Designing with respect to internet has never been limited to any barriers or disciplines, which is why attractive design in combination with online marketing has successfully created something known as ‘Ecommerce’. Readying an ecommerce portal is much more than just development or designing alone, it includes enough brain-work too. Look n’ feel, product focus, User Interface and much more are included in it. This article will be about some essential and common steps that are necessary for creating a perfect ecommerce portal.
There used to be a time when shopping was associated more with the feminine side of the society but I got news for you. That’s not the trend what we have prevalent today! Online stores that we have today are flooded with modern gadget, men accessories and even clothing that are capable of making any man stay on the website for hours. Apart from that, we have several online stores that are dedicated to parents, teenagers, as well as kids. Such enormous has been the growth of ecommerce that hardly there is any niche left to target.
If you are also tempted by the offer and wish to join the bandwagon then the things are not that easy as it may sound to be. Let’s keep it this way: You have several others like you in the market, so how will you depict your ecommerce portal to be the very best?
Here is You Answer:
Try To Sell Something That A User Will Buy
Probably this is one of the basics and also one of the most important points that gets an ecommerce portal running. Comparatively, setting up an ecommerce portal is very easy to guessing what actually people wish to buy from you. And for guessing what type of products are in demand at present will take a lot of market research, which again will be time consuming and to some extent boring as hell!Take out the most successful stores in the market at present, and what do they all have in common? The answer is they all sell products that are very much in demand right now. In addition to the products, you’ll also need to assess the group which you need to target using your ecommerce website.
For instance, taking a look at the current scenario we can very well assume that people are very much into smart phones, especially the Androids. Now, as a smart marketer or an entrepreneur, your main job will be to make sure your website lists some of the most sought after Android range. Instead, if you are still focusing more on Symbians or any other ordinary phones, I don’t see any good signs for the future of the website.
Ecommerce Design, Which Is Simple Yet Effective
The importance of an effective website design is something that we all are very well aware of, which is why I believe there’s no need of justifying why a good design is essential for ecommerce portal. Sadly, you cannot over-estimate the design’s importance either! Keeping a design simple yet beautiful has its own perks by creating a bunch of loyal visitors, who just might be interested in knowing what you sell. One must make sure that his website is easy to navigate and the images of the products listed are of the finest quality.
For instance, having a lot of flashy work will shift the focus of the visitor from the products to the design, but the primary motive of the website is SALE! As an alternative, if the website design is simple then, I feel the focus of the visitor will be intact on the product line you wish to highlight, instead of the design.
Offering A Payment Gateway That Is Simple And Easy
Ever had an experience wherein you were left guessing about the payment gateway in the end? Hopelessly, I believe such ecommerce websites do exist, which is why regardless of the variety you have on the website; make sure the payment gateway is equally simple. The best thing to do will be to establish a payment gateway that is simple to use and also offer a round the clock customer or client support cell, in a bid to establish credibility.
Some websites can handle the risk that is associated with online development and some are not, sadly core activities in ecommerce websites cannot be done online. Therefore, before deploying any ready made software or even a custom built tool directly to the website make sure it is working fine on all levels. The levels on which testing should be done will include cart functions, payments and even browsing. If you were left with even a single problem after the website goes live, like a bug in the payment or the shopping cart then, the after effects would include bad word-of-mouth and loss of potential clients.
One of the best payment gateways that I have come across is of ‘PayPal’ especially when you are increasingly dealing with international clients. Other than PayPal, we also have popular names such as CCAvenue, EBS, Transecute and DirecPay.
Easy To Find
Establishing a functional website is not enough to make things get going, however, the thing should be visible too! Search Engine Optimization is the key to make your website visible in popular search engines like Google and Yahoo. If you have no clue about the concept then, it’s better let a professional do the work.Some popular SEO tips include:
- Using Meta Tags
- Incorporating relevant keywords
- Descriptive and clear URLs
- Meaningful Anchor text and many more
As I mentioned earlier, if you don’t have any clue what I am talking about, seek professional guidance.
Get A clear Logo
What makes brands like Apple, Nike and Adidas tick? Well, I feel it’s their unique and easy to remember logo. These intelligent brands must have though of something before finalizing an apple with a biteJ. Likewise, we must have a unique logo with which the target audience can associate the brand. Trust me if you have a catchy logo then a single glace is enough to get your brand’s name rolling in the minds. A kind of a psychological phenomenon that I always believed in! In case of an ecommerce portal, a unique symbol assures the brand worthiness, credibility, and loyalty. A colorful or a professional logo will always compliment with the site design and the home page of the website.
For Instance, I believe whenever we hear the name of Apple or even an iPhone, the first thing that comes to our mind is a clear picture of an Apple, ofcourse with a bite.
Offer Alternatives Too
Don’t get confused between complimentary, alternatives and related products as they don’t mean the same. Therefore, each one should be presented under their respective titles to the client, which will not only promote sale but will establish brand credibility too!
For instance, If you have listed a Cell phone, say Apple iPhone5 on your ecommerce portal then:
Related product would be Samsung Galaxy smart phone where as complimentary product would be a charger or even a memory card reader.
Be Ready For The Unpredictable
Some of the unpredictable risks involved with ecommerce portals include:
- Payment processors communication errors
- Hosting and Server issues
Now in such cases, instead of surprising your client with a pushchair usage, take the responsibility in your own hand by displaying a message like “We will get back in a short while or for a short while we will not be accepting credit cards”. In addition, when you are good to go, make sure you send personalized messages to the same users that you’re back in business.
SSL Usage In Collection Of Critical Data
Given the fact, you are dealing with a person who is about to make his first online purchase, the very basic thing that he will be worried about will be online privacy and payment security.
I would advice use of SSL in every page where collection of critical data is involved and this would include:
- Account details page
- Details for credit card payments
- Registration page
Therefore, switching the website to SSL urls will prove to be a secure measure of collecting data. Letting the users know of this will also assist you in establishing a sense of trust with your target client and as you know, trust plays a major role in establishing brand credibility and loyal clientele.
How Can We Ever Forget The Shopping Cart?
Like any other technology we have today, Ecommerce too has evolved considerably and turned out to be a one-stop solution. The only problem that we had was of complicated Shopping Carts that were too complicated for a business owner to grasp and manage. Moreover, most of the shopping carts didn’t even adhere to the search engine and web standards, which worsened the issue even further. This lead to the increasing demand for shopping cart solutions that were more flexible and much better compared to the earlier counterparts. Therefore, we all now know the importance of shopping carts and here are some important features that you should look out for while making a selection for your ecommerce portal:
Some exceptional features that one must consider while selecting a shopping cart includes automated drop shipping, batch order processing, advanced CRM and purchase order management. Built-in promotional tools will be an added advantage such as Newsletters, gift registry, affiliate and reward programs. Go for CS-Cart for its varied features and gift registry modules.
Unless you are some genius when it comes to technical part of shopping cart, let’s assume you will need support somewhere down the time lane. Simple, pick a provider that is offering you support 24×7, if possible also on holidays and weekend as issues with shopping carts are inevitable. If you find such support staff then, make sure they stand for each and every word they speak! Magento is your best bet when it comes to technical assistance.
Safe ‘n’ Sound
Making your clients and visitors feel safe when they are transacting through your website is a major part of ecommerce, which is why a shopping cart is supposed to exceed the industrial security standards. A fully PCI Certified solution that is also present in the Visa’s list of providers is what you need for your website. These security measures will assist you in establishing brand credibility and trust among your target audience. For Instance, Avactis Shopping Cart is popular for its secure features.
Social Media And Mobile
We are living in the age of social media, wherein social media presence is necessary if a firm wishes to reach maximum people in minimum time. A shopping cart solution that offers built-in mobile optimized store and tools that allows you to share your products across popular social media platforms. A perfect example would be of ‘Volusion’, which also includes ‘Social Store BuilderTM’ as well as tools for mobile optimization.
These simple yet effective steps will assist you in establishing a perfect ecommerce portal and finally a well business to boast-off! Hope you liked my viewpoints and in case you have some more in mind, please feel free to share the knowledge!