Whether you’re starting a business completely online, or you’re enhancing your existing brick-and-mortar retail with some ecommerce, you want your efforts selling on the Internet to be a success.

The failure rate for ecommerce is crazily high: it’s been quoted around 80%. Most of these failures, like with any business, were due to a simple lack of planning and investment. Lucky for you, you’ve got the inside tip on how to make yours a roaring success.

Don’t Shy Away from Investment

Someone told you that you can create a website on WordPress for free. While that may be true technically, your ecommerce site will be a beast of a different nature, and one you can’t afford to skimp on.

What does that investment look like, you ask? It can be around $10,000. Before you freak out, realize that this includes getting all your products uploaded to the site, as well as having the ability for customers to easily make a purchase. You want your site to look reputable and be a breeze to purchase from, so you’ll have to pay to have a professional ecommerce web designer help you.

Invest Heavily in Marketing

Consider this: if you ran a physical store that sold, say, baby clothes and accessories, you would only compete with any other stores in your town that sold similar products. But you’re operating online, and your number of competitors is likely in the thousands. If you’re serious about staking your flag in the ground, you’ve got to pay to play.

Yes, content marketing and social media will get you far, but you may need to consider advertising as well. Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook all offer affordable ways for you to reach your specific target with pay-per-click ads.

Get Professional Product Photos

If you’ve ever visited a website and seen amateur product photos, I’m willing to bet you went elsewhere to make your purchase. Quality images of your products — possibly even multiples taken from different angles — are the main source of information potential customers have to make a decision about whether to buy your product.

An add-on to this is that you also need fabulous product descriptions. They’re the other component that will nudge people to buy.

Protect Your Assets

Just because you’re not operating out of physical store doesn’t make your business any less vulnerable to risk. You can protect your personal assets by incorporating or forming an LLC. Not only will this separate you personally from your business, but you may even save on taxes, since S corps are taxed at a lower rate than individuals.

Keep the Social Party Going

Your customers are online, especially on social networking sites. That’s why it’s imperative that you have a steady presence on the main sites your customers spend time on. Don’t just focus on sharing coupons and deals; find a way to offer value through great content (yours and others’) and engaging directly with people.