Preparing For E-Commerce Success: How To Ensure Your E-Commerce Website Will Work
Despite customers' familiarity with purchasing products from the Internet, and the prevalence of web site developers eager to work on e-commerce tasks, developing an effective ecommerce website is no trivial matter.
Certain factors that are key be considered before your website is built. Failing woefully to consider these presssing issues first invariably results in failure. Use the following 7 points to check whether your company is willing to gain from e-commerce.
1. How Suitable Are My Products For An E-Commerce Website?
Not everything is suited to online selling and that you understand whether consumers are likely to buy your products directly from a website so it is vital. Suitable products tend to share features that are common
Homogenous - branded products are identical, irrespective of where they are bought, and these are usually good candidates for a website that is e-commerce. A consumer is more likely to purchase an item from your site they are buying if they understand exactly what. Books are an example that is good a novel bought from a single internet site is identical to exactly the same novel purchased from any other and therefore, in the consumer's mind, there is no doubt about what they are purchasing. Conversely, personalised or unique items (or products that require to be tried on or tested) are not so well suited to online selling. Footwear and spectacles, for instance, are difficult to sell from an e-commerce website because the customer is more uncertain about whether the item is precisely right for them.
Shippable - the fulfilment of online orders is normally the area of e-commerce that causes owners that are website difficulty. Small, light-weight items are easily shipped and do not include a high delivery cost that may deter online sales. To this end, many website owners will incorporate the delivery that is actual within the price of their products in order that they are in a position to offer "free delivery", which might help to stimulate online sales. Bulky, heavy items can pose website owners some problems as it pertains to delivery. If something is fairly low-value product, will a £10 or £20 extra delivery cost be acceptable towards the consumer?
Inexpensive - consumers' propensity to strongly purchase online is related to the perceived risk of earning that purchase. a consumer that is normally cautious adopt a more care-free "why not?" mindset when purchasing a book for £6.99. The same person would be far more reticent when investing several thousand pounds on an electrical product. Although high-price items do sell on the Internet, you have got a natural benefit if you sell lower value items.
2. What Is Your Target Market?
Any Internet enthusiast will tell you as you have an e-commerce website that you can sell to customers anywhere in the world as soon.
The prospect of being able to sell across the world can be very enticing if you run a conventional business that supplies to customers in a specific geographic area.
But, fulfilling an order that is overseas be quite onerous: should you charge VAT to customers based outside the EU? Do you have to pay excise duties if you deliver a purchase to America? How much will it cost to deliver an order to New Zealand?
With this in mind, numerous business owners choose to restrict their website to accepting instructions from the UK just, particularly while their e-commerce site is in its early stages. The downside of offering to a more confined market can sometimes be a smart price to pay.
3. Payment Processing - Real-time or Offline?
Many websites complete online transactions during the exact time of purchase, even though the client continues to be viewing the website. This is real-time processing and it uses a Payment Service Provider (PSP) - an online service that provides:
a secure environment in which the customer can safely enter credit / debit card details;
an automated connection to the banking system, to ensure the card transaction can be verified and checked;
Secure Trading and WorldPay are two well-known PSPs.
Alternatively, off-line processing ensures that your website will simply collect the consumer's card details and store them securely on the server. The deal is processed manually at a date that is later usually by the webmaster using a PDQ machine (credit card swipe machine).
Real-time processing requires no intervention in your stead. As the internet site owner, you will be notified when a transaction is processed (you will then fulfil the order accordingly although you will not see the customer's card details) and. Because this is certainly a solution that is automated it is hassle-free even though it is more costly, as your bank and the PSP will both take a share for the value of each deal.
Off-line processing would depend on your involvement, that may show time consuming but it does provide you with the chance to vet clients' requests before you accept their payments.
4. Just How Do You Want To Attract Customers To Your Website?
In the event that you run a traditional retail outlet, you can expect to know about the adage that the three many important facets in retailing are "location, location, location". Retailers know that a good location, with a steady stream of passing traffic, guarantees a higher level of footfall.
Passing traffic is equally important for a website that is e-commerce. The most beautifully-designed, functional site will not generate revenue from online sales unless it receives visitors. An effective, well-planned approach to driving traffic to your internet site is a vital component of an e-commerce site that is successful.
Your immediate ideas about generating visitors may involve marketing that is internet-based. a prominent listing in Google, Yahoo and other leading search engines will invariably produce visits, so a well-optimised website may well be essential. Likewise, a marketing campaign based on Google AdWords(TM) can also direct prospective customers to your internet site.
Nevertheless, just because your store exists online, you need to not overlook off-line marketing as an effective method of creating visitors. Press releases, word-of-mouth referrals, magazine advertising and PR all have a part to play in your overall marketing strategy.
Many website owners focus too much on their site's functionality and "look and feel" and then find that it's the lack of traffic that causes their internet site to fail. Understanding how you may generate visitors to your internet site is probably the most factor that is important your e-commerce plans.