In this 21st century where billions of people across the world have access to the internet, one of the best decisions you can ever make as retailer is to sell products online. You can do this by creating an Ecommerce website and thereby enabling your customers to order and pay for your products online.
An Ecommerce website has several advantages. It for one gives you access to more customers as you will not be bound by geographical limitations. In addition to this, it enables you conduct fast and efficient transactions. There are many other more merits of operating an Ecommerce business.
As an Ecommerce website owner, you should take care to create an appropriate shopping website. This is because the website you have in place can either make or break your Ecommerce business. Below is a description of certain aspects of an Ecommerce website design that you have to consider when creating one.
An Ecommerce platform is a pre-built template or plugin that allows you to create a ready to use shopping website or to modify your website into an online shop. These templates are designed with features needed by shoppers and business owners to make any given transaction complete.
There are free as well as paid Ecommerce platforms. Regardless of it being a free or a paid platform, what matters most is that it be SEO enabled and flexible. Flexibility here means that the platform should allow the business owner to make various changes to the website whenever they need to do so. Here is a list of three platforms which are recommendable for Ecommerce business owners given their great features:
WooCommerce is one of the most popular online shopping platforms in the world based on the WordPress. It is in fact the highest rated Ecommerce platform at the moment, statistics from Builtwith show that it’s being used by 28% of online businesses.
So what makes WooCommerce so popular? You may ask. Well, it is highly preferred first and foremost because it allows a business owner to sell almost anything online. With this platform, you can sell both physical and digital goods. In terms of digital sales, the platform allows you to offer instant downloads to shoppers once their transaction has been completed. The platform also provides for product variations and allows you to display products in various shapes and sizes.
Another important feature of WooCommerce is its adaptability and customizability. WooCommerce platform can easily be changed or customised by a developer to fit an individual business owner’s specific needs. It allows you to modify the appearance of your site at any given time and in addition to this, it has a variety of themes to choose from depending on your business’ needs.
On top of all the other features, WooCommerce has various extensions to enable you enhance your online shopping website’s functionality. Furthermore, it provides for a number of payment options which makes it favourable for selling goods to customers all over the world.
Magento is another topnotch Ecommerce platform. It’s known for flexibility and attractive look. With Magento, your site can be easily accessed across various devices including mobile phones.
Magento allows you to create a shopping site that appeals to the specific customers you wish to attract. It provides industry-specific themes and designs and this consequently enables you to have an ideal Ecommerce site. Because of its aesthetic and tidy look, Magento is ideal for sale of products such as automobiles, fashion items, and food and beverages.
Magento’s popularity and efficacy can be explained by the calibre of clients who prefer it to other Ecommerce platforms. Examples of notable clients who use Magento to conduct their online business include Nike, Ford, Christian Louboutin, and Coca Cola among others.
If you are keen on growing your online business, Shopify can be an ideal platform for you. This is because it is a platform that allows business owners to track sales and growth trends of their business with the passing of time.
Shopify is also suitable for Ecommerce businesses as it allows you to add more sales channels whenever you wish and to complete transactions on a single go. The platform has inbuilt order and inventory management systems that enable you to sell and manage products right within your website.
Furthermore, Shopify has various themes and features to enable you perfect or customise your online shopping website’s look.
In addition to SEO and flexibility, there are also some other factors you should consider before settling on a particular platform for your Ecommerce business. These include the ease of use of the platform, its popularity with other Ecommerce business owners, its price, appearance, apps and ad-ons, and customer support among others.
Aside from the three platforms above, other leading Ecommerce platforms include Volusion, 3d Cart, Big Commerce, Big Cartel, GoDaddy, and PrestaShop among others.
A payment gateway should be another important consideration when creating an Ecommerce website. The type of gateway or gateways your site has plays an important role in determining the amount of sales you will be able to make. This is because customers who don’t have access to the payment gateway(s) supported by your site will by every means be locked out of making purchases.
There are various payment gateways to include on your Ecommerce site. These include PayPal, Payline, Authorize.Net, First Data, SecurePay.com, BluePay, Xoom.com, Paynova, Sage, and bank transfers among other avenues. Here is a look at two payment avenues PayPal and Sage. These two are very popular in addition to bank transfers.
PayPal, the American owned online payment system, supports electronic transfer of funds from any part of the world to another. When you send money using PayPal, the money is immediately credited to the receiver’s account. This makes it ideal for processing swift or urgent transactions. Furthermore, it enables a given transaction to have minimal disputes if any.
When using PayPal, currency conversion rates may apply. In regards to transaction fees, PayPal doesn’t charge you to pay for goods and services but it does charge you a 2.9% fee if you are the receiver of such a payment. PayPal also charges you when you send or receive money from someone in another country. You will however not be charged if you receive money from someone in the U.S. who sends the amount from their PayPal balance or bank balance. You will only be charged if they sent it from a credit or debit card.
In order to use PayPal as a channel for sending or receiving money, you have to first of all register on its website and then link your account with your debit or credit card.
Sage Pay is a UK run online payment system. Like PayPal, it enables instant transfer of cash from one part of the world to another. Sage has a number of features to help you make sales and grow your business. It strives to offer customers information as well as payment management features that can benefit their business in various ways.
In terms of account ownership, Sage offers its customers three types of accounts. These include Flex, Plus, and Corporate. They differ in terms of their pricing, features, and the number of monthly transactions their holders are allowed to make. With Flex, you can only make up to 350 transactions per month whereas with Plus, you can make up to 500 monthly transactions. Corporate account on its part allows for a massive number of monthly transactions. As a Corporate account holder, you are permitted to make up to 3,000+ monthly transactions. A corporate account is therefore the most recommendable to anyone who operates a busy Ecommerce business.
Additionally, Sage is very ideal for Ecommerce business owners in Europe. This is because it is largely designed and operated with European users in mind.
Another thing which you must give importance to when creating an Ecommerce website is data security. Your information and that of your customers has to be safe. Any loophole in regards to data security can lead to detrimental losses for both you and your customers. Furthermore, your competitors can take advantage of security losses to gain access to vital information about you. They can then use such info against your business.
Concerning data security, you should take care to use an effective security tool. One security tool whose efficacy and capability have been proven over time is SSL certificate. Here’s a look at it.
This a small file that enables encryption of vital information. It contains a cryptographic key which it digitally binds to a website owner’s information, thus making it secure. When added to a web server, it activates the http protocol and website padlock. This consequently enables safe connections between the server and the browser.
An SSL certificate is ideal for securing credit card information and for data transfers. It’s also useful for securing logins and social media sites browsing.
Ecommerce website promotion
Like in any other kind of business, you have to promote your Ecommerce business in order for it to thrive and compete favourably with other similar businesses. You can do this by promoting the website itself and also by promoting your products on your website.
It’s important to first of all promote your website and get target customers to visit it before embarking on onsite product promotions. People need to be aware of your business’ existence first before being aware of its products and any other great offer. That’s the order of things.
In regards to promoting your website, you can invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services to enable your business rank top in Google searches. In addition, you can also use Pay Per Click (PPC) Google adverts and Social Media Marketing (SMM) to popularize your business.
In relation to onsite product promotion, you can apply the use of up-sell, cross-sell, and down-sell.
Up-sell refers to a case whereby you sell a customer a more expensive product than the one they initially intended to buy. It can also mean selling a customer a complement product for example selling them a soft drink to go with a burger they’ve just bought. The main aim of an up-sell is to increase a business’ profit margin.
Cross-sell on its part refers to selling a customer an unrelated product. An example of this is when say a customer buys roofing materials and then you manage to convince them to utilise your fencing services.
Down-sell on the other hand refers to selling a product at a lower price than you ought to have sold it at initially. Down-sell is mostly applied when you don’t wish to totally lose a customer. You in such a case try to find them a cheaper product.
The aspects discussed above are vital for the creation of an Ecommerce website. With correct incorporation of each of them as well as other features, you will most likely have a website that helps grow your Ecommerce business.