Even after you review the information that I suggest in my blog, there is much work needed in order to get rolling with your first online business. Finding a good hosting site, buying a domain, building your shopping cart, managing your email list and distribution. This page lists some of the best products that I have personally used for my e-commerce ventures. You will have no trouble getting familiar with these tools and all of them have great customer service to get you through the learning curve. Also, feel free to bounce any questions you have off me, and I’ll give you a hand.
Buy a Domain and Secure Your Site with SSL Certificates
GoDaddy – definitely the biggest name when it comes to buying domains. Their services are easy to use and you can literally have your domain in minutes. Also, they offer SSL Certificates, which every online store needs in order to ensure secure credit card transactions.
Create your Business the Right Way – Incorporate
LegalZoom – It’s important to have a true business when you start generating revenue, You’re going to need a re-sellers license, a separate bank account, a tax ID number (EIN), and you need to be a registered business for all of these. LegalZoom is a pretty inexpensive way to create an LLC for your business – take 15 minutes and you will have your Tax ID Number – LegalZoom takes care of everything.
Bluehost – There are many options available for server hosting when building your website. I have worked with a few and highly recommend Bluehost. Navigating their system to get setup is very easy, and they also provide excellent customer service. When I was just getting started, I had a lot of questions and would just open a ticket with their customer service system, and always receive prompt and helpful responses. I cannot stress how amazing their customer service is…I have made some bad mistakes when managing my website, and they always bail me out!
Credit Card Payment Processors
Braintree – when building a website, you of course can JUST accept Paypal, but I do not suggest this at all. There is a lot of competition when it comes to Credit Card Processors. Braintree is a solid option – I have met many members of the team and currently use them as a processor on BlindSurprise.com. Highly recommended and competitive rates.
Authorize.net – I also have used Authorize.net and their systems are easy to use as well. Which processor you use is really your decision. Usually the rates are pretty comparable, so oftentimes it is just who you are more comfortable with when browsing their website.
Volusion – Just like credit card processors, there are many options when it comes to shopping carts. Volusion is a quality shopping cart that is easy to learn. The thing I really like about Volusion is that it has been around for the longest, so there is a TON of documentation and videos on the web assisting with setup and troubleshooting.
Shopify – This cart has become increasingly popular lately, as it takes almost not technical skills to setup an online store. There are a bunch of templates available for you to choose from, so startup costs are minimal.
BigCommerce – This would be the third of these big players. BigCommerce is also a great tool to use to setup a store without very much technical knowledge. All of these options for carts are great, especially for people that are just getting into ecommerce and want to start a low-risk, easy to develop website to sell their products.
I cannot stress how important it is to build your email list, and stay in communication with your customers. These tools simplify email gathering and communication.
PopUp Domination– I started using PopUp Domination on my websites and my email subscription list BOOMED. You can start using it and build your first email subscription popup in under 5 minutes. When you go onto a website for the first time, that little popup that appears asking for your email is through PopUp Domination, and it takes about 4 minutes to configure, and you can quickly start building your email subscribers.
AWeber – once you start getting emails, staying in contact with your customers is key. AWeber is what most e-commerce, bloggers use because it is perfect for startups. Very affordable and extremely easy to use. Highly recommended.
If you personally have used any other tools that you suggest I recommend on this page, please reach out to me! I am always looking for new ways to make online business easier and more efficient, so I will certainly check it out.