Selling online is easier than you think….
eCommerce Website Design
Setting up a website can seem a daunting task to many of us. Not everyone is proficient at building stunning, effective and dynamic websites; but if you have a product or a service to sell, then having your own eCommerce website is one of the most fruitful methods of making sales.
The Advantages of eCommerce
Selling your product online means there are no geographic limitations. You can sit in your lounge in Texas and sell your home-knitted scarves to people living in Japan. The costs of setting up your business are comparatively non-existent. You don’t need to purchase or rent a shop. You don’t need to pay for decoration, you will undoubtedly be using less staff and the only utility bills are bills you would usually pay at your own home anyway.
About eCommerce Websites
The main goal of an eCommerce website is help customers to easily buy your stuff, while online, with confidence that they are going to get the stuff they just purchased! In recent years, there has been a significant increase in awareness surrounding Internet security. It is absolutely imperative you offer, and display, a high level of security on all of your pages and payment gateways. This means using “proper” eCommerce platforms on your website – ones with “Terms and Conditions” pages, “Privacy” page and other compliance pages. The shopping experience should also include the appropriate tax laws for all countries that you plan to sell to. Additionally, shipping should be automatically integrated to ensure the customer has confidence that they will get any shipped goods. No-one will buy from you if the shopping experience looks unprofessional or dodgy!
Shopping Carts and Payments – The Essential Items
If you’ve done any shopping online, you will have probably come across shopping carts of varying levels of quality. When planning out your eCommerce website you need to pick shopping cart software for your site that is user friendly, stable and fits the design of your site. You should ensure that it can be used on any operating system and as many browsers as possible (don’t forget that not everyone uses Internet Explorer).
Make the entire buying process easy for the customer – people don’t hang around on a website if it is slow, frustrating, or they get lost down a rabbit hole and can’t find their way back. The KISS principle is very important when dealing with online enterprises! Product images should be clear and crisp. There should be the ability to zoom in for a closer look. There should be multiple angles to view from. You should provide an accurate description and represent the product accurately. Doing all of these things also helps in minimizing returns and complaints!
The “Add To Cart” button and menu tab, the “My Account” menu tab, and the “Shopping Basket” icon, button and menu tab, should all be clearly visible and easy to use. Shoppers should be able to select how many items they want and then add that to basket. It is a good idea to present similar items or items that naturally go with the item they have selected as the shopping basket level. Also, once they have selected that item, it may be a good idea to take them back to the page they were last on, encouraging them to continue shopping and spending more money. All of these considerations have to be planned out before you decide on Shopping Cart software!
Everybody loves a good deal, and Internet shoppers are by no means any different! Try to make sure that your eCommerce website allows you to give discounts under certain circumstances. Perhaps, a 10% discount for anyone spending over $200. Recent eCommerce software can easily allow you to offer both product level and order level discount options. You can also use coupons to effect a discount, and promote the coupons through your social media channels.
One option that is becoming more and more popular for online retailers is inviting “affiliates” to help you sell your products. Good eCommerce software can easily integrate affiliate software as well. If you keep you affiliate structure simple it won’t take long until you have an army of affiliates promoting your products. Professional affiliate marketers are always on the lookout for great products to offer. They are experts at marketing and can often make the difference between selling a little and selling a lot!
The Bottom Line
If you want to set up an eCommerce website, you will have to get decent shopping cart software. Most web surfers will simply look for another site if you don’t give them the options they expect. Your design needs to be clean and crisp, with very good navigation. Your images have to be high quality. And the backend of the software should be set up well. The shop owner, should also have a good knowledge of how to manage their eCommerce website as well. However, for the most part, the website design and eCommerce set up is probably best left to a professional who is experienced with eCommerce web design and implementation!