Preparing For E-Commerce Success: How To Make Sure Your E-Commerce Website Will Work
Despite consumers' familiarity with purchasing products from the Internet, and the prevalence of web site developers eager to work on e-commerce tasks, developing an effective e-commerce website is no matter that is trivial.
Certain key factors must be considered before your website is built. Failing continually to consider these presssing issues first invariably results in failure. Utilize the following 7 points to check whether your online business is ready to benefit from e-commerce.
1. How Suitable Are My Products For An E-Commerce Website?
Not everything is suited to online selling and so it is crucial that you comprehend whether consumers are likely to purchase your products or services straight from a website. Suitable products have a tendency to share features that are common
Homogenous - branded products are identical, irrespective of where they are purchased, and they are usually good candidates for a website that is e-commerce. A consumer is more likely to purchase an item from your own website if they understand precisely what they're buying. Books are an example that is good a novel bought from a single web site is identical to the exact same novel bought from any other and therefore, in the consumer's mind, there is no doubt about what they've been purchasing. Conversely, personalised or items that are uniqueor products that want to be tried on or tested) are not therefore well suited to online selling. Footwear and spectacles, for instance, are difficult to sell from an e-commerce web site because the customer is more uncertain about whether the item is precisely right for them.
Shippable - the fulfilment of online orders is frequently the area of e-commerce that causes owners that are website difficulty. Small, light-weight items are easily shipped and do not involve a high distribution cost that may deter online sales. To this end, many website owners will incorporate the delivery that is actual within the cost of their products making sure that they are in a position to provide "free delivery", which might help to stimulate online requests. Bulky, heavy items can pose website owners some problems as it pertains to delivery. If something is fairly low-value item, will a £10 or £20 additional delivery fee be acceptable towards the consumer?
Inexpensive - consumers' propensity to purchase online is strongly related to the perceived risk of making that purchase. a normally cautious consumer might adopt a more care-free "why not?" mindset when purchasing a book for £6.99. The same person would be much more reticent when spending several thousand pounds on a product that is electrical. Although high-price items do sell on the Internet, you've got an advantage that is natural you sell lower value items.
2. What Is Your Target Market?
Any Internet enthusiast will inform you that you can sell to customers anywhere in the world as soon as you've got an e-commerce web site.
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 overseas order can be quite onerous: should you charge VAT to customers based outside the EU? Do you have to pay excise duties if you send an order to America? How much will it cost to deliver an order to New Zealand?
With this in mind, many business owners choose to restrict their website to accepting instructions from the UK only, particularly while their e-commerce site is in its early stages. The downside of offering to a more confined market can sometimes be a sensible price to spend.
3. Payment Processing - Real-time or Offline?
Numerous websites complete online transactions during the exact time of purchase, as the client remains viewing the website. This is real-time processing and it uses a Payment Service Provider (PSP) - an online service that provides:
an environment that is secure which the customer can safely enter credit / debit card details;
an automated connection to the banking system, in order that the card transaction can be verified and checked;
Secure Trading and WorldPay are two PSPs that are well-known.
Alternatively, off-line processing means your website will simply collect the client's card details and store them securely in 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 on your behalf. As the web site owner, you will be notified whenever a transaction is processed (you will then fulfil the order accordingly although you will not see the customer's card details) and. Because this really is a solution that is automated it is hassle-free although it is more costly, as your bank and the PSP will both take a percentage for the value of every deal.
Off-line processing is dependent on your involvement, which could prove time consuming but it does provide you with the opportunity to vet customers' requests before you accept their payments.
4. How Do You Want To Attract Customers To Your Website?
In the event that you run a mainstream retail outlet, you are going to be familiar with the adage that the three many important factors in retailing are "location, location, location". Retailers know that a good location, with a steady stream of passing traffic, guarantees a top level of footfall.
Passing traffic is equally important for a website that is e-commerce. The many 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 website is a vital component of a successful e-commerce site.
Your instant thoughts about generating visitors may involve marketing that is internet-based. a listing that is prominent Google, Yahoo and other leading search engines will invariably produce visits, so a well-optimised website may well be crucial. Likewise, a marketing campaign based on Google AdWords(TM) can also direct potential customers to your website.
Nonetheless, just because your store exists online, you ought to perhaps not overlook marketing that is off-line an effective means of producing visitors. Press releases, word-of-mouth referrals, mag marketing and PR all have 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 is the lack of traffic that causes their web site to fail. Understanding how you can expect to generate visitors to your website is the absolute most factor that is important your e-commerce plans.