Does your business sell online? If not, it’s definitely something you should consider. E-commerce retail sales have increased dramatically in recent years from $81 billion in 2005 to a projected $144 billion in 2010 according to a study by JupiterResearch. With the advent of free online store solutions, selling online is easier and more affordable than ever. If you are not selling online, here are some points to consider:

Selling online will expand your customer area. – In a physical store you are limited to the customers that pass through your doors. A web store has a global reach that allows you to reach customers that you normally wouldn’t have been able to sell to. This is especially important in rural areas or if your physical store is in a remote area.

· A web store will add to your bottom line. – Often orders will be placed in your online web store that you normally would not have received in a physical store. A customer may want to place an order after hours or may simply not want to make the trip to your store; however, you can buy if you can do it online. These additional sales can increase your bottom line, which is especially important in this economy.

· A web store can promote in-store sales. – A free web store can provide valuable pre-sale information to customers who are looking to make a purchase. This can lead to increased sales in the store. This is especially true for high value items.

· Web stores are easy to use. – Gone are the days of having to be a programmer to set up or maintain a web store. Many free web store solutions on the market today require no knowledge to set up or maintain the website. This allows you to sell online without advanced computer skills or HTML.

· Free online stores add to your bottom line without adding cost. – How many business investments can you say this about? Setting up a free online web store costs you nothing, but your return can be huge. Your only real investment in setting up a free online store is the time it takes to set it up.

There are a number of free online store solutions on thekoda the market today. You’ll want to pick one that’s easy to use, has at least minimal support available, and a host that has a reputation for quality service for at least 3-5 years. www.WebplusShop.com and vstore are a couple of examples.

Most free web store providers will help you with setup if you run into any problems and many will set up their free online store for you for a small fee. Once your free online store is online and ready to accept orders, you’ll want to post a link from your existing website, if you have one. In this way, visitors to your current website can easily visit your webshop as well. From there remember to promote, promote, promote! Your free online store is like your physical store in that you need to get the word out so that people find out about your store, go there and make a purchase. You can promote your free online store in literally millions of ways, from bumper stickers to newspaper ads, flyers, and online ads.

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