11 Tips On How To Design And Develop An Engaging eCommerce Website
Creating an ecommerce website is relatively simple process. It doesn't take much determination or time, and you don't have to quit your current job either. When things get going and you'll start to earn money you can decide if you're going to spend all your time and energy with the new venture. But how do you get started? Here are the steps of creating an ecommerce website in 11 points.
1. Choose a product or service
The first step is quite obvious in the process of creating an ecommerce website, and it is very likely that if you are already there to start your site, you know what you will trade. This could be anything, from things you produce to products that you can get cheaply at wholesale prices and thus pass it on at a profit. More importantly, before deciding what product/service you want to sell in your online store, test whether there is a demand for it or conduct a research. You may ask your friends or even online communities for more extensive feedback. Also, take a look at the competition what they are offering and for how much. Think about whether it's worth selling your product/service at competitive prices or set a new price structure. If it turns out that you are losing money after all the below points have been considered, don’t be deterred but try to find another product/service or improve the existing one.
2. Price your product/service
Once you have picked the product/service you may proceed to pricing, which is the hardest part of starting a new business. If the price is too low you lose money, which means it is not worth the time and money to invest in your ecommerce website. But if the price is too high you won't be able to sell enough product/service - unless you have first-rate marketing plan – risking to lose the invested money.
To determine the price of your product/service, you have to consider costs:
raw material & production
designing and developing an ecommerce website
webhosting & maintenance
payment of taxes and other charges
By analyzing the competitors pricing structure you’ll be able to make the final calculation, and if the numbers add up you are in business. Also, adding a unique value to your product/service can largely increase the customers buying experience. Crunch some numbers and do the math!
3. Assess transport, costs and opportunities
If you are planning to sell a product, take a look at other markets to see what transport they use, prices and availabilities. The easiest solution is to place these costs on the customer but remember they will calculate shipping costs in addition to the price of the product. Which may result to withdraw from the purchase when faced with serious shipping costs that a company applies. Another way to it is to be transparent and display shipping costs before purchase so they will know what to expect or include the shipping cost while selling your products at higher prices. Also, what's more common is that you charge lower fees for shipping above a certain purchase amount. This can encourage customers to buy more and save, of course only if the competition does not offer free or cheaper shipping solutions. However, you have to calculate what works for you while making profit. In any case, if you're shipping for free or at a discounted price, post it in a good visible place on your website, or you can even emphasize that fact in your ads. And of course, look in advance at who and what solutions suppliers offer!
4. Pick a name for your business
Usually, when you are trying to find a good name, it is always taken. Try to find a brand name that talks about you and your product but stay away from options that others already use. Also, it is worth considering what domain names are booked or available, since your brand name should appear in your domain name.
5. Develop marketing strategy
You should start to think about your marketing in parallel with your name selection. Similarly, design the logo for the brand, look up marketing solutions or do it yourself. Finding the target audience is key and so make sure you have funds for advertisement.
6. Select the right platform
Then, decide on what basis your ecommerce website will work, i.e., who will be your hosting provider, will you build the webshop on some existing framework because that takes care of hosting. Of course, if you want a website and a brand that is all yours in every way, you'll need to choose a hosting provider.
7. Ecommerce web design
This is where we actually get to the point of creating an ecommerce website. You can create or hire someone to create your online store using templates, or perhaps you can design it based on your sketches with a web designer. Obviously, in case of the latter, you can build more unique and customizable platform that won’t confuse customers with other webshops. In addition, will differ to other websites that could be a decisive factor in marketing.
8. Content writing
When creating a website further task are to be considered, like writing the text that introduces your company and convinces visitors to shop at your webpage. Needless to say, you can assign an outside company with this, but no one knows your online business better as you do. At the same time, it is not so easy to write a good, grammatically correct and catchy marketing text for website. Therefore, ask for help if needed, even if it is limited to only correcting your already completed text.
9. Secure SSL certificate
Your ecommerce website must be safe for all users. Especially if customers provide personal and financial information about themselves. An SSL certificate should be visible on the Homepage and indicate to everyone that important information is encrypted, so hackers can't access it. Next is to determine how customers can pay on the website and choose the right payment provider for ease of use.
10. Upload relevant product/service materials
After the online store is secure you are ready to upload products/services that are set to go. Set prices, adjust shipping options if any and make sure everything works well during the purchase – checkout - process. The process should be smooth and easy to navigate, so customers are just one click away to the "buy" button.
11. Selling and testing
The last step in designing an engaging ecommerce website is actually the sale itself and testing all functions. If visitors are few and far between it's obviously because customers don't know about the website and also because it probably hasn’t been advertised yet. It won’t appear in search engines if you don't advertise like on Google, Facebook etc. or other ways. This is where marketing including online marketing, SEO, content marketing comes into play. If you don't have the money for this, use the power of rumors, i.e., talk to your friends about your online platform, spread it around them so that a growth process can start. After that, let's get back to point 5, as this is the most important step from our point of view after design has been finalized.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHEN CREATING A WEBSHOP
Lack of market research, bad marketing, low quality product/service, credibility it all could contribute to an unsuccessful an ecommerce business. Last but not least, there is an additional factor that basically determines your success and that’s the design of the website.
Every professional web designer familiar with the online world knows, that it is not easy to design a new online store from scratch. There are countless things and measures to look out for to make it work, but it all starts with a good website, of course. Let's see what you have to look out for and then what else matters.
- Users do not want to download to many Apps
Unless the website is not mobile friendly and slow in respond. According to “Siteworx” for the third year in a row, researchers have found that customers prefer to shop on mobile websites than in standalone apps. In fact, while 63 per cent said yes, a year earlier their rate was just 56 per cent. However, when asked what it was like to get them to download an app, they replied: by making a quicker purchase in the mobile app than on the mobile browser. This shows that speed is a critical factor, especially since people often use mobile internet and not Wifi when shopping with smartphones. It follows two things: you don't necessarily have to invest money and time in an app, but it's a good idea to seriously optimize your mobile look in terms of speed.
- Finding the product/service
Further research also revealed that what makes customers most satisfied when shopping online is to easily find the product they are looking for. Forty percent indicated this, while 35 percent also like to see reviews and reviews for products and services during shopping. And what is it that they don't want at all? Well, for example, to share the final result of the purchase with your friends. So, it's completely unnecessary to use social media buttons to harass people at the end of a successful process. However, make your Page handy for search engines and it is worth doing SEO a little bit too.
- Add shop location if accessible
Despite the high momentum of online shopping in recent years, there are still many who want to go to physically existing stores. Therefore, more than half of respondents (52%) only use their smartphone to see where your store is and how long it is open. It is worth making the opening hours easily available on your website, and make it mobile-optimized to indicate where your store is and how the customer can get there.