Things to Consider When Building an eCommerce Website
So, you want to create an eCommerce website…
With the help of modern technology, it’s now as easy as 1-2-3 to set up a website for your business. There are different ways to create and modify a site to suit your branding and business needs. However, there are a lot of things to consider when creating a website. Most website development platforms don’t come with the whole package and promote their service with usability features such as drag-and-drop.
If you want to officiate your eCommerce business with a fully optimized website, here are just some of the few things you need to consider when designing an eCommerce website.
1 – Hosting Service
Any website will not exist without a hosting provider. A hosting service gives your site a place on the web and communicates to different search engines accordingly to pop up on any searcher’s results.
Having a reliable hosting service also ensures that your web pages load up fast. Website speed is very crucial because buyers choose online shopping for convenience. It wouldn’t be convenient if it takes a few minutes to load up a web page. That can frustrate your customers, and they might steer clear from your eCommerce store next time.
Different companies are promoting hosting services with various features and different prices. Choosing which one best suits your online store can be a challenge. Asking help from a professional who already knows what to use is a big game changer to setting up your new store.
2 – Domain Name
Like any business, your eCommerce store needs a domain name. It will serve as your business’s brand, and anything you decide for your shop will revolve around the domain name moving forward. So it needs to be something worth remembering and should be connected to your service or products.
One common reason businesses fail in their first few months is that their customers don’t remember their website. If your customers can’t find you, they will switch to your competitors instead. Setting up a domain name costs money, and the price depends on how unique the keywords are. Once you choose your domain name, it’s there for almost forever.
You can ask for help from brand strategists or your business partners in choosing a domain name for your website. Coming up with something short, sweet, and memorable for your eCommerce site can be a challenge. If your business name isn’t a website address yet, you can choose that as your domain name.
3 – Content Management System (CMS)
Simply put, this is where the content for your online store is stored. In more familiar terms, this could be Magento, Shopify, Woocommerce, and more. CMS holds all your website pages and their written content. It also contains your media such as images, videos, GIFs, and other features, such as plugins.
Just like the different hosting services, CMS products also come in different variants for any business need. You can choose between monthly or yearly payment plans, depending on your budget. Having additional features increases your payment, so it’s also best to plan out the features you would want for your eCommerce store.
A content management system is where you’ll be able to customize your store’s appearance. You can add pages, create forms, add products, write descriptions, blogs, and more. While it’s reasonably easy to work with CMS, maneuvering with its contents should be painless for you and anyone who works in your store. Adding, editing, and removing parts shouldn’t have you require a web developer to do it.
4 – Themes
Your online store’s colors, design, fonts, and graphics are part of a theme. Themes make it simpler for a website to have one uniform look. A consistent theme for your website makes it look more professional and appealing to the eyes.
When you sign up to create your eCommerce store in any CMS, you’ll find a few themes offered for free. These are fine and work well with small stores that don’t mind investing in a paid theme yet. The only gripe is that these themes are often simple with no complex elements. Their codes are also locked, so they are not configurable.
Using premium features unlocks your store to a broader range of possibilities for your store. Not only are you able to edit the theme codes, but you can completely transform the theme into your own. Although to be successful in this, you need to know how CSS works. Unless you are your business’s professional website developer, it’s better to leave this task in the hands of specialists.
5 – Design
Your website’s design is different from the theme. Appearance is what sells when it comes to online stores. If it doesn’t look professional, it may not be trustworthy. If you can’t devote your time to make sure your eCommerce site looks right, then why should your customers spend money on your business?
If you’re not sure about your store’s design yet, then you can keep it at the default design in the meantime. Adding more elements and graphics can follow in the future, but make sure that you don’t go overboard with the entire page. Only keep the necessary parts with the right sprinkle of decorations. Overdo the design, and it will be a pain to look at it. You’ll steadily lose customers until your visitors reach zero.
Most importantly, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Since more and more people are on their phones than their laptops, that alone is a good reason. In this day and age, most online shoppers check out their purchases using their mobile devices. Make sure your customers can access your products with a tap of a finger.
6 – Guest Checkouts
Most online stores want their customers to create an account first before proceeding with their purchase. While this is a beneficial strategy to get your customer’s information, this is just another step that takes up too much of their time. Loyal and returning customers will be more than happy to create a customer account in your store since their saved information can save them time as opposed to typing it in over and over.
Some customers aren’t comfortable with giving a company their information. They would rather spend the time placing in their address and phone number, which is also okay. To cater to these customers, give your online store an option to checkout as a guest. You can still ask them if they want to create an account after they’ve completed their purchase.
Disabling the requirement to use a customer account is an easy step, but you can also utilize the registration process by offering a discount code if they sign up.
7 – Search Engine Optimization
Almost half of new eCommerce store owners don’t realize the importance of optimizing your website for search engines. It is a careful and ongoing task that will pay off steadily. SEO or search engine optimization is a process that modifies your store to satisfy Google’s search qualifications.
Let’s say your online business is a store that sells handmade greeting cards. If your potential customers type in handmade greeting cards in Google’s search box, your store should be on the first page of Google’s search results. The goal of SEO is to climb your site to the top of that results page.
SEO requires a lot of planning, trial-and-error, and executing before getting the right mix. Google search results updates on regulations could considerably affect your website’s positioning. Although website developers can set up basic SEO, having an SEO specialist monitor and update the needed changes is a better approach.
8 – Security
The safety and security of your website should be your number one priority. Your customers should feel at ease knowing their personal information is safe in your system. This information includes their date of birth, addresses, contact numbers, and credit card numbers. Your customers will have second doubts about purchasing from you if you can’t ensure site security.
Not only is this factor for the benefit of your customers, but yours as a business owner as well. If a hacker can steal your customer’s information, then it can also steal yours. An eCommerce store with low security will come off as sketchy. Your customers might not want to transact business with you and discourage other people, too. Your website will also be flagged on the search results and give people a warning before they proceed.
Additionally, authorities require all businesses to have a secure way to protect customer data and their payment information. Most CMS platforms already secure their websites, but a professional web developer can confirm that and issue all security measures for your eCommerce business.
Did you get all of that? Believe it or not, we just covered the basics. There are more factors to consider when setting up an eCommerce site, such as product pages, photography, marketing, and more.
If you need a team of digital marketing specialists who can create, design, secure, and optimize your eCommerce store, give us a message today!
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