If you can learn How to build an Internet Shopping Mall, you can be the master of your own domain. This can be a great way to build a part time or full time income depending on your skillset and motivation. For stay-at-home parents this can be a way to earn income from your home.
- Selecting a target market. You will need to understand the demographics of the buyers you are trying to target. For example, you need to decide whether or not your buyer is male or female. Understanding the sex of your target market, along with age range is extremely helpful. This information will help you understand things such as whether or not your potential demographic is willing to purchase things from an online shopping mall.
- Select the items you wish to sell. If you are not sure what you want to sell on your website, you can also search other retailers to see what is popular. Many retailers will be advertise a “popular items” list. This list can be a good start to find potential items you may want to sell on your mall.
- Find a source for your products. You will need to find a way efficiently source your products. When locating a source, try to avoid middlemen as it will affect your gross profit margin. Whenever possible, try to acquire the merchandise direct from the manufacturer. If you can predict the annual volume, you should also consider stocking a large amount of inventory. If your cash flow does not support stocking items, consider finding a manufacturer who is willing to drop ship on your behalf.
- Register your domain. The name of your domain can be targeted towards your product such as “red widgets” or it can be a general name. A general name is helpful if you wish to brand into selling other items, however will take more money to market your brand.
- Build out the shopping site. Select a software and web host for your Internet store. Choose an open source software program if you do not wish to spend money on an e-commerce package.
- Market the site. You can bring traffic to your site organically. This will take more time but does not cost as much. In order to bring organic traffic you will need a great volume of unique content on your website. With large volumes of traffic, you should be able to see users coming to your website from long keyword tail searches. Be sure to analyze your statistics so you can start understanding your customer acquisition costs and conversion ratios. When you are comfortable with the metrics, you can scale by purchasing pay per click traffic.
Your site will not be successful overnight, and this will require hard work. This is no different than running any other business. You can also network with other internet store owners in non-competitive niches. Continually mine your customer information to find information on their buying habits. Over time, you should be able to efficiently market and run your own internet shopping website.