E-commerce provides a great way for business owners to reach out to a broader audience, and for new businesses to get off the ground with lower overhead. However, those that aren’t well-versed in online businesses won’t always know the best way to optimize their profits online. The following are three ways to boost profits online that might not occur to people who aren’t already steeped in internet marketing.

E-Commerce SitesThe first thing to spring for is always going to be social network integration. Unless you’re selling a high-end luxury item or something particularly intimate, there’s no reason not to have a presence on social networks. Unobtrusively encouraging people to like and share your page and their purchases is more-or-less free advertising for you. Integrating social networking features is a simple task for most developers, and most pre-built solutions for e-commerce come with options for this as well. It doesn’t take a lot of upkeep, and it can easily be leveraged into building an online community if that suits your business needs. The best thing is that this marketing will always be targeted: you can assume that anyone who will share their purchases is probably friends with people who would be interested in what you have to offer.

The second thing to investigate is building an e-mail list. E-mail marketing gets a bad rap because of its association with spam, but the two couldn’t be more different. Taking e-mail addresses from clients is expected, and as long as this is handled in an unobtrusive fashion and properly incentivized at the time of purchase, people will gladly provide this information. This allows you to keep in touch with your customers and offer them deals, or point out new products as they arise. This is also a simple proposition with pre-built e-commerce solutions. 1ShoppingCart email marketing is a good example of a very accessible e-mail marketing source.

Finally, it’s important to be sure you’re competing with those in your markets. The internet makes it very easy for people to comparison shop, and your best customers can be expected to do just that. Always know how you rank compared to others selling similar products, as your price point, shipping and professionalism will all be taken into account in direct comparison to others.

These are just three ways to increase profits online. Obviously, there are many different options for cultivating your online business that go beyond simple marketing. Be patient, do your homework, and keep your eye on long-term solutions, and you’re sure to get things rolling as long as you stay dedicated.