businesses, is the best way to inspire growth and keep overhead costs low. However, it’s not right for everyone. There’s no clear-cut line that separated businesses that are well-primed for e-commerce from those who aren’t. Savvy business owners, though, tend to have a good sense of the direction they want to go with their businesses.
It’s a fact that all businesses need a website. More than 80% of consumers research products online before purchasing anything and a website allows you to control the narrative about your business. With this many consumers already online, it makes sense for every business - large and small - to sell their goods online, right?
Not quite. Selling online is entirely dependent on the stage of your business, your industry, and your audience. Let’s break down a few scenarios:
While choosing to start e-commerce is a case-by-case decision, these decisions are often cost-driven. For a new business, e-commerce keeps overhead low, but more money will need to be put into marketing dollars. On the contrary, a business with an existing storefront may not benefit as much from an e-commerce business as they think. However, e-commerce does create a new channel for revenue -- so if you have the ability to expand to e-commerce, you should definitely consider it.
E-commerce websites are more expensive to design and host than a traditional website due to the amount of complexity involved. The platforms cost more and transactions are multi-step processes that often need oversight from a company specializing in website design, adding an additional expense for business with a number of existing expenses.
All-in-all, deciding to sell online is a big decision. As a business owner, do your research, talk to peers, and make the decision you think is going to help your business thrive. If it’s not the time yet, Responsival is here to help you gear up for selling online.
If you’ve decided to begin your e-commerce journey, we are excited to work with you and your business! There are a few steps involved in getting started - some of which you may have already accomplished - which include:
Looking to Get Started with your e-commerce site? Responsival is a leader in making beautiful, responsive e-commerce sites for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Check out some of our favorites for design inspiration!
Cookie DŌ NYC is an edible cookie dough company based in New York City. Responsival helped Cookie DŌ thrive by opening up the opportunity to sell online and ship nationwide. We developed a custom package builder full of fun animations and the ability to sort through gluten-free and vegan options. This way, not only are Cookie DŌ customers able to enjoy edible cookie dough from across the nation, but they can do it easily and with an incredible amount of customizability.
Standard Wax is an e-commerce company that allows customers to create custom candles online. Their website allows users to choose their candle vessel, lid, label, fragrance, and more, designing the perfect candle for any occasion. The e-commerce interface is super easy to use, allowing Standard Wax to set themselves apart from competitors and maximize online sales.
Mark Albert Boots is a heritage boot and leather company based in rural Pennsylvania. Mark Albert Boots wanted a way to boost sales directly from the factory to the consumer, so Responsival created a simple, modern e-commerce website that allows for expansion and bountiful growth for this small yet unique company.
Ready to begin your e-commerce journey? Contact Responsival - the leader in website design in Pittsburgh - today to get started as we help you every step of the way.
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