Starting an e-commerce business is fraught with uncertainty. You don’t know if your idea will scale, fear of failure is a significant initial hurdle over which you must overcome, and then there are decisions to make regarding the platform upon which you base your business. The good news is that plenty of software is available to help you set up a free e-commerce website. Of course, this introduces yet another question; can you be successful with free e-commerce software?
To paraphrase former president Barack Obama; yes, you can!
In fact, some of the most successful e-commerce sites on the net are based on free software. The thing is, while your choice of software definitely has an impact on the functioning of your business, your mental attitude is ultimately what will make or break your effort. If you believe you will be successful — and do everything in your power to make that belief a reality — it will be so.
Sometimes that means having the flexibility to change when you see an opportunity for something to be done better. Other times it means sticking to your guns when others try to convince you your idea isn’t sound. When people confront you in that fashion, resist the impulse to shut them down. Hear them out. In their zeal to convince you of the inability of your concept to succeed, they just might give you a kernel of truth from which you can improve upon your idea.
There are a number of ways to test the feasibility of your concept with minimal investment. One is to try to sell it to people before you set up the site. Pay attention to those who buy so you can learn what enticed them to give it a try. Those are the qualities you want to augment. For people who don’t buy, ask them what would make for a more attractive proposition? Do this often enough; you’ll come up with a solid list of the product attributes you should incorporate.
Another advantage of trying to sell people in advance is it helps you build your customer base, so once you’re up and running you’ll already have a cadre of evangelists in place. These are also people from whom you can solicit testimonials to feature on your free e-commerce website.
To demonstrate the viability of your idea more clearly, consider producing a video showing it in action. Pictures, they say are worth a thousand words. Moving pictures multiply that by a factor of ten. Sometimes descriptions go over people’s heads, but seeing it work often makes things click into place for them.
Too many would-be entrepreneurs set up a website and wait for business to come. A much better move is to get business first, then set up the website. In other words, do everything you can to sell the product without a site until it starts to catch on, then set up a site to automate the tasks you’d been performing manually.
Once you’ve done all of these things, you’ll know who your customer is, you’ll have an awareness of the demand for your product and you’ll see whether there is a gap in the market you can exploit. From there, all you’ll need to do is come up with a solid marketing plan, find the ideal software to support your enterprise, build it using an attractive design with all of the right elements, pay close attention to what works and above all—persevere.
Yes, you can be successful with free e-commerce software, if you implement it effectively.