Top tips for setting up an E-Commerce site
Setting up an eCommerce website is not a simple undertaking. Before you start work on creating an e-commerce website, there are a variety of factors to which you should consider, Here are eight essential tips that will help you to set up a successful eCommerce website,
Tip 1: Research, Research, Research!
It is important that you have a plan before you start work on your ecommerce site. Think about the type of business you want to run. Who is the target audience you want to reach? What products and services do you plan on selling? Think about the product or service you are selling; will this work on an ecommerce site? If you do, have you suppliers and a marketing plan tucked in place? How will you handle order fulfilment? Do a full market research survey so you have an idea of how the business works and what your customers are interested in.
Tip 2: Get to know your competitors
It is highly unlikely that you will be entering an industry that is so small that it lacks competitors.
Therefore, it is vital to research competitors within your field. Look at what products they are selling, what is their pricing structure like? How are they marketing themselves to your prospective customers? Look at their interaction on social media- is this one route of bringing customers to the site? If you spot something that a competitor is doing that is particularly impressive, make a note of it. Don’t copy your competitors directly, but do try to reverse engineer their success and build your own brand based around what they are doing.
Tip 3: Have an appealing homepage
Think of your website as an online version of a shop window. It should make a strong impression instantly on your website’s visitors. It should draw people in so that they want to learn more about what you have to offer. Ideally, your site should be unique to attract attention and stand out from your competitors, and professional enough that people feel comfortable enough spending money with you. It’s important to remember that your potential customer is only a click away from looking at your competitor.
Tip 4: Offer a Secure Payments Feature
Every eCommerce website must accept secure payments. Consumers are now well-educated in the importance of secure check-outs, and you could lose a huge number of potential customers if you do not accept them. In providing a secure check-out process, this will help to prevent fraud and will add an air of legitimacy to your website.
Tip 5: Keep your design simple
Your website design should be simple, fast to load and easy to navigate. Consider hiring some usability testers to record themselves using your website so that you can see what people do when they come to your site. If you notice that more than one person gets confused in a particular area of your website, improve the design to make it easier to understand. Never assume that because you and the people who work for your company understand how to use your website, everyone will. It is easy to overlook usability errors when you know how something has been designed.
Tip 6: Reliability
Make sure that your hosting account is reliable so that your website does not suffer from a lot of downtime. In addition, make sure that you communicate well with your customers. Send emails with tracking numbers when a product ships, and make a point of answering questions and support tickets as promptly as possible. Put customer service at the top of your priority list. Look at your website and think about the purchase process from the point of view of the customer – would you recommend your service to your family and friends?
Tip 7: Set a reasonable time line
Give yourself time to choose a web host and set up a hosting account, find a good web designer, learn a content management system or shopping cart and set up all your products. Add in some time for market research as well. Once you have factored in those activities, add some extra time to your plan to give yourself a buffer if things go wrong. No matter how well you plan, there is a high chance that you will need that extra time.
Tip 8: Keep costs low
When starting your business, it’s important not to spend a lot of money. It’s wise to begin with an affordable hosting and an open source shopping cart. Instead, use your budget for product research, development and into website marketing. You can upgrade your infrastructure at a later date if necessary. Through keeping costs low to begin with you will have a bigger buffer to help you succeed.