When you sell services or products online, it is called eCommerce (electronic commerce). While it would have been an alien concept to entrepreneurs and customers not that long ago, it is now far more unusual to come across a business that does not have an eCommerce website. When done well, an eCommerce website is a low-cost way for businesses to reach a wider market on a 24/7 basis. It’s also incredibly simple to set up a website and get trading, as long as you ensure that you’ve covered all the key elements of an eCommerce website. If you are in the early stages of launching your small business, this guide will take you through the steps involved in creating an eCommerce website.
Choose A Domain Name
The first step is to choose a domain name for your website. This is your online address, i.e., what customers will type in or click on to visit and buy from you. Your domain name should represent your brand and be simple and easy to spell, so customers can remember it. If the name of your company does not communicate what you do, you may want to consider adding in a particular word or short phrase, so people can understand the products or services you offer.
Design The Website
Designing an eCommerce website is about far more than making it look nice. The website’s usability and functionality is essential to providing a good user experience, which will increase sales and repeat visitors. To learn more, visit digivante.com for information on website accessibility and functionality testing. You also need to design for both desktop screens and mobile device screens. A content management system will enable you to edit the content and images on your site, but a professional designer will be best placed to advise you.
Compare Web Hosting Platforms
Your website needs to be hosted by a server, which is essentially where the website and all its data live. There are lots of third-party servers and eCommerce solutions that will manage this for you, or you may want to manage it yourself. However, this will require a sufficient amount of technical knowledge, the correct equipment and a strong internet connection, which is likely to cost you more in terms of time and money. Your hosting platform must also be compatible with the shopping cart software you choose.
Choose Shopping Cart Software
The shopping cart software is the element that enables customers to keep stock of items they are interested in before they purchase, just as they would in a real store. You want a shopping cart that is easy to use and gives the customer complete control by enabling them to add, view and delete items from their cart. The shopping cart software should be highly secure to ensure your customers’ payment information is safe from cybercriminals. There are several shopping cart software products that are easy to integrate into your site and tailor to your shopping experience. A great hosted option is Ozcart Ecommerce, which has been in business since 2006 and offers extensive features to run your eCommerce along with helpful support. It includes hosting and updates to the shopping cart so you wouldn’t have to worry about those.
For customers to be able to pay you for your products or services, you must include a payment processing system in your eCommerce site to accept the payments. If you want to receive payments from credit or debit cards, you will need a merchant bank account, or you could hire a payment processing company like Worldpay or PayPal. Remember to compare the transaction fees of all your options.