So what is E-commerce? E-commerce simply refers to financial transactions occurring on the Internet.
Selling online has proven to be a big success, and selling online is a natural progression for many companies once they have established their web presence. Although selling online is a great way to make market your products, it has been getting tougher! Over the past year, sellers have experienced higher costs of doing business online, lower sell-through rates and lower selling prices. Selling online can also be time-consuming and requires consistent monitoring. Someone needs to be checking the email daily and packing and mailing orders promptly.
Also, online customers are often more impatient and intolerant than their offline equivalents. One glitch and they go elsewhere, however, if a customer finds an excellent online shopping experience they will keep coming back.
E-commerce websites are a must for the entrepreneurs or companies that wish to have an internet presence and do business activity online, but surprisingly, only a number of successful e-commerce websites survives and gets business done. This fact shows us that having a shop on the net does not guarantee success. Unfortunately, many online retailers do not put much emphasis on the design part of their website, and lose customers. Designs should hold enough interest to be visually appealing but refrain from being too cluttered and busy.
E-commerce is an area that can be intimidating, and e-commerce website design is not simple, but providing you select a good designer, with experience in working with databases and with excellent design skills, you will be well on your way over the first hurdle.
Professional, attractive and stylish e-commerce website design is what a professional e-commerce website must contain. It is important to realise that you cannot afford to a friend who “does website design as a hobby” to create your website. It is essential to use a professional, and give your business the best chance of success. Professionally designed e-commerce websites are the solution to making quick sales, and your products or services can be sold online even if you are sleeping. The finished result has to look extremely professional, be easy to update and most importantly actually sell your products for you.
Web designers often use some unconventional techniques to promote e-commerce web designs. Sometimes a web designer may utilize the potential of a single paged website by integrating the order form at the end. Websites are not a “one size fits all” type of solution. There are many different types of websites with unlimited variations, which makes choosing the right one a very important decision.
It is important that your e-commerce has a comprehensive shopping cart, sophisticated pricing and offers engine, multi-faceted navigation, card payment gateway integration a full search engine optimisation suite; and also integrates critical back office processes such as supply chain, sales order processing and stock control.
E-commerce websites are updateable websites, which means you are able to add new products and amend product/price details. You can even create discount and special offers which can be integrated in to the website. E-commerce websites can also be used to offer customer specific pricing, where a customer can login and view products at their own pricing. E-commerce websites are meant to be a link between your company and your clients. That is why, maintaining them is very important.
E-commerce websites are especially vulnerable to attacks by hackers, as they usually deal with credit card and other personal information. Security is one of the major issues highlighted in various surveys, and consumers are more careful on where they place their orders in light of the emerging identity theft and data loss situations. This means that it is essential that you do everything you can to make customers feel completely safe when placing their orders, and a badly designed website will deter customers from submitting their credit card details.
Customers always prefer websites that offer them secure transactions at the time of payment. As the instances of online credit card theft and hacking has increased so is the need for installing secure and reliable mode of online payment. In creating a full-fledged and well-equipped e-commerce website, a number of web services are to be incorporated to get the desired results. Customers notice little details and, although email addresses such as hotmail, gmail, and yahoo, work well enough for personal email accounts, they do not portray an impression of professionalism. It is better to use an email address on your own domain if you wish to gain the confidence of your customers.
Also, offering free shipping is one way that will boost your sales. Online shoppers are on the hunt for deals. One of the main ways consumers like to save on their online purchases is by searching for free shipping offers.
Choose your hosting provider carefully – a good host will have excellent support. A bad host can have almost no support at all! Choosing the right web server system is actually a balancing act between your needs, administrative capabilities as well as one’s organization’s skills. Your website designer will be able to give you advice on this matter, and may even offer an economical hosting service for web design clients.
You will also need to optimise your website for the search engines. Your website designer should be able to give you advice on this, or do it for you. Search engine optimisation practitioners will usually advocate choosing the simplest form of website which suits the company’s needs, as less complex sites are easier to optimise and generally perform better. Search engines love these pages if you regularly put some content on them. Initially, all you need are two or three sentences introducing the products. Search engine visibility takes time to develop, so you want to get your site live as soon as possible to start laying claim to your important keyword phrases. You are better off having your website go live with 20 products rather than waiting months to develop the content for 200 products.
Contact, privacy and FAQ pages should be included on your e-commerce website. Most e-commerce website owners find it useful to add a squeeze page to their website, to capture the contact details of their website visitors. Squeeze pages can be easily created with squeeze page software, or your website designer can build your squeeze pages.
Also, a feedback form of some description is essential, as user feedback is one of the most valuable tools for ensuring the continued success of your website, but it is often ignored by website owners. Website users should be considered throughout the website design process. Professional e-commerce website design is not something that just happens, it takes a considered approach to each aspect of the project to ensure that your e-commerce website is successful.
Alfie Harris is the CEO of Streets Ahead Products. Streets Ahead Products design and develop info products and software, including Squeeze Page Wizard, squeeze page software [http://www.Squeeze-page-wizard.Com] – the squeeze page builder that creates amazing squeeze pages in minutes.
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