An eCommerce website is one that allows you to buy and sell physical goods, digital products or services online.
The advantages of having an eCommerce website include:
- Start-up costs are low compared to a physical store
- You are able to access a global market, 24/7
- Showcase your best sellers, related products
- Use paid ads to target and remarket to specific customers
- Gather data to learn more about customers, to improve your sales and revenue
- Gain customers’ email addresses and other information to build relationships and market to them
Once you have decided on the product that you want to sell, you should carry out market research in order to identify your target audience and find out what their needs and challenges are.
What type of platform to use?
Some services, such as Shopify and EKM, charge a monthly subscription. Many other options exist – Wix, BigCommerce, Squarespace, Square Online, Weebly, GoDaddy, Prestashop, 3dCart, OpenCart, Big Cartel and Volusion.
If you have an existing WordPress website then WooCommerce may be a good option to consider.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is hugely important so you should make sure that the eCommerce platform you choose is known to be a good option for SEO.
Over 50% of online searches are carried out on a mobile device so having a mobile friendly website is essential.
You should also consider how easy it is to edit products, prices, images and descriptions.
Whichever option you decide on, you should make sure to use high quality product images.
It is also important to provide detailed product descriptions to give potential buyers as much information as possible.
You should have easy to find contact details so users know who to contact if they get have problems ordering or have other product-related queries.
Deciding on Pricing
If your prices are too low, you will struggle to cover costs and make a profit from selling online. If your prices are too high, you are likely to deter potential customers and make less sales.
Consider your costs, including the cost of making or buying the products you sell, marketing and advertising costs, the cost of hosting your website and taking payments, shipping costs, and so on.
Next look at your competitor’s pricing structure.
Use this researched analysis to work out what to charge to make a reasonable profit.
If your products are physical goods make sure to choose a reliable courier for delivering the goods.
Website design tips
Make sure that your website is easy for customers to use and navigate. Your most important pages should be no more than three clicks from your homepage.
Calls to action (CTA) should be strong and attention grabbing. These are the buttons and links that customers click to take actions such as adding items to their shopping basket, or moving to the next stage of the checkout. These CTAs should stand out from the page so customers are clear about the steps that they need to take.
Make sure that the checkout process is as simple as possible, without unnecessary clicks to frustrate users.
Only ask for details that you really need. Asking for too much information can deter potential customers.
If possible allow buyers to sign in as a guest.
Customers are likely to make a decision on whether to make a purchase or not based on what they see on your product pages.
Product images are extremely important in order to give customers a good impression and understanding of the product. You should use high quality images and show products from various angles.
It is a good idea to add videos if you have them, and to display positive reviews or testimonials.
Make sure product descriptions are well written, informative and easy for visitors to understand. It is not advisable to copy descriptions from manufacturers websites. Ideally you should write the content yourself so that it is unique. Search engines prefer unique content so it will help with getting found online.
Product descriptions make a huge difference in helping potential buyers decide whether to proceed to checkout. Provide details of the product features and also the benefits they can bring to buyers.
Google guidelines advise adding ‘schema markup’ to your product pages so that more detailed information appears in the search results – known as rich snippets. This allows information such as price, availability and review ratings to be shown in the search results pages.
By setting up cart abandonment email sequences you can create a series of emails reminding visitor of products they have left in their cart.
Check back soon for more articles on how to write abandoned cart emails that reduce cart abandonment rate.