9 Essential Aspects to Define Before You Build Your E-Commerce Website
Businesses that want to expand and reach a wider market understand that e-commerce website development is imperative for an effective online presence. And you have to go with the flow to make it: according to huffingtonpost.com, in 2014 we will witness and unprecedented growth of e-commerce on a global level.
If you decide to build your own e-commerce website using a specialized platform, you will get both the tools and the guidance you need along the way. E-commerce platforms offer you proven, customized solutions for your business that allow you to set up and manage your online store easily.
1. Goals and Means to Get There
Before you start building your e-commerce store, you need to know exactly what you’re selling, how you are selling it, and what your expectations are. This means that you should take the time to learn everything you can about your product, about how you are going to market it, and what you hope to achieve.
2. Who Is Your Target Audience
Now that you know all there is to know about your product, it’s time to think about your target audience. It’s true that e-commerce allows you to reach a wider market; unhindered by geography or time zone, but to be successful you need to know exactly what your potential customers want from you, and how you can respond to their needs effectively. There are tools that allow you to track customer behavior and use the information you get to improve your e-commerce strategy.
3. Do Keyword Research to Get into Your Customer’s Mind
Keyword research is essential if you want people to find your e-commerce website. Before you even start to build it, you should step into your potential customers’ shoes to find out how they will look for your products. What exactly are they typing into a search engine when looking for your product? Use Google keyword research tool to better understand your prospects, what they want, and how you can get them to buy from you.
4. Teach Yourself the Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Successful e-commerce website development depends on several key factors, one of which is a well-planned online marketing strategy. You don’t need to become an expert overnight, but it’s important to understand how the internet works and why you need it. Without that knowledge you cannot expect to rank high in search engine results. If you don’t, it means that not many people will find you. You may have a great product that might be in high demand, but if visitors don’t come across it, your chances of converting are zero.
5. Appealing, User Friendly Website Design
Now that you know what you want and how to get it, you can move on to actually developing your e-commerce website. Design is critical because your e-store will work as an actual storefront: it should be able to get people’s attention, convince them to come in, and provide them with a pleasant shopping experience. This means that customers should be able to find what they are looking for easily. For that, search and navigation on your e-commerce website are critical. The search option should get customers to the page they are looking for, and navigation should be simple and intuitive.
6. Help Customers Filter their Options
The success of an online store depends to a large extent to how quickly a customer can complete the order and how simple the checkout process is. Use refined filter options to allow customers choose what they want from the beginning and allow them to change selections in case they change their mind. This will simplify the process, making navigation much easier.
7. Control Your Stock to Keep Customers Happy
To avoid frustrating your customers and driving them away, it is critical to keep your stock under control at all times. This means that if you run out of a particular product, you need to update product status on your online store immediately, otherwise you might end up with an angry customer who might not only look for your product somewhere else, but may also post a negative review on your website or social media platforms. You definitely want to avoid that.
8. Add a Personal Touch
Functionality and clean navigation are key, but a little bit of style and personality won’t hurt. On the contrary, by giving your online store a personal touch you will make it stand out from the crowd. People will remember it more easily and traffic is likely to increase.
9. Use Content Marketing to Establish Yourself as an Authority and Build Customer Loyalty
To promote your online sales, you should create and post instructive and relevant content on your e-commerce website and blog. Surveys indicate that original, helpful, and entertaining content enables you to gain your customers trust and loyalty, increasing sales.
Featured Image Credit: E- Commerce for shopping online concept/ShutterStock