Ecommerce means selling products and services online which is a rapidly growing with the rise of smartphones and tablets. We have presented some tips for starting, managing and launching an ecommerce business and website online below:
What is your brand identity? What are your products & services? Who is your target audience? What is unique about shopping on your website? All these elements including brand’s name, logo, communication style and other visual elements define your brand identity. These can be created with the help of marketing consultant.
Design: The first and foremost need is to have a website. How it looks, how it works and even what it’s called, could really make the difference between success and failure. This is not something you should rush or skimp on. So, consider the following factors:The website architecture and navigation is key to the success of your online shop. It should be user friendly and reflect your brand in every way. A website designer and ecommerce developer can help you get your business online.
Domain name: This is the front door entry to your business. What’s your domain name will make the difference between people opening it or going elsewhere. And are you going to be a dotcom, dotbiz, dotorg, dotnet, or anything else? This all needs research and serious thought. For instance, you don’t want prospects searching for you and ending up on a competitor’s site.
Hosting provider: There is no shortage of companies providing online hosting solutions. Many of their packages come with free domain names, so shop around for the best deal overall. You can easily get an ecommerce domain for as low as $25 per month but it is not always advisable to go for the cheap web hosting services. Find out your own requirements and growth forecast before you setup your infrastructure. Spending just a little bit more in the beginning can mean a lot of savings in the long run. Having your own domain and hosting gives you flexibility to infinity customization services which enhances your web presence as per your evolving business strategy.
The other option available is to go for listing with a marketplace site like Amazon or eBay. The advantages are the lack of front-end costs and the fact that you don’t have to get a website or be set up for credit-card payments over the internet. Disadvantage of such approach is that you are bound by the Auction site’s rules and regulations that may or may not suit you plus they restrict you from selling certain products and you do not get direct customers for your brand.
Responsive Website: Responsive website design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones, tablets, iPads, desktop computer monitors). Ecommerce is evolving faster than ever with the rise of mobile commerce or m-commerce. Smartphones & tablets are almost everywhere by now so people like to shop via mobile phones. Your Website should be designed to not only be visually appealing but it should have clear navigation that makes the online shopping experience easy. To be successful as online shopping resources, you need to make sure that you provide your customers fresh offers and services. A responsive website design from the start would allow your customers to browse your site seamlessly with any kind of device, like a mobile phone or tablet.
Infographic Source: Yottaa
User Interface Designed for the Customers: It is a good idea to provide contact information available at every page as it promotes communication and make purchases more efficient. Another important thing to make sure is the Search function on the site which must be visible and readable. User Comments and feedback from customers can be included (though controlled) to increase customer trust in your offerings.
Platforms like Magento and BigCommerce help you to create fully featured shopping cart in just few steps. Other options can be Drupal, Joomla or WordPress.
Marketing: The need for ecommerce industry is growing and it might not be bad idea to consult the experts in the initial phases of your ecommerce setup. Hiring an ecommerce consultant to help you get started with design, development, marketing and promotional aspects of your products /services can give you necessary boost and allow you to hit the ground running.
Today most of the visitors/traffic comes from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. So you must have an effective strategy to engage in marketing practices to get your website listed on popular search engines.
Your effective presence on social media channels such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Tagged, Yahoo Answers, Meetup, YouTube and other sites are very important to engage with prospective customers and get viral publicity.
Customer Service & Fulfillment: It is important that you should be ready to pack and ship orders promptly. The industry standards are onsite delivery within 2-3 days or order. To meet these expectations, you’ll need to setup efficient operation with courier companies; it is advisable to have it in place before you launch your online ecommerce website. Shipping costs can be substantial, especially overnight or two-day air shipping so have a clear shipping policy for your customers.