E-commerce websites are becoming increasingly popular. They allow businesses to sell their products directly to customers without a middleman.
If you want to start selling online, you should consider setting up an e-commerce website. An e-commerce website allows you to sell products directly to consumers. This means you don’t have to deal with a third party like Amazon or eBay. Instead, you can sell directly to your target audience.
An e-commerce website is a great way to reach new customers and increase sales. According to this article, the global ecommerce market is expected to total $5.55 trillion in 2022. That figure is estimated to grow over the next few years, showing that borderless ecommerce is becoming a profitable option for online retailers. That’s why it’s essential to get started now.
Small businesses around the globe struggle to have a firm presence on the internet.
In 2022, e-commerce sales were expected to account for 15.5% of retail sales.
A business owner recently asked me how to get an e-commerce website to sell his products online 24/7. He wants to reach customers all over the world.
I showed him articles on how E-commerce can integrate all inter-company and intra-company functions, meaning that e-commerce could also affect the supply chain’s physical, financial, and information flow.
The contemporary e-commerce trend recommends companies shift the traditional business model focusing on “standardised products, homogeneous market and long product life cycle” to the new business model where the focus is on “varied and customised products”.
It’s true that whatever goods and services you are offering, the internet levels the playing field. It lets you compete with the more prominent businesses, reaching customers worldwide who can buy goods and services from you 24/7.
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Many developing countries have also made giant strides regarding e-commerce. Several essential e-commerce websites, online stores, and payment gateways operate today in developing countries.
These e-commerce websites deal in everything from mobile phones and other devices, fashion products, home appliances, consumer electronics, flight fares, hotel reservations, bulky gadgets from diverse industries, etc. They have also developed localised shipping and payment methods such as cash on delivery.
However, this requires careful planning and taking the proper steps. I hope this article, and the accompanying Infographic, will help you make the right decision on getting an e-commerce website.
Five Things to Consider for an Ecommerce Website.
The most important things you will need to consider if you’re interested in getting an e-commerce website are:
The cost of having a functional and secure e-commerce website or online store varies depending on the ecommerce website design and other features required.
Do you want a simple ecommerce design using a local online store with an appealing user interface where your customers can do their online shopping?
Or do you want a large, user-friendly online store like that of Amazon that has unique features that you can use to sell to customers across the globe? The more bells and whistles your e-commerce website requires, the higher the cost implication on web development.
Remember that as an e-commerce business, you will be under many scrutinies by potential customers at home and abroad. Your brand is a small e-commerce business does not mean that it has to be mediocre.
If you don’t cut corners and give your customers the best e-commerce business website, they will patronise you. You will get a good return on your investment in no time, regardless of whether you’re dealing in mobile phones, home appliances, consumer electronics or whatever.
This is another key element you need to consider. Sadly, small businesses do not have an excellent reputation for online security. Therefore, if you’re interested in getting an e-commerce website, security must be your top priority in your web design and development.
Using an e-commerce website builder, you can create an online store in just five easy steps. About 27% of all websites worldwide use WooCommerce, i.e. around 35,712 websites.
An e-commerce website builder like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly are website builders that offer the ability to sell online as an extra, so their tools aren’t as powerful.
Whether you’re using WooCommerce or any other solution, you still need to ensure that all further details on your e-commerce website are top-notch.
Your existing and potential customers will share their debit cards and credit cards information via your website. So ensure that you have a reliable payment processor and online payment gateway in place.
Security of your website visitor, your site and your online payment gateway must be thorough. Neither you nor your clients would appreciate having their personal information stolen during online shopping.
Do you intend to collect sensitive information like your customer’s credit card information? Then, an SSL certificate is vital regardless of whether your customers are in Lagos, Abuja, the UK or America.
You can have a free SSL Certificate like Let’s Encrypt, or you can go for a premium SSL Certificate from brands like Norton, etc. It depends on the goods and services in your online store and your web hosting service provider.
As mentioned earlier, the web hosting provider you select for your e-commerce website is essential.
Does your web host offer domain name registration, shared, managed or dedicated web hosting solutions and so on?
Choosing a domain name for your online store is a strategic decision. When registering your domain, be sure to select a memorable domain name. Don’t pick a domain name difficult for potential customers to remember or pronounce. Since your domain name will be on all your essential stationery, choose a domain name that people can identify.
Your domain name must be unique and memorable. It’s an integral part of your brand and corporate image.
If you intend for your business to be around for a long time, then register your domain name for at least the next ten years or more. Also, to protect yourself against cyber squatters, be sure to add all the significant domain extensions related to your chosen domain name and not just the .com extension alone.
Ideally, also consider registering various misspellings of your domain name. Registering misspellings of your domain will help protect your customers from being scammed by criminals. Criminals may create a phishing website with a similar domain name. To lure unsuspecting persons into doing their online shopping on fake sites.
If you also notice that many of your customers and online traffic are coming from a particular country or region, register the domain extension of that country. All these will help establish your online presence and your e-commerce business as a credible business, regardless of whether you deal with mobile phones or other goods and services.
Which content management system or ecommerce platform is your web hosting provider proficient in using? Is it an open source platform, e.g. WordPress, Joomla, and so on? What about your shopping cart? Does it have a provision for creating a customer account? Are you going for a custom solution or an over-the-counter shopping cart solution?
Online shopping is a personal experience that your customers will not take lightly. Use a web host knowledgeable about the content management system you use in developing your website. So they can provide adequate tech support when required.
Please, whatever you do, make sure that a robust website hosting solution is in place to ensure that your site is available 99.99% of the time. Web hosting is the foundation of your e-commerce business.
So don’t even think about cutting corners with web hosting. Do thorough research on the web hosting solution that other global companies use and adopt the same or better.
Also, ensure that your web hosting provider has excellent customer support. There is nothing worse than someone trying to visit your website only to discover it is unavailable.
Always go for a web hosting company that offers 24/7 customer support. So before signing up with a web hosting provider, make sure you check out their customer support options. Do so at odd times and not just at regular working hours. You will tell whether the web hosting company is living up to their promise of providing 24/7 customer support.
Because of developing countries’ weak power supply systems, I would avoid web hosting service providers from these countries. Instead, go for those based abroad. Their power supply and services are reliable. Also, avoid going for the cheapest web hosting provider. Instead, go for a premium web hosting provider (affiliate link). Yes, they are more expensive, but you get value for money.
Operating an e-commerce business in a developing country does not mean it must be on a sub-par web hosting solution.
To be sure you’re on the right path with your e-commerce website, strive to emulate other global giants like Amazon and so on. Using the likes of Amazon as your benchmark will help to ensure that you have set high standards for your e-commerce website.
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What if your customers claim that you sold them damaged goods? How will you handle it?
For any e-commerce business to thrive, it is paramount that you have excellent customer service.
Do you have policies that take into account scenarios such as chargebacks, refunds, sales tax and so on? Such things often happen in online shopping. If you don’t give these things the proper attention they deserve, they can ruin your business.
Different customers expect different things from a website. Are you capable of meeting the demand of your customers for your product or service on a long-term basis all year round in your online store?
According to this article, as many as 31% of consumers are likely to spend 31% more on products and services from businesses with excellent reviews. In comparison, negative reviews can drive away 22% of customers.
The same article also notes that as many as 80% of American shoppers say that shipping price and speed are very or extremely influential in determining where they shop. And a whopping 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
If you intend to sell physical products, you need to consider this seriously. There’s no point in having an e-commerce website if you cannot meet customers’ demand for your product or service.
Whether you sell a physical or digital product, ensure that you include a detailed listing of your products on your website. Be sure to have a product image, product description, product type, product category, payment processing and preferred payment option.
Share this Image On Your Site.
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Other Things to Consider
Besides the above, if you want your online store to thrive, you will need to consider such things as:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Online business and online shopping are very competitive. If they do not find your website on Google or other search engines, customers will probably flock to your competitors to do their online shopping.
Does your online store is rank low on Google? Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the best way to rank your website high in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. If you are looking to sell products online, you need to ensure that your site has good SEO; otherwise, no one will find you. This is where Mauco Enterprises come into play. Mauco Enterprises will help you rank higher in search engine results.
2. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media marketing is the best way to promote your business. Does your ecommerce website receive a lot of negative comments on social media? Then you need to be active on social media to address the concerns of existing and potential customers. You can share information about your company, its services, and other related content through social networks. There are many benefits of using social media sites to promote your business.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to promote your business. People love getting emails from companies they do business with. Make sure you use the right tool to get people to subscribe to your email list, send out newsletters, special offers, promotions, and events.
4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
What you must know about online shopping is that customers like to do their online shopping at e-commerce websites popular on Google and social media networks. So, you will also need to find pay per click sites to advertise your website. Then your customers will flock to your ecommerce store to do their online shopping instead of going to your competitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find below the answers to some frequently asked questions about ecommerce websites.
– Why Should I Start Selling Online?
There are many reasons you should start selling online. For one thing, if you’re new to ecommerce, you’ll learn a lot about how your competitors like Amazon sell products online. You’ll also get a chance to test out different marketing strategies and determine what works best for you.
– The Pros and Cons of Having an E-Commerce Site.
I have written extensively on this topic. Read this article to learn about some of the advantages and disadvantages of e-business from the perspective of merchants and consumers.
– How Much Does an Ecommerce Website Cost?
I have also written much about it. You can find the answer here.
– How Can I Sell Products Online?
Selling products online is one of the best ways to earn money from home. There are several different types of ecommerce platforms available for selling products online. These include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, Jumia, Konga, etc. The key thing to remember when choosing which platform to use is to choose something that works well for your business model. If you want to sell physical goods, you should go with Amazon or eBay. If you want to create an online store where customers can purchase digital downloads, you should look into Shopify.
– How Can My Customers Find Me?
There are several ways your customers can find your ecommerce website. The most obvious ways include:
1. Paid ads, e.g. Google Ads, Facebook ads, print ads, etc.
2. Registering with local online directories
3. Submitting your business information to data aggregator websites
4. Using social media platforms
5. Word of Mouth, i.e. telling people about your website!
– How Will I Manage Inventory?
It is not difficult. Even if you’re not a tech wizard, there are many inventory management systems for making inventory management simple and effective. The goal is to have enough inventory on hand at all times, so you don’t miss out on a sale, but not too much that you’re paying for extra storage.
An inventory management system helps businesses keep track of products sold online or in stores. It’s used to record everything from where items are stored, how many units are available, how much they cost and when they need to be reordered.
Inventory management systems can save time and reduce human error by automating tasks like order status updates, collection reports and price changes on your online store. This information is typically displayed as graphs, charts or tables that help you see what’s going on with your business at a glance.
Many ecommerce platforms offer basic inventory management systems as part of their monthly service fees. If this isn’t enough for your needs, there are also third-party inventory.
– How Can People Order from Me?
Getting people to order from you online through your ecommerce website requires a lot of different elements. A strong product, a beautiful website and an active social media presence are the first three, but you also need to provide the tools and information to make it easy for them to buy from you.
– How Can They Pay Me?
The most obvious choice for taking payments through a website is to use a PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net or 2co, QuickTeller, Flutterwave account. These are some of the most popular payment services, and you’ve likely used one of them before.
These are some essential things you’ll need to consider if you’re interested in getting an e-commerce website.
To sum it up, you should now be able to make a more educated decision on what kind of e-commerce site will best suit your needs. The possibilities are truly endless for what your site can offer and how you interact with customers.
If you have any doubts about your online store’s ability to meet up with any of the above, then you aren’t ready for an e-commerce website.
If you want more information on this, let’s chat. I’ll be glad to guide you on using digital marketing to ensure that your e-commerce website thrives.
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