We’ve all used ecommerce sites before. In comparison to brick and mortar stores, ecommerce sites offer great convenience and a better browsing experience, as well as selling products you might not be able to find on the shelves due to rarity. Nevertheless, using a ecommerce website is a totally different experience to building one from the ground up.
Building an ecommerce websites has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Even before you begin building, you need to think about who this site is aimed at. Are they there to buy products or just learn more about them? Are they in a region you can deliver to? What kinds of product will sell to your target audience? Take a look if there’s a large enough demand for these products to build a site around.
If you’ve agreed on all points, it’s time to think about the actual design of the site. Make sure the searching function is easy to use and find, since a lot of ecommerce site users will be looking for specific products rather than browsing page by page from categories. Make sure the website works fine on most popular devices, including laptops, phones and tablets, as a lot of your customers will browse via mobile devices.
Another thing to look at is if the website is well optimised, with minimal bugs that can ruin a user’s experience browsing. Also, make very sure that you have SSL encryption implemented throughout your website, to prevent identity theft, phishing and other illegal activity happening at your store. Another thing to consider would be allowing users to create ‘guest’ accounts that skip the rigmarole of setting up an account for a one-time purchase. You’ll also need to deal with the usual website issues like SEO, servers that can handle a typical number of visitors and intuitive design.
Now your website is up and running. How do you attract users? Make sure the website name is easy to remember and relevant to what you sell. Social media is extremely helpful as usual in establishing a company image that can circulate rapidly with viral posts. You could also allow for users to make posts about the products they buy and their reviews easier with a ‘share’ feature. Perhaps consider using Google AdWords or other Pay Per Click systems to organically drive traffic to your site over competitors.
Make sure that a visitor can talk to a real human being over the website whenever necessary, to help with perhaps the most vital part of ecommerce – customer service. Make a user review process as easy to use as possible, and enforce the basic rules of a storefront when it comes to quality assurance. A site that peddles rubbish will quickly become a rubbish site itself in the eyes of the user.
Ecommerce isn’t just for big brands or massive international tech firms. There’s always a niche that has gone unnoticed elsewhere, one that you can pick up on and use. Whether it’s selling food, clothes, cosmetics, media or medicine, ecommerce is open for all.