E-commerce website developers are in business as this sector is growing at a very fast pace. Businesses specially into retail sales and into services are embracing E-commerce. With the onslaught of Covid-19, E-commerce has come in handy as people are restrained from physical meetings and would prefer buying products and services online from E-commerce sites.
For a E-commerce Business, you first need to develop an efficient E-commerce site that allows the potential buyer seamless navigation through your site to search, select, pay through the payment gateway. The customer should also be able to review and engage with your team when required. Secondly, the site needs to be branded, optimized and marketed so that buyers know look for you or you are found when they search for you. Below are 12 tips that will elaborate more:
1. Register Your E-commerce Business
For a successful E-commerce business, you need to register the business and your brand name. An Ecommerce website developer can help you with that. For Example: Qatar has new rules and regulations when it comes to setting up a E-commerce business. Refer https://www.motc.gov.qa/sites/default/files/ecommerce_ebook.pdf
1a. Register Your E-commerce Website name:
Choose a Good name for your E-commerce site and register it. Your E-commerce store name need not be the same as your brick and mortar store. However, it is a decision that you need to take based on what you want from your business and how do you want to position it.
2a. Business license and permits:
Ensure your business licenses are in place. This might take time. Please go live once your license is approved and all required regulations are adhered to.
2. E-commerce Website development for your E-commerce Business
E-commerce Site can be developed in two ways
- Using a SAS platform like Shopify, BigCommerce
- Bespoke on Magento, WooCommerce and others.
In addition, You need to take into many aspects of your business and viability before deciding to go with a SAS model or a customized site.
2a. Simple E-commerce website design
Simplifying a website is very important. Equally important, make the site user friendly and visually appealing. Factors that influence user experience need to taken into consideration while developing the E-commerce Website. Furthermore, readability and space is very important to ensure stickiness of your site. This means users will stay on your site and not bounce out as soon as they enter.
Always keep the end in mind while planning your E-commerce website. The framework or structure of your site must be well planned so that you do not run into any roadblocks while developing the site which is the first phase of your E-commerce Business.
2b. The End user/buyer is the best judge.
What does the buyer want in an ecommerce site?
The appearance of the E-commerce website makes a huge impact for the end user to stay on your site. Check usertesting.com to get an idea about your website. Keep in mind your E-commerce design affects your E-commerce business and your revenue. Try best not to interrupt your visitors time on your site. User experience is paramount to turning visitors into customers and repeat customers. Therefore, hire experts to manage the design incorporate UI and UX factors.
For Ex: Zarahome.com
3. Pricing for your E-commerce :
Whether your site is an extension of a brick and mortar entity or a totally E-commerce business, you will need to ensure that pricing of your products is right. Provide all required information about pricing. Money is the root cause of all doubts so ensure you are honest about pricing your products and services. Good to have straight forward pricing and price ranges.
The customer needs to know if shipping is free or whether he would be paying. It is advisable to display shipping information much earlier in the purchasing process so that the client does not go through the whole process just to abandon the cart. Research has shown that shipping terms and condition at the end has led to more card abandonment than when the info is provided earlier in the process. Your E-commerce website needs to be clear about your pricing
4. Quality photos for your E-commerce website
It is said pictures speak a thousand words. However, on an online platform, pictures speak more than a thousand words. One of the main challenges in E-commerce sales is to convince the online buyer who has no access to the physical product. He cannot touch or feel the product. This means, pictures have to be sharp and of high resolution.
Attractive and genuine good original pictures help the buyer in making purchase decision. Use the “zoom in” feature for the buyer to get more clarity on what one is purchasing.
For certain products you might need models or mannequins especially with clothing, fine dining restaurants. Pictures can be taken by professional photographers depending on the value of the products. You can as well use high pixel mobile phone cameras to add pictures to your E-commerce site.
5. Include reviews and/or testimonials in your E-commerce website
Reviews help in decision making. Moreover, “Word of Mouth” today are the online reviews left by your customers regarding your site, products and service you offer. More than 60% of customers refer to reviews before they make a purchase.
Review and reputation management sites can help you manage your reviews and keep them engaged. Furthermore, positive reviews help encourage more purchases and also review analytics help you understand demand for individual products thus helping increase sales for your E-commerce business.
Invite reviews from users for each products and integrate the “share” feature too. This will help your products reaching many through social media channels as well as enhance visibility and increase traffic to your site. Add testimonials with pictures if you have any available
6. Keep your products organized in your E-commerce Website
You step into a showroom and you find products scattered around, finding what you need will be a nightmare and chances are you will move on to the next shop. In the same way having your products organized by categories filtered to products and product ranges will help your buyers find them easily. A drop down menu to start with and filters to narrow down searches increases user experience.
Good to have a “New” tag to new products introduced. Provide information about the availability of stock or the number of pieces of the product left in stock. This will create urgency to a buyer at the same time does not leave him or her disappointed when they find out that the product is not available and this was not informed to them resulting in an unsatisfied customer. You would not want disappointed customers for your E-commerce business.
7. Contact details in your E-commerce website for the buyer to call, write or engage with you.
A buyer’s decision to purchase from your E-commerce website might be affected by some queries. These queries or questions need to be answered in real time or within a set timeline. How would the buyer get in touch with you? Does he need to look around in your site to call or email you or scroll down to the bottom of the page?
Make your contact information easily accessible to the buyer. Not able to contact you can just be the reason for a potential buyer to move away from your site.
Include contact information as much as possible in the form of email address, phone number, live chat including a strong marketing strategy for review management and remarketing. Add a contact and provide a feedback form at every page and in every search.
7. CMS System for your E-commerce Website:
Your CMS should have a range of backend features, like group permissions, custom forms, and directly editing code without affecting the entire system in a negative way. .
The team who manage the CMS need not have technical qualifications or software development experience. WordPress has a very good content management system and furthermore this system can be scaled.
You should be able to equip your ecommerce CMS with advanced content plugins. Open-source platforms, such as WordPress or Magento, help you scale.
8. E-commerce site and ERP integration:
Given a growth in your E-commerce business and increase in the number of products, manual changes can take a toll on the administration of the site. There is a need for ERP integration. CMS like Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce is the central data repository and plays the role of ERP in thenE-commerce Business.
A good e-commerce ERP solution helps you to keep information centralized and also avoid errors between different applications inside your company. Thus, data of inventory, orders, shipments, customers, payments available from one single source that keeps everything updated real time.
While the investment for an E-commerce ERP solution is high, over time ERP system shows its worth. It takes care of time loss, builds efficiency and helps in scaling volumes. A third party ERP integration supplier can help integration based on the plugin offered by your CMS. The advantage is they can also provide you with technical support whenever required.
Data that updated and sent from your e-commerce site to your ERP:
- Customer Information
- Shipment information
Real time movement on inventory stock levels on each channel
- Data that is sent from your ERP system to your E-commerce Site.
- Information on new and discontinued products
- Product information and pricing changes
- Inventory status and movement
- Information on promotions, discounts and offers
9. Quick, simple checkout
A complicated check out process results in your buyers abandoning the purchase. Simplify the check out process and let your clients pay and purchase with confidence.
You can allow buyers to check out with two options.
- Check out as registered customers
- Check out as guests
Best is to request only the very necessary information. Basically, information like shipping address, name and payment. Great to get the email address with invitation for future offers or promo codes so that you can engage with the buyer in the future.
10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page
The FAQ page helps customers and genuine buyers visiting your site to faster reach to where they intend to go. Customers have queries. Some queries need template driven answers while others need to be customized. However, there are common questions that you get to hear from customers and these can be handled through a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) Page.
Include a FAQ page on your websites navigation menu. This will take care of many of your customers common queries and will increase trust. In addition, answered questions help in continuity of the buyer’s activity on your E-commerce site. FAQ since is part of your content and is regularly updated also helps in optimizing of your site.
12. Marketing your E-commerce Business:
Most of your investment in an E-commerce business is marketing. Without a strategic marketing plan both online and offline, your E-commerce business will not succeed. You need professional help as marketing and market trends keep changing. Nuance Digital in Qatar can help market your E-commerce site.
Content is king when it comes to online marketing of any sort. Original, high quality and unique content is what your customers are looking for. Google appreciates original content. Content can be published through Blog posts, videos, news letters and product information. Good to hire content experts as well ensure you get the right and relevant content. Online reviews from your customers also adds to content on your site and helps in your SEO activity.
12b. Social Media Marketing
One of the most important and powerful channels to market your E-commerce Site is Social Media Marketing. Social media profiles are where people discuss, share and comment about products and services. In addition, through Social Media Channels you can engage and interact with your customers and help boost traffic to your website and increase your customer base. Social Media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and others. Increase your followers.
Be consistent in your communication as social media marketing helps in enhancement of your brand.
12c. Email Marketing
Once a customer registers on your ecommerce site or downloads your E-commerce you have a captive audience. One of the most effective forms of reaching your customers is through emails. Emails can be categorized and relevant emails broadcasted to the right audience such as New launches, product information. You can also use emails to retarget buyers who visit your site.
Make Emails personal, ensure you have quality content in your emails as well as good and attractive promotions to win customers to your E-commerce site. Newsletters are very important for an E-commerce site and what best channel than the email to reach to your customer. There are certain email software’s that help you analyze response, reach and provide much more insights.
12c. Search Engine Optimization and Pay per click advertising to market your E-commerce Website
Google attracts 85% and more searches compared to all other search engines in the world. Firstly, You need to ensure that your E-commerce website is optimized well organically to rank on top of google search when your buyers are looking for products or services. Second, Focus on content generation and content posting. Original content, continually updated gains relevance on Google and helps in ranking your E-commerce site.
Hiring SEO experts who will understand your optimization needs and rank you on top of Google Search is important. It is all about local search and Google appreciates local search and helps the end user get exact or close results to his or her search query.
You might have thousands of products to sell and optimizing all is not practical. Here, Pay per click pays an important role. You can advertise on Google AdWords and Google Display advertising. Use affiliate advertising to ensure you are branding your E-commerce site well and show up of pop up when your customers are looking for any products or services that you have in your E-commerce website.
12d. Retargeting or remarketing for your E-commerce Business:
Many of the customers who come to your E-commerce website might be in a way window shopping. They could have stopped half way from paying online and exited from the site or they could be interested but decision might be delayed to a later date. These are the customers whom you will need to follow and engage with through Retargeting.
Retargeting is a technique where your E-commerce website audience who visit your portal are tracked. Once tracked, you continue to follow them through relevant display ads as and when they are browsing the internet for any reason. Retargeting helps them with reminders and a reason to return to your site to purchase the product they have been looking for in your E-commerce site. It also doubtful buyers to make a decision and buy from you. For Example: if a buyer is looking for perfumes and you want to retarget the buyer, retarget with a perfume ad and not a furniture ad.
An E-commerce business looks easy however, it has to be noted that the job does not end by building and Ecommerce Website. The site has to be marketed and branded aggressively. There are many success stories on E-commerce being generic or niche sites. Like Rome was not built in a day. An E-commerce site will take time to succeed and therefore need the required investment, creative marketing, continued engagement and patience. E-commerce today is one of the best businesses to put your money into.