eCommerce - how to create an online store websiteStarting an online business
14 November 2019
eCommerce website - basics
In this article, I will tell not about online shopping websites creation from a technical point of view, but about how to sell a product in such a way, that the customer feels satisfied.
What is an eCommerce website? It is an online web store, created for selling goods to a customer, but remember that in the e-Commerce business, we do not sell goods themselves, we sell emotions that customers get by using our product. So, I note three main principles you must follow while developing a website, and the design of the website or a landing page:
- First of all, you create an eCommerce store not for your profit, but for improving the quality of a client's life. You must always understand your target audience and adapt to its needs.
- Never deceive or hide the facts about your product. Use accurate and smart advertising to get a less voluminous but more dedicated target audience. Using advertising tricks you can get a huge list of orders, but then you will necessarily get a lot of unfavorable reviews about the fact that the product does not meet expectations.
- All forms (registrations, orders, etc.) on your site must be created as easy as possible so that any person without problems could register or make a purchase on your site.
As you can see, all these principles are very simple and I will continue to give examples that confirm them. The main purpose of this article is not to prove these principles in the website development stage because any sane person will understand that they are true only after reading them, but to offer ideas for your project, to increase profits and consolidate a good reputation. So if you really wanted to know how to create an online store website or the online shop, then take your seat and enjoy the reading.
Company's reputation BUILDING
Reputation - the most important resource in the e-Commerce business, on which depend other variables, such as profit, traffic, conversion rate, etc. If you have an impeccable reputation, then you can get out of any trouble without loss to the business. If you have not been able to earn a good reputation, then even a small scandal or rumor of a poor quality product can deprive you of most of the buyers.
Look at Google. This company always protects the interests of its users, and any scandals are not terrible for them because Google has a huge margin of trust.
Profits or Customer Satisfaction?
If your first priority is to enrich yourself, then your business will not last for too long. The secret of successful small businesses is that they work with small profits, placing the customer's experience higher than profits. Work to please a customer and he will definitely return to you.
When a buyer comes to your site for a product or a service, he does not want to make you richer, he wants to make his life better. So make their life better! Discounts, promotions, the help of the online consultants (via Astratalk, life chat widget, for example:) - all this helps visitors to find a love to your company somewhere deep inside.
Confidence to Buyers
Showing the confidence in your customers, you only encourage them to cooperate with you in the future. For example, try to give a discount on a birthday date, and do not require passport data to confirm it. Yes, the chances of cheating will grow, but the credit of trust in you will grow too. So it is up for you to decide what is better.
Another good example is when a user is making a payment with a credit card, you should never require him for anything more. It's just stupid, because stolen cards are blocked in 10 minutes after the call to the bank, and chances that bad guys get a CWW code are extremely low (and I do not even talk about mobile authentication code). Your task as an e-Commerce store is to make a purchase process as easy as possible (without any additional options, waiting time or anything that could ruin the experience) and to deliver the paid goods to the address that was written in the order. No more, no less. The only thing you should always ask for - is a signature in a delivery blank.
users expectations from the web page design
A person who came to online shopping websites already knows what to expect from an online store website, and has ideas of what exactly he needs to do to get goods. The better you match his ideas, the higher the chances that he will choose your eCommerce website.
First of all, when visiting any online web store, the visitor expects to see:
- The most popular products of the month.
- Clear navigation scheme of the site.
- Cataloged list of products.
- Communication channels with an operator or a support center.
- A convenient search form and advanced search options.
Web page design must contain other information such as News Feed, Blog, Reviews, but they should not take up the limited space of the welcome screen, for example, make a pop-up tab with them or place them in the header of the site. Your online store should be a store first, not a personal blog or a news website.
Delivery and Ordering time
When a user makes an order, he expects delivery the next day after ordering, or even on this very day. It is natural for any person - all we want to receive an already paid product as soon as possible. So think about adding a possibility of making an order in one click (1-click ordering) and ensure the delivery of your product to a user in the shortest time possible.
The online web store must help his customers to select everything they need to already chosen products. Not everyone knows everything, and some of your help in choosing the necessary additional components would be useful. This must be done to save time and offer them a whole list of goods that are usually bought along with a product. Remember the golden rule of the commerce - the happier a customer, the more chances that he will make a purchase.
E-COMMERCE WEBSITE TIPS
Online shopping websites must be as easier as possible. When you create an online store, remember that most of the people do not have enough free time, so develop a website that could be used without any problems, a website where anyone could instinctively find the required information or a product in a second.
How to set up an eCommerce website? Just follow next web page design recommendations and e-commerce website tips:
- Simple registration;
- Simple ordering system;
- Product-related comments and reviews;
- Additional products recommendations.
Here I'll just give some simple tips to you about registration on an eCommerce website to you:
- Purchasing MUST be available to the unregistered users;
- Automatical registration should be possible after the first purchase;
- The registration and password recovery form must be extremely simple.
Do not create any limiting conditions such as "only registered users can buy", this will lead to a decrease in the sales. Add a 1-click ordering system instead, or add a login button through social media platforms instead.
The best option is to connect the order page with the registration form so that when a customer makes an order an account will be quickly created without any additional information required.
To register a new user all you need is:
That's all. Do not ask for any additional personal information like address, name and etc, you will get it after a user makes an order. If a client will find a desire to add any additional data about himself, he could always enter the personal area. The only thing I could suggest here is to add some call-to-action conditions, like additional discounts to everyone who filled the profile or personalized discounts dedicated to the birthday daye.
Currently, all eCommerce stores are trying to offer additional products to your choice, so the design of the website must have a special place for it. Such an approach only positively affects the company's profits, but make sure that these proposals are well thought out, valid, and really useful for a client.
Making a list of "customers often buy with this product" carefully choose the related products. Put yourself in the place of the client and think what you really need and what will be quite useful together with this product.
For example, if you sell children's products, then when a client is ordering a baby cot, be sure that you offer him a blanket, suitable for this bed, a pillow and a set of bed linen. It's hard to be young parents and they need your help with the choice. With this simple action, you are killing two birds with one stone. First, you are increasing trust to a brand. Second, you are increasing the final check volume.
Develop a website, that has various communication channels. Address clients only when you are asked about it, in other cases do not bother visitors. Make a special page with contacts and place the form of communication through e-mail, Skype. Even better, if you add live chat support since it takes a minimum amount of time from the client.
Try to cover as many communication channels as possible, otherwise, you might miss someone who are not using the popular channels and prefers the old ways of shopping (like Phone, Skype, E-Mail).
Although this type of communication is morally outdated in all respects, it must be present on your website. In addition to the usual indication of your e-mail, create a special form of sending a message to make the request easier and more convenient. Also, your email should be constantly checked to quickly answer the asked questions.
A great way to help your customers in real time. The time spent on communication with you via Skype is minimal and it is extremely useful in the modern world. But still, it is not the most popular type of communication for today.
The best way for users, as they can contact you without using any third-party software and get quick and timely help. The only downside is that you have to spend many man-hours to develop your own application, but you can easily neglect this con and simply connect the live chat widget - Astratalk.
online store DELIVERY channels
Online store delivery organization may bring many problems not only to your e-commerce website but also to the visitors to an online store. You must have at least three delivery methods -
- Courier delivery;
- Delivery to postmates;
- Delivery to postal.
If you do not have a courier service in the firm and you work with several intermediaries at once, then help the users choose the one they need. Customers will choose the most popular (such as DHL) or the cheapest, but the result of such delivery can grieve them after all. Make a few hints near terms to each firm with which you cooperate.
We all understand that one update per day about the number of available products is clearly not enough for even a medium-sized online store website. This approach is guiding to unnecessary expenses.
Let's consider two options which can happen with an eCommerce store:
- The product is in stock, and the site shows that it does not. In this case, the logic of the client is clear - Not available, then why would he make an order? You lose potential buyers due to a long update of the assortment.
- The product is not in stock, and the website says the opposite. The visitor spends his time to order the product which is not available, you spend money paying for the work of a consultant who explains the problem to a customer, your site loses the credibility of this buyer and the chances that he will remain with you are sharply reduced.
So you need to automate the availability of the products available in the warehouse. In the modern world, it is not so hard, especially in a well-developed platform.
First of all be sure that you accept several payment options for your purchase. When you create an online store you need to add as many additional payment methods as possible. Make sure that you at least have these:
- Credit cards
We live in 21 century, and the possibility of online payment is an obligatory component of any modern eCommerce website. Remember that when you refuse any necessary functionality of your online store website, you lose potential buyers.
The online payment process should not cause any difficulties, and the price for the goods should not vary depending on the form of payment.
How to set prices for products?
When assigning the price of the goods, the decisive factor in choosing online shopping websites is the regularity of the product's purchases. For example, if visitors decide to buy expensive equipment whose service life differs from 3 to 5 years, then they will not notice that it is a 1-3% more expensive on your site than on competitors. But if you are selling casual products such as tea, animal products, razors, then such a difference will be decisive in the eyes of buyers.
There are 3 important factors:
- Prices from competitors;
- Self-Cost of goods.
The last two factors you can change by yourself. Look for other suppliers, in which you do not doubt (it is important because your reputation is at stake). Adjust a pricings but do not be too greedy. Always focus on the average market price of the product and try to adjust your price list to it.
Always imagine yourself in the client's place and set such prices that you would be willing to pay for your product or service. A better option is to take a survey among friends and ask them directly how much they are willing to pay for this service. From this price, you can already build further plans.
Discounts always look attractive, and they could insanely boost sales. But never try to deceive visitors, slowly raising the price of the goods in 2 months before, and then arranging a discount of 15-30% returning the price somewhere near to its original place. Attentive users will notice all this and your reputation will be damaged or completely ruined.
Discounts should be made for stale goods, at the end of the year on electronics, to free your warehouse for new models. Use discounts to test the acceptable price. That will help you in analyzing the number of profits, in the long run.
How to create an online store or shop? This is a complicated issue because each eCommerce website is unique, and they have only a few common blocks. But if you decide to develop a website, then, first of all, you need to create a website design, learn how to set up an eCommerce website and how to set prices.
Follow the eCommerce website tips that I mentioned above, but use them wisely, do not follow them blindly. It is not easy, and you need some starting resources, but if you really want to start an e commerce business, you need to learn a lot of related info, and only then start with the web page design.