The secret to successful trading online relies of course on good products or services, but equally important is the platform from which you promote and sell your goods. Ecommerce websites are growing rapidly at a rate of around 25% each year, but it takes a good mix of key factors to get ecommerce websites right.
It’s really important to plan your website out thoroughly before you even begin to think about the design or the tools you’ll use to build your site. There are many basic components you’ll need to consider that will ensure visitors not only find you, but that they will convert to customers too.
Good Product Descriptions
Your website is often going to be the first experience your customers have in dealing with your company. Make products stand out, write good in-depth and catchy descriptions for your products, and make sure products are easy to buy. It’s amazing how many people forget to add a ‘Buy Now’ button next to a product and this can be a website killer right there! Also, make sure you have some good quality images that can be zoomed for more detail. If you have lots of products, it’s a good idea to use an industry standard classification system in order to categorise your products and make them easily navigable and accessible.
A Range of Different Payment Methods
Not all customers have a Visa or Mastercard so it’s a good idea to include a wider range of payment methods. Many customers now use Paypal and this is easy to implement on ecommerce websites. You will definitely miss out on orders if you don’t include Paypal.
Different Methods of Ordering
Whilst many consumers are now accessing the web with mobile phones, tablet PCs and even games consoles, there is still a large number of people who are more wary of the Internet and who might want to order by different means. Offer more methods of ordering such as telephone ordering and ordering over mail so that you capture as much of your market as possible. Try not to put up barriers.
Choose a Good CMS
It’s really important that your site is easy to navigate and that products are easy to access and buy. A good content management system (CMS) is therefore important so that products can be added, amended, removed and updated as quickly as possible. A robust CMS will include data protection, backup and recovery options, and room for expansion in the future. A good web design company with expertise in ecommerce sites will be able to give you more information.
You will also need to ensure all transactions are conducted over SSL (Secure Socket Layers) to ensure customer data is sent over a secure channel.