Top Ecommerce Tips for SMEs.
E-commerce platforms are such a central part of conducting business. You can either buy the site, convert a non e-commerce site or build it yourself. Most SMEs do not take the issue of e-commerce seriously. In the first quarter of 2015 more than $80.3 billion was transacted through e-commerce in the US. In recent years, lots of affordable, seamless, secure, convenient, and readily available platforms have been invented. Any SME can buy and integrate these e-commerce platforms into their business operations.
How to Create An Ecommerce Website In 7 Steps,
- Decide on Your Domain.
Choosing a domain name is both an art and a science. When it comes to e-commerce platforms you don’t need a custom domain for the e-commerce site. You can opt for subdomains like mysiteJerry.com. If you plan on selling multiple items or variants then a custom domain is the way to go. Make sure the domain name is recognizable, intuitive, popular, memorable name. It should also be SEO friendly and has a professional email address attached to it.
- Choose the Right Platform.
You will need to choose a platform that needs as little tweaking as possible. It shouldn’t be compatible with your current platforms and can optimize your product placement and ads. It should also have minimal technical requirement so that you don’t have to rely on outsourced. Most importantly you must make sure that the site has great client support, card security and geographical spread to your target clients.
III. Design Your Store.
The next goal is to design the store. This part usually involves the services of an in-house designer to put the nuts and the bolts. Make sure you have a homepage, about us page and contact us page. It’s also critical to have knowledge base articles and if possible a self-service portal. The best designs are the ones that allow you greater control over inventory stock and you can upload an unlimited number of items. The store needs a logo, photos, store name, color scheme, and payment logos.
- Set Up Payments.
This is the most critical aspect of e-commerce designs. You need to integrate as many payment options as possible. This should include American Express, Visa Card, Diners Club, MasterCard and even mobile payment platforms. The payment process and structures should include secure payment handling, an Integrated SSL, an Acceptance of payments from anywhere, a Payments via PayPal or into your own bank account and WordPress e-commerce integration. Set up your location and default currencies.
- Add Products.
You can then put up products on to the online stores. Choose which products you want to advertise and sell then give the product a name and short, concise description. Thirdly set up the pricing and the quantities available for sale. You should also set a preview of the products by uploading an audio file, video or photos. You should hire professional product photographer who can present the products in the best way possible. Make sure you also stipulate of the shipping and delivery options.
- Check Out the Checkout.
Checkout is the biggest headache for most e-commerce sites around the world. Make sure your site has a checkout that works on smartphones and tablets. It should also allow people to purchase multiple items at the same time. You should also offer shipping if you can or specify the shipping costs. Research shows that 28% of shoppers abandon their cart when they don’t like the payment options provided.
VII. Consider SEO and Analytics.
One of the critical aspects of e-commerce is SEO. There are several platforms that offers neither SEO nor CRM features. You have to opt for a platform that offers you the ability to track site user journey mapping, bounce rates, conversion rates with analytic and solutions. The best features, extensions, and plugins are the kind that helps you put together many different types of analytics.
Pros of E-Commerce.
- You Don’t Need A Physical Location.
The best part about running an e-commerce store is that you don’t have to worry about the issue of location. If you carry out a localized optimization of the site, you will be able to draw site traffic and potential clients from within you are and beyond.
- It expands Your Market Reach.
This is particularly critical for firms that sell niche products and the local target market is limited. E-commerce expands the number of clients you can handle and how far you can sell your products. This, in turn, increases your turnover and overall sales.
III. You’re Operational 24/7.
The modern fast paced business environment means people want to buy items and whatever time of day or night. Running an e-commerce store enables you to serve clients 24/7 rather than official hours like a typical storefront.
Cons of E-commerce
- The Competition Is Fierce.
The availability of affordable, simple, user-friendly online sales platforms and features have made it easy for all types of SMEs to flood the market. Online selling is a very competitive environment in which thousands and sometimes millions of SMEs are competing for the same target markets.
- It’s Harder To Build Brand And Trust.
The virtual interaction with your site traffic and potential clients removes the element of human interaction. This makes it harder to build brand loyalty and consumer engagement. The lack of personal touch minimizes trust and long-term loyalty. The lack of personal touch increases customer turnover and makes it harder to plan and strategize.
III. A Good Website Is Hard To Find.
Creating a powerful website that is user-friendly with great aesthetics, impressive navigation, and good content is very difficult. This is one of the harder aspects of e-commerce as it involves continuous experimentation and tweaking to try and get it right with the clients.
There are lots of e-commerce platforms that can work well for small business. The most important thing to consider is cost, your target audience, its compatibility with your business model, its ease of use and ability to upgrade regularly.