E-commerce stores are like gold mines, provided you know what you need to do. If you jump into this virtual market without the adequate preparation, the outcome is always the same – disappointment! On the other hand, you can be very successful in running your e-commerce store when you have taken proper considerations of what you intend to do. That way, you can shield your business from any possible shocks that are likely to come up in the future.
In e-commerce, preparation is everything, and here you would be learning how you can put a couple of things in order before you launch your e-commerce platform. These ten steps can guide you to complete success in the long run.
Decide on a product for future e-Store
You need to get this sorted out in your head before you start your e-commerce store. You cannot sell every product that comes to your mind. You must have a substantial reason for wanting to sell a product. If you lack any concrete ideas about a product, you had better look for something else because it is not going to work. For your information, I’m not talking about profit as a reason. It could be that you know that product inside out, and that is why you have decided to trade on it. Just convince yourself on a product and hit the virtual market. Pricing can also be a factor.
Decide on a platform
E-commerce platforms are growing by the day, and those who are aspiring to run one cannot help but get themselves confused on which platform to work with. Would you prefer to use popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magneto and the likes, or you would prefer to use something that can be customized to your taste? If you can settle down on your choice of platform, the chances are that you will be successful later on. I would advise you start looking up the different e-commerce platforms and run through their features. I’m sure you will see something that will interest you.
Get a nice domain name
You don’t just get up and run an e-commerce site with any domain name. If you do that, you would not be helping yourself. I have to be frank about that. Merchants who are experienced in the field of e-commerce take a couple of things into consideration before they decide on a domain name. Here are a couple of them: free WHOIS protection after a while, the possibility of managing multiple domains on a UI, responsive and timed support, immediate DNS propagation support, price difference, simple activation of Google Apps, the ease with which sub-accounts can be created, etc. These are just a few things you need to be aware of before you buy a domain name.
Take hosting into consideration
Never take free hosting as a criterion for patronizing any web hosting company. You have yourself to blame if you do that. This is because, with free hosting, you are bound to face limitations with bandwidth, primary domain names as well as other frustrating shortcomings. When considering web hosting for your e-commerce site, you should never take unexpected downtime and sub-par servers for granted. These things can ruin your business for good. With black Fridays and other seasonal promos around the corner, you are expected to have a massive rush of visitors on your site. Whenever there is a massive rush of users or customers on your site like that, you can only handle them satisfactorily when your site is hosted by an experienced and trusted web hosting company.
Weigh your design
A website layout has a way of influencing visitors when they arrive. If your e-commerce site is not as attractive as expected, don’t get disappointed when users spend very little time surfing your site. Your designs have to be enticingly beautiful. Do not be in a hurry to launch your site when you have not spent enough time planning the layout. Your design is the hallmark of what you are presenting. For you to get smashing designs for your e-commerce websites, you can employ already made templates, or you could decide to work with a design agency. Whatever you do, come up with fantastic designs. Users are not friendly when it comes to website and designs. Most people are, however, familiar with templates as they contain essential features good enough for a quick start.
Responsive sites are the best
Everything is changing around us, and that includes the way people shop for their favorite products. Still designing your e-commerce site on the basis that it is going to be accessed from desktop devices alone, is a move that will only come back to haunt you. Most people now prefer shopping on their mobile devices as compared to shopping on computers, according to a recent study. This can only mean one thing – you will make more profit if you can reach out to everyone that tries to access your e-commerce site irrespective of their choice of device. So try making your e-commerce site as responsive as it can be. The more devices that can access your e-commerce store, the higher your chances of making more profit.
Well-planned out navigation
If you are hoping for your visitors to come back to your site over and over again, your navigation must be well-planned. Nobody prefers too many clicks before they can arrive at what they are looking for. That flawless flow in navigation has an impact on visitors’ experience. So you need to calm down and plan out the navigation of your site. Make sure exciting information are not far from your home page. With a few clicks, users should get something done on your e-commerce store. If you keep stalling their expectations for whatever reasons, you will be ending up with fewer customers than you were supposed to have.
High definition pictures and product description
In story writing, it is advisable that you keep your readers guessing what the next move will be. It is also an applicable concept in movies. But as far as e-commerce stores are concerned, your visitors don’t need to do any guessing. They should have as much information as they can ever have at first glance. But before the product description part, the pictures have to be enticing so they can attract visitors and command a second look. In this regard, High Definition pictures are the best fit to get your visitors engaged. E-commerce stores are strictly for business; hence, you need to keep it that way.
Add customer testimonials
It is not everyone that wants to buy a product without knowing what others feel about that product; you have to come to terms with that. Encourage your customers with testimonials from others. You could even add ratings on a product, as it helps to convey the message to the intending buyers. Don’t ask me how this works, but it has a way of making unsuspecting customers make the expected leap. It is a psychology thing. It like building trust in front of your customers. You can get your customers to do anything with the right testimonials.
Shopping carts and buy buttons
We mentioned e-commerce stores being a business hub, and customers would prefer if their times are not wasted unnecessarily. Your shopping carts should not be too far from where the party is. Keep it close to where the action is. If customers can see all that they have selected in the cart that would be a plus.
You also have to give considerations to how your buttons should look. Those who have neglected the look and feel of their buttons have equally struggled with getting a reasonable conversion rate. Make your buttons as charming as they can be. They should attract the customers enough to make that one last commitment.
You can decide to take your time and plan a convincing website layout, or you could choose to launch yours in a hurry. I would bet every ambitious e-commerce site owner will prefer to take the former approach. Don’t make this look any harder than it already is; simply have a comprehensive look at the points above and ensure they are followed to the latter in the course of your design. Recording as much success on your e-commerce site hinges a lot on how much time you devote to planning the site.