Ideas for a Successful E-commerce Website
Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well. Successful e-commerce website design starts with applying the basics of retail success. Everyone in e-commerce or thinking of getting into e-commerce has this one figured out—When you want to buy something, you’ll find it on the net.
Online, it’s an e-commerce website. But think about the traditional retail store. There are products in the window to entice the customer inside. There are aisles leading to shelves of more products, all conveniently arranged for the customer and visitors. They can’t just pick them off the shelf and carry them to the till as they would in the bricks-and-mortar store. The back end of your e-commerce site is just as important as your front end in terms of e-commerce web site design. You need to arrange the supply and distribution of your product before your e-commerce site goes “live”. You must be able to deliver on your promise to the customer.
Too many e-commerce entrepreneurs don’t bother to do this. They throw up e-commerce websites that have large sections under construction, or have their e-commerce sites hosted by providers that provide erratic or slow service. You must have consistent, 24/7 hosting if you want to operate a successful e-commerce website. You must present a fully functional, complete store to get e-commerce visitors shopping online. No ‘Under Construction’ or ‘Coming Soon’ banners. Usability is another important component of e-commerce website design And you must maintain your e-commerce website regularly and often. An e-commerce site that’s littered with dead links kills online shopping. An e-commerce website that never offers any new content will bore visitors. If you can’t afford to maintain your e-commerce site, you can’t afford to have one.
People shopping online need to see the product before they’ll purchase it, too; incorporating an online catalog into your e-commerce website design can really help build credibility. But don’t make the mistake of loading many pictures onto too few pages, resulting in pages that load too slowly and don’t provide enough information. A good online catalog will use a lot of web pages; it will be organized into categories, searchable, use thumbnails to give faster load times, and provide detailed information on each product. An excellent catalog also provides stock information and makes it easy for the online shopper to purchase the product. Successful e-commerce websites also provide information about customer service and contact information that is clear and accessible. Having to drill down through 50 pages to find an email address printed in a tiny font on the bottom of a page will give your potential online shopper queasy feelings, not good feelings. Most won’t even bother to search. They’ll just assume that you’re not the sort of person they want to do business with.
Build credibility with potential customers by making your customer service information a prominent feature of your site. Put an ‘About Us’ and a ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Customer Service’ link on. Having a quality product is only one piece of the e-commerce website puzzle. Another is getting potential online shoppers to visit your e-commerce site. But even after you’ve put those pieces in place, you have to entice them to do their online shopping on your site by treating them as well as or better than they’d be treated in a concrete store.