If you are looking to get your business running online with an e-commerce website, then we have compiled some useful tips for you to be aware of before you launch into the process.
Step 1. PLAN PLAN PLAN
This doesn’t need to be an overly complex business plan, but it should include factors such as the demographics of your target audience/s. Knowing as much information about who you want to get your product in front of and why they should choose your product over a competitors, will help you identify how to channel this information more effectively.
Step 2. Don’t under estimate the amount of work involved.
Planning, designing and developing a fully functioning and effective online store requires time and patience. Many businesses opt for help from a professional digital agency who can help with direct project, as well as plan the structure, design and develop the site for you. By contracting an experienced agency to help will help you save money in the long run and ensure you get a fantastic looking and performing website.
Step 3. Structure and navigation
You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of your online visitor, so it is important the design is attractive and enticing. It must also be easy to use, allowing online users to direct themselves through the site effectively. By keeping the clicks to a minimum between landing on your site and purchasing a product will make your site easier for customers to use.
Consider all types of potential user and how they are likely to move through the site. User experience is key to developing an easy to use site, and in turn maximising the potential for online sales.
Step 4. Which platform to use?
There are a wealth of e-commerce platforms available for you to use, however, choosing the most suitable for you and your business can be a difficult decision. The 3 categories of platforms include: hosted, open source, and hosted shopping cart.
Hosted e-commerce platforms will charge a monthly or yearly fee, which will include web hosting, use of the e-commerce system, and support.
Open source e-commerce platforms can be downloaded and will allow you to choose your own web hosting. Support can be limiting as it tends to rely on forums, however it can be a good choice for web developers.
Hosted shopping carts will just host the shopping cart and checkout process for you. You can use your own choice of CMS and hosting. Hosted shopping carts will handle the security details since the payment will be processed through their site.
Step 5. How will your market your new online store?
You need to be fully aware that if your site is new, then it won’t miraculously appear in the search engine results. You need to be mindful that getting your website in front of your target audience takes careful consideration, planning and time. Does your budget consider online advertising, SEO, PPC and ongoing monthly marketing, such as e-newsletters and social media management? Again, by enlisting the help of a digital agency will help direct you towards the right approach for your business.
Entyce is a digital agency with expertise in e-commerce websites, so if you are looking to move your business online, don’t hesitate to get in touch! [email protected]