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Online business - The basics of trading online

Aug 16, 2013

The Internet has made trading more accessible than ever to existing and new businesses. Even if eCommerce is not your main trading channel, you probably can’t afford to ignore it.


A Domain Name

This will reflect your business on the Internet. Keep it short and try to make it memorable. Once your choice is made, it is best to register as many top-level domain names as possible – these are all the .com,, .net, .org – to prevent anyone else using them should your business become successful. This will also prevent any possible confusion for your customers. Ensure your chosen name is not protected in any way, by a Trademark for example.


A Website

A new website could cost anything from £500 upwards. It will depend on your requirements. You can find agencies or freelancers online. However, it is always best if you can get a recommendation. Ensure your site is clear, easy to navigate and has all the information users will be looking for.



If you intend to sell products and services online, you will most likely need to have eCommerce incorporated to your site. Some companies, like @UK PLC will do this for a small annual fee.



In order for your site to be visible to the world, it will need to be hosted by an external company. The price wll depend on the capacity you require. Expect to pay anything from £25 for 100MB space. Check out @UK PLC hosting packages for more details.



It is crucial to understand your market and products (i.e. why people are buying from you). There are several ways to reach your target audience. Check out our comprehensive Marketing tips and Marketing plan section for in-depth information.

eMarketing is a fairly inexpensive way to reach your customers. Ensure you collect email addresses of people visiting your site. Communicate effectively and regularly with them.

Retain existing customers by engaging and targeting them with special offers. It is much easier and cost effective to retain a customer than gain a new one. Make sure you give them an incentive to buy again.

Test any ideas, innovation or even small changes to your existing products, website or Marketing material.

Monitor all your actions. Increase the promotion when it work and decrease it or drop it when t doesn’t.



Karen Horne


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