Importance Of Ecommerce Website Design For Businesses In the Modern Era

With the increasing trend of internet and online business, eCommerce website design & development has become an important part of B2B and B2C businesses. eCommerce is the electronic trade that is carried online and eCommerce websites are the web pages through which online trading is carried on. These eCommerce stores enable the merchants and traders to carry their business around the world. There are several advantages offered by these online eCommerce stores. Some of the benefits are explained as under:

• Traders can add a huge number of products and services to the catalogue. These products can be classified under several categories and sub-categories through which the buyers can easily access to the product or service that they want.

• eCommerce website development enables the businesses to advertise and promote their products and services throughout the globe. Hence, it is not limited to a particular area or region.

• eCommerce development also helps in increasing revenue of the traders by gaining huge traffic to the website. As more and more visitors arrive at your website and buy your products, your revenue will automatically increase.

• By eCommerce website designing, you can also augment to your brand and product awareness over the global market. As your online business reaches to a wider group of users, it automatically increases your brand awareness in the whole world. Further, your unique online identity helps you in gaining a renowned position in the market.

• The online stores also help in delivering more and more information about your company, business and products. With your online presence, the buyers can easily access your catalogue, products and company information easily.

Hence, the advantages of eCommerce development are not limited to the above points. There are a great number of benefits that a businessman can avail from creating his own online store. This is the most advanced and great way of doing business and increasing your profits. You can also avail the benefits of your own online store by creating an informative and unique website for your company.

Either you can hire few qualified designers and developers to do the task for you or you can outsource any offshore eCommerce website design and development company to create your online store. There are various companies available in the market and offering web designing solutions to their clients. To hire the best company, you need to do some online research and take some suggestions to your business partners and friends to recommend a few for your work.

Ecommerce Tools

For an eCommerce website to be successful in today’s competitive landscape consideration needs to be paid to several factors. Below we list the common factors that aid eCommerce success.

eCommerce Software: WordPress, Shopify, Magento

Each platform has its own pros and cons including complexity of use, flexibility, functionality, management, security measures, third part compatibility etc.

Shopping Websites: Amazon, Google

Feeding your products through to sites like Amazon and Google – yes – costs money but this should be weighed up against the additional sales generated and also the increased exposure for your eCommerce website.

The feed/s can be set up to automatically take notice of product and category changes you make on your eCommerce website and periodically regenerate and resubmit the feeds through to these shopping platforms.

Shopping Comparison websites: Newegg, Shop, ShopBot

Similarly with the ability to feed products through to sites like Newegg, Shop, ShopBot and other shopping comparison websites the same strategy and cost modelling applies here.

Newsletter Managers: Campaign Monitor, MailChimp

A great way to keep in contact with your customers – updating them on new products, product ranges and other useful or sales focused information.

These systems range from the simple to the elaborate; allowing simple sign-up forms through to managing customer journeys from inception of a subscriber, customer through their full life cycle. Some allow the integration of product feed data to be used in managing certain types of newsletter like basket abandonment. GDPR is an important consideration so ensure you follow the guidelines before sending out any communications.

Social Media Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Another great way to engage potential and existing customers. It may be it is sales, customer service, information dissemintation or general engagement – Social Media is a must for most businesses.

With Social Media there are a number of offerings here in relation to reaching your intended market. This encompasses both free and paid forms of advertising your eCommerce website. And each platform attracts its own type of audience and user so research the top x number of Social Media platforms to find where your audience is.

Campaign Managers: HubSpot, Infusionsoft

Managing the acquisition of new customers has become more complicated with the number of online channels where they can be reached or found. Newsletters, Social Media Accounts alike require management with a consistent message and with as much ease, from an administrative perspective, as possible. Offerings like that from HubSpot and Infusionsoft attempt to make this possible.

Pay-Per-click Advertising: AdWords, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter

Another way to reach your intended audience is to use pay per click advertising. Again there is a cost – but needs to be balanced against sales / engagement your eCommerce website gets through them. The range of these type of advertising vehicles is vast from dedicated platforms like AdWords and Amazon through to this offering being available via Social Media websites. Each provides tools, control panels, reporting and metric targeting and like social media your audience may be reached through a specific PPC channel so do some research / testing.

Analytics: Google, MSN, Hotjar

Who is visiting you eCommerce website and what are they doing when they get there. Which pages are performing the best and which require your attention, where are you losing customers, which pages are not converting.

Analysing the visits and engagements on your website can help you focus your attention on the parts of your eCommerce platform that require the most work.

Summary:

As you can see the list of eCommerce tools is long and a lot needs attention. As business owners we have only so much time during the day. So work with the above tools methodically (they are not in a particular order) so that you can measure results from the work you do on each point to find which elements are the most effective for your eCommerce website.

Benefits of E-Commerce in Modern Times

In the last era, we have seen E-Commerce websites working on the Internet. Every businessman is looking to have an online store where they can sell their range of products and services by expanding the requirement for the E-Commerce industry. One can get a lot of benefits by opting for E-Commerce as it delivers a comprehensive range of benefits to retailers and merchants.

It benefits your company

It goes without saying that your company is your priority in this case; but without satisfied customers, there won’t be a successful company – which means that everything goes hand in hand.

The benefits your business will experience if you invest in an E-Commerce website for it are abundant. First of all, think about how expensive it is to rent out a shop space where your shop is well seen and in a prime area. If you have your shop online, anyone can see it; not only the people who happen to walk past it. This benefit saves you and your business plenty of money. We’re not saying that you should give up having a floor shop altogether, but it certainly saves you from having to rent out something extravagant in an expensive area or shopping center.

Low Operational Costs

To generate an E-Commerce website requires very little capital investment compared to purchasing business premises. The difficulty with ‘physical’ business premises is that there is a need for high visibility and the location will always be a key issue. The design and development of an E-Commerce website can be a comparatively moderate investment relative to a business’s turnover. The potential to save money on personnel as checkout, payments, delivery and all over operational processes can be fully automated in the E-Commerce website.

Convenience & Easiness

E-Commerce becomes one of the preferred ways of shopping as they enjoy they are online in today’s the world, because of its easiness and convenience. They are allowed to buy products or services from their home at any time of day or night.

The best thing about it is buying options that are quick, convenient and user-friendly with the ability to transfer funds online. The consumers can save their lots of time as well as money by searching their products easily and making purchasing online.

Selling Products globally

If you are running a store, it will be bounded to the geographical region for which you can provide service, but on the other hand with an E-Commerce website, you can sell your goods and services globally. Additionally, the remaining limitation of geography has dissolved by m-commerce that is also known as mobile commerce.

Expand Customer Reach

E-Commerce provides new channels for you to reach more customers. Whether you’re just starting out or an existing seller, there are new customers to serve.

Existing brick and mortar sellers can be limited by their location. Customers must travel to visit your store. With E-Commerce, you can sell to customers anywhere, anytime. This allows you to serve customers across or internationally.

Minimal Barriers To Entry

Any new or existing business has the ability to create and run a successful E-Commerce website. The technology is in position for any business to hold the Internet and enjoy the many benefits which E-Commerce offers. As discussed, the costs of running such a business are minimal and the initial investment is moderately low. Many of the barriers which are associated with having a physical business location are removed and a business only has to concentrate its efforts on creating a service which addresses the needs of its customers. At IT companies, we specialize in E-Commerce solutions and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements.

Mobile App Vs Website for ECommerce

Nobody can ignore the importance of mobile platform, especially e commerce businesses who are witnessing an influx in customer visits to their site from a mobile platform. As per a study done in 2015, 85% consumers prefer mobile apps over websites and 41% smartphone owners had made at least one purchase from their smartphone. Further, the worldwide market share of mobile commerce is expected to touch 70% by 2017 and by 2020 it is expected that the revenue generated by mobile commerce will be around $ 284 billion.

However, that does not mean that the web platform can be entirely neglected in favour of the mobile platform, or having a web application will mean that you will tap a greater market share. As much as people prefer the mobile platform for ecommerce shopping, studies have also shown that of the 8.52% desktop users that add to cart, 2.78% make an actual purchase. On the other hand, on mobile platform the add to cart rate is 4.7% and conversion rate is 80%.

1. Responsive, mobile or both?

It has become imperative for all websites and web applications to be responsive or adaptive as they can be accessed from a desktop, tablet or smartphone, and business owners have to work with this assumption while embarking on going live with their solution. Also, Google marks down the page ranking of web solutions that are not adaptive to the varying screen size. The user experience and interface presentation varies for desktop and mobile platforms. Hence, the treatment of the web solution will vary based on the device it is likely to be accessed on. If half of the daily traffic to the website is accessing it from a mobile device, then the business is likely to lose a large chunk of customers. A Google survey of smartphone users in the USA revealed that over 65% preferred using a mobile website over mobile application for online shopping. Also, conversions have improved significantly for leading ecommerce businesses since adopting responsive websites since it offer better customer experience. Also, 40% web users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Responsiveness trims the web interface to ensure that the website is not heavy and loads quickly.

2. Need for a mobile application

Established ecommerce businesses have a mobile application handy along with a responsive website for their business. Quite a few businesses have tried adopting mobile application alone instead of launching a website. Based on the type of product or service being offered, very few have succeeded, though even they did at the cost of losing a greater market share. As per a study by VisionMobile, over 55% mobile apps earn less than $500/ month. Another Gartner report suggests that 25% app users use it only once and about 80-90% of apps are eventually deleted.

Despite these demotivating figures, a mobile application makes sense and is even preferred in many scenarios by online shoppers because it is convenient, fast and easier to browse. Also, it is easier to push personalised notifications on new offers and the customer can also respond faster.

3. More on Mobile Technology and its advantage over website

On a mobile app, the user is always logged in, so shopping cart can be accessed faster and it is more secure to save credit card details. Further, in case of using net banking and other modes of payment where one time passwords are required, these get auto-filled, speeding the payment process. Device technologies also make a lot of difference in enhancing the shopping experience for the users. Some instances,

  • Mobile camera – the front mobile camera can be used by the buyer to load their image and check the outfit or accessory on themselves. The camera can also be used as a barcode scanner for making payments or finding products online
  • iBeacon – iBeacon sends real-time alerts to app user when they pass the shop and inform them of any new offer or which aisle they can find some specific product on.
  • iNFC – NFC can be used to make one-tap payment
  • GPS – the GPS and map can be used to locate stores, centres and even track real-time location of the package to be delivered.

4. Mobile and web strategy

Whether the business launches a mobile application immediately or not, it is essential to have a fully functioning mobile strategy. Whether it is a responsive design or mobile application, there must be a clarity in goals while designing the solution so that the user experience is enriched by the shopping experience.

A new business can opt for web development services in India or any of the leading web service providing countries in favour of mobile app development solutions in the initial days of their ecommerce solution launch. A responsive website or web application will be meaningful investment for the long term and will also give the customer a sense of permanency about the business. Extending the service with a mobile application thereafter will ensure greater number of downloads and establish brand loyalty, which is a fickle currency in times of such tough competition.

Getting Started in ECommerce – Part Two

In Part One we talked a little bit about what Ecommerce is, getting a domain name and setting up a merchant account. Ecommerce is more than that, much more. To have a really good online presence that gets people to stop and shop you need a strategy for success. Your strategy must include your USP or Unique Selling Position in the marketplace. What makes you stand out from all the other online entrepreneurs looking for the same type of customers as you? Can you stand out from the competition based on quality, price or benefits? Once you know your USP, you can begin the monumental task of telling the world about your site. A really unique selling position will give you an advantage over all the competition – well that and a lot of planning and investing of your time and money.

FOCUS

Emphasize the benefits and the results the customer will get from purchasing from you and using your product or service. You can discover the benefits by listing all the features and then converting them to benefits. List everything your product or service offers. For each feature list a relative advantage from the customer’s perspective. You can discover the customer’s perspectives when they buy. Simply ask them, ” Why did you place an order today or use our service?” BE very specific when creating your benefit statements. An example of this is, “You will save $100.00 sells better than “you will save money.” “You will loose 20 pounds in 10 days” sounds better than “you will loose weight.” Rank your benefits in order of importance to the customer. If you have enough of them, use bullet points for emphasis.

Emotion sells. People make most buying decisions with their heart and not their head. Paint a picture of the results the customer will get when they purchase from you. ” You will look 20 years younger.” “You will be $100 richer.”

Make sure you include a call to action. Want them to make a buying decision today? Give them a reason to do so. Offer a bribe (discount, bonus, something for nothing).

Your website must load quickly and function easily. If your site loads slowly people will get impatient and go elsewhere. Do all your links work? Have you tested your order page by running sample orders? Have you tested load time using different connection speeds? You can get a fr*ee analysis by visiting Submitplus.com.

Make your website easy to look at and read. I find dark background tend to be more difficult to read than do pale backgrounds. The overall look of your site should be clean and professional. When we were first creating the Women’s ECommerce Association, International we did everything in-house. Not being truly adept at HTML coding we thought we could just use a simple program to create a professional site. It was okay, but the one we now have is so much better. Why? Because we hired a professional. You can create a website with a good template program. We are using ECommerce Templates to create our new look for WUN Publications. It is simple to use and relatively inexpensive.

When it comes to graphics, be conservative. Sites that are laden with graphics and flash tend to take longer to load. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to do so, you will loose many visitors and potential buyers. If you must use graphics, make sure the files sizes used have been reduced as much as your image editing/compression software will allow.

View your site using as many different browsers as possible. In addition to Internet Explorer and Netscape, there is Opera, Mozilla, Lynx and those are just the ones that run on Microsoft Windows. WebMonkey has a chart of those supported by Macintosh, Unix/Linux and others. Also, many people will surf with their browser’s graphics switched off. Make sure you know what your site looks like without the graphics and that it is still easy for visitors to surf.

One last thought Make sure all your important information is above the fold. If you know that visitors are looking for something specific and you make them scroll down to find it, chances are they won’t.

Excerpted from The PMS Principles – Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business © 2005 – Heidi Richards