Are You Considering Building An Ecommerce Website?
The Rise Of Online Stores
It is clear from recent studies and no doubt your own buying habits that shopping trips are moving online. Internet shopping is a very convenient alternative to visiting the high street and in 2013 so far, 72% of all UK adults have purchased goods and services online.
In the past it was only the larger companies that invested in ecommerce technology. Now however, the latest content management systems make designing an ecommerce website far easier for smaller businesses; all you need is a CMS platform and PayPal account. Making ecommerce technology so readily available to anyone is a positive move but do-it-yourself ecommerce website design is in danger of being the next bandwagon for everyone to jump on, even if it won't really add value to the business.
Before racing ahead, consider whether your business would actually benefit from an online shop.
Considerations Before You Start Your Ecommerce Website Design
If you're sure your wares are suitable to be sold online, consider whether you are prepared for this calibre of website. A static website gives you an online presence with less hassle. Any website should have search engine optimisation or some type of online marketing strategy but it is extra important for ecommerce websites because you're not just providing information, you want visitors to buy. If they can't find your website, they can't do that.
You will also have to dedicate time to keep your online store updated with your product range, special offers, stock levels and more. You will have to spend extra time on customer service and think about delivery charges and a postal returns policy. It suddenly doesn't seem as simple as at first glance does it?
Offline, have you got the resources and staff to put a consistent, reliable order processing system in place? If you are suddenly out of stock, deliver damaged or late goods, customers will quickly become dissatisfied. Operating online you will be more in danger of bad online reviews, which have been shown to play a large part in purchasing decisions these days. Can you afford to tarnish your whole business' reputation?
DIY Or Bespoke Ecommerce Website Design?
Although creating an ecommerce website design is easier with CMS platforms than more customisable, bespoke solutions, you'll still have to pay a commission on transactions as well as monthly fees to keep your website running.
If all these points are starting to create some doubt in your mind, don't despair. Look into advertising on Etsy or opening an eBay store. There are still fees for selling online but not necessarily as much maintenance involved.
If you are still determined to run your own ecommerce website, use a reputable supplier and compare interfaces. Some systems are cumbersome while others enable you to add products in only a few clicks. Tochin offer DIY stores and bespoke solutions that are easy to maintain while providing visitors with an excellent user experience.