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Last month’s recent celebration of Small Business Saturday and the December gift-giving holidays means you should focus your efforts on retail businesses and specifically how they can maximize their returns during the holiday season. Nearly every type of retail business can benefit from the increased exposure and audience size afforded by an e-commerce site, so here is a compilation of some top resources for adding or improving your e-commerce site.

Get Started
If you’re currently using your website as a marketing tool or to give customers valuable information, the next obvious step is to add e-commerce capabilities. Selling products or services online isn’t as hard as you might think and creates a new source of cash flow for your business.

SCORE’s guide How to Add eCommerce to Your Website will walk you through how to:

  • Brainstorm ideas of what you should offer online
  • Choose your payment solutions
  • Choose a shopping cart solution
  • Investigate e-commerce software

Get Found
Next, you’ll want to have a plan for how to draw customers in. Having a solid domain name strategy can play a big role in helping your online business to succeed. It all starts with choosing the right domain name, or Web address, to represent your business on the Web. Have you considered the strategy of having multiple domain names pointing to your single website? Dan Beldowicz, creator of Social Media BS, recommends tools and strategies for establishing your main domain name and helping you brainstorm additional domain names that will benefit your business. Dan says, “Think about purchasing domain names that represent different aspects of your business, such as product names or taglines.”

Build Relationships
Finally, get your Web visitors to click that “purchase” button. Filling shopping carts is about “building relationships with your customers and your potential customers,” says Shawn Pfunder, Go Daddy Web Expert and small business guru. “The hard part about that is: how do you do that with just a computer? Websites have gotten a bad rap for being very de-personalized.” In preparation for the upcoming retail surge, Shawn shared his 10 tips to fill holiday shopping carts in your e-commerce store, including:

  • #1 Write remarkable descriptions
  • #4 Solicit and publish reviews
  • #7 Cross-sell the smart way

There’s still time to take advantage of the upcoming retail rush by getting your business started selling online or improving your current e-commerce strategy. Use these resources combined with the know-how of a SCORE mentor to get your business harnessing the selling power of the Internet today.

About Ken Yancey

W. Kenneth Yancey, Jr. currently serves as CEO of the SCORE Association, a position he has held since 1993. During his tenure with SCORE, Mr. Yancey has been responsible for developing SCORE into one of the most efficient, effective job creation and business formation engines in the nation. Prior to joining SCORE, Yancey served as Executive Director for the National Business Association. He is recognized as one of the nation's leading advocates for small business and represents SCORE nationally before the media, industry leaders and in Congressional testimony. He speaks across the country on the topics of entrepreneurship and small business trends and serves as a member of the HuffPost Small Business Board of Directors.


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