For many online retail startups, the first step is to build a social media page. It’s easy and fast, it’s free, and inviting friends to Like your page does not take a lot of effort. From there, you can start selling.
This platform is robust and almost hassle-free. But if you want your retail business to really take off, you have to think beyond Facebook. You need a website. Here are some of the reasons your own website beats a social media page.
- Lots of people think that Facebook is forever. It’s a strong, billion-dollar enterprise, after all. So people believe they will always have a place to sell their products. But there was a time when people thought AOL and MySpace would never fail. So instead of focusing on social media, build your own website. It will always be there even if your social media accounts may not be.
- Having your own website gives you a more professional image. People trust that kind of image.
- You can add what you want to your website. A blog page is a good example. A blog page about topics that have a connection to your products or services gives you more authority.
When you’re ready to start your website, here are some reminders you should consider.
Your website needs updates. You can’t post updates only when you want to. Sticking to a schedule is a better way of doing this. Updates and fresh content help your website stay relevant, and search engines like Google take note of this. The freshness of your content has an effect on your search rankings.
You need an effective and reliable delivery system. Your delivery system can’t end up costing more than the price of your products, so include this in your planning. Talk to reps from different courier services. Determine when you’ll use their respective services. For some shipments, you might also want to look at less-than-truckload or LTL trucking companies, as their rates may be more manageable for certain items.
You need customer service. For small online stores, the owner is also the one who handles customer service by answering emails, comments, messages, etc. You may need a team just to provide reliable customer service especially if your business is growing.
These are some of the things you should remember when it comes to starting your online store. Stop thinking about using social media alone. Think about building a website and improving your services around it.