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Steps to Creating a Profitable Online Gift Shop


When you are looking at creating an online gift shop presence there are 4 basic segments that you need to look at once you have decided on a niche. For this example I have chosen to use an Irish gift shop for demonstrative purposes.

Web and domain Hosting.
I would research this carefully, there are many large, well know hosts that offer reasonable rates per month but have very low loading website. One Irish gift shop that I was working with had a site load time of 17 seconds. When we changed to a new host, costing a reasonable 14 dollars per month, the load time went down to 2.5 seconds. No customer is going to wait longer than 5 seconds for the main page to download. This transformed their sales.

I would also recommend that you look at hosts that have a Cpanel as standard; you have more flexability in this regard. For example an Irish Gift store could utilize Fantastico, allowing the easy installation of shopping carts or blogs for the site.

Shopping Carts.
This is software that allows one to purchase gifts online. The key point it that it integrates the collection of multiple gifts and payment solutions.  From the perspective of an Irish gift shop owner it allows the customer to collect multiple gifts and add them to the basket, so it increases the sales potential. Personally I like Joomla shopping carts, Zen carts from amongst the main ones. For larger online shops it might be worth looking at having a shopping cart solution specifically made for your business.

Online advertising.
The key factor for an online site is getting relevant traffic from the search engines. If you have an Irish gift store, then you want to make sure that you are getting traffic that reflects that.  While you are building up keyword rich content for organic search, you can ensure that you are getting traffic from the very start. Google AdWords provides contextual advertising based on the words that you search on Google. If you search for "Irish gifts" then adverts for Irish gifts shops are going to appear on the left of the page. It allows you to drive revenue before the search engines can look at your site and before you are ranked high enough to get relevant traffic. An example of a Google AdWords ad is:

www.siteaddress.com
Irish ClothingGifts and Jewellery,
Christmas gift ideas & More

Social Media
Social Media can be best viewed as means to generate interest in your site, it is supersized marketing tool that allows you to converse directly with your customers and allow them to promote their content. With over 500mn users on Facebook and 300mn users on Twitter, they are an unequalled way to get your message out there. The real benefit here is that 75% of people who hear recommendations about online gift stores are more trusting that the 15% who trust advertising. Social media is also an excellent way of creating back links for your gift store or online business.

I hope that these pointers guide you in your research in to setting up an online business. Persistence is the key, keep building quality content and promoting your business and it will work.

About Will Green

A student in England studying Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money. You can follow AskWillOnline via @AskWillOnline.

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