Let us evaluate a situation such as this. You have a profitable high volume retail business and you want to expand your services online. It could also be that you are a novice thinking of starting to sell online. “Why not start an online e-commerce store?” you ask yourself.
“But how do I go about it? How difficult is it to set up an e-commerce website and how can I do it without spending a fortune?”
Let me cut straight to the chase and tell you about it.
Choosing the Right E-Commerce Platform:
Building a fully functional e-commerce website can be a significant undertaking. There are too many things involved, from planning and designing to development and maintenance.
You can leave the website design and coding part to a professional web development company to help you set up a custom built e-commerce website. This involves some costs but ultimately your business is only as good as how much you invest on your digital storefront. After all if your store looks like it has been set up by a bunch of cowboys, you can only expect it to be barren like a desert. A well-designed website can go a long way to making your business successful.
You can also choose from a variety of popular open source shopping cart solutions such as Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart etc. These PHP-based e-commerce platforms are endlessly customizable and have good community support. There are thousands of successful online stores built on open source software solutions. This can be a cost-effective solution if you are a start-up enterprise on a limited budget.
What To Look Out For in a Reliable E-Commerce Platform?
- An intuitive website design and content that serves as a customer magnet.
- Easy store navigation for a positive online experience.
- Secure shopping cart with product review system.
- Flexible product inventory with quality image display.
- Unlimited plug-ins allowing you to add features according to future needs.
- A CMS (content management system) allowing you to manage your store online.
- Dozens of integrated payment solutions and an easy payment process.
- Mobile optimized check-out to deliver shopping access across devices.
- Fantastic customer support.
Importance of a Good Domain Name
Your business needs a unique online address which reflects your e-commerce store name – a relatively small investment for a very important functionality. The .com extension is the most preferable choice of domain when it comes to e-commerce but you will find the most impressive domain names to be already taken. Now it is up to you to rack your brains and come out with a good name which relates to your business, is brandable and easy to recall. After all you want your website to be popular and a complicated website address can put off your customers.
Fast Loading Times
Shoppers have incredibly low patience. A bad hosting choice can lead you to have customers smashing their fists on tabletops waiting for your website to load. Doesn’t sound good right? Even a few minutes of server downtime can cause you huge financial losses and drive away your customers to competitor websites. So choose your hosting wisely. It is money well spent. With a high quality enterprise hosting, your website should be capable of handling a lot of customers quickly, securely and reliably.
How Do i Attract Customers?
An effective e-commerce website needs to be optimized to rank high in search engines and attract customers with organic marketing efforts. Turn your website into an effective sales machine by organizing your site architecture to display top rated products, popular products and recently viewed products on search sites. Integrating features like customer review system, blogging and social media can also go a long way in attracting footfall to your online store. Effective use of these marketing tools and strategies will let you have a responsive website designed to work as your best salesman working day in and out to bring business to your store. You can forget shelling out money for expensive PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.
Having a clear idea of what you want from your website and how you plan to attract your customers is integral for laying the foundation for a cost-effective e-commerce website.
If you still don’t know where to start, you can count on us for help developing the perfect e-commerce solution for you. We are dedicated to helping our clients create successful businesses.
Let us work together and give shape to your vision. Contact us today.