Having an online presence is good for your business, but you can go a step further and set up an e-commerce platform, which will help you to sell your products to consumers all over the world. In addition to the increased reach, eCommerce websites also help to bring you several benefits such as reduced expenses, scalability of your business, increased sales, less time intensive (automated sales), and more measurable returns.
You will notice such tweets about security of your ecommerce website all the time:
— Dropsuite (@dropsuite) September 29, 2016
However, there are many other components of an ecommerce website that you need to take care to make it a successful portal for your business.
Evaluating the performance of your e-commerce website
Having an e-commerce platform on your website can help to greatly increase the amount of sales for your business, but it can only happen if the performance is great. Therefore, it is good to assess your e-commerce website to ensure that it is operating at optimal capacity. Below is an e-commerce platform checklist that you can use for this purpose:
For businesses that sell products online, branding is one of the most important features as it helps to gain the trust of the customers, as well as make it easy for them to remember and recognize your business and the products offered. Therefore, your website should have high-quality branding features such as a clear and remarkable logo, appealing and consistent colors, graphics, etc.
2. Customer login and registration
Customer registration and login is another important feature for e-commerce websites, which helps to ensure that returning customers have an easier time when shopping (no need to enter billing and payment information every time they are shopping). However, the e-commerce set up of your website should also include a guest checkout option, which will help to convert customers who do not like registering for new accounts when shopping (information source).
3. A product catalog
A product catalog is another important feature of an e-commerce platform, which allows the customers to browse through all the available products when they are shopping. For the best performance, your product catalog should feature clear product categories, which should be placed in an easy-to-access place, for example, at the top or on the left-hand side of the screen. The products should also contain images (exactly similar to the products) and clear, accurate descriptions.
4. Shopping cart
The shopping cart is another important feature on your e-commerce website, which has a huge bearing on whether the customer completes the purchase or not. For maximum performance, your website should have a sleek, easy-to-use shopping cart that is located in an optimal location (at the top of the web page). Customers should also have an easy time when adding products to the shopping cart, i.e., fast and easy to click “Add” buttons. Overall, the shopping cart should provide users with the best experience; else, they will abandon the purchase (information source).
5. Checkout system
Used alongside the shopping cart, the checkout system is another important feature of an eCommerce website, which can affect the conversion rates. Therefore, your website should have a simple-to-use checkout system that provides a smooth user experience. The best practice is to have a single-page checkout system so that the customer does not feel like they are being taken through too many processes.
6. Payment gateways
Having a good payment gateway for your online business is another way of providing customers with assurances and peace of mind while they are shopping. Therefore, you eCommerce set up should feature payment gateways that the customers are comfortable using, for example, credit card payment. You should also include several payment options, for example, e-wallets, credit cards, and bank transfers to accommodate all the customers.
7. Shipping page
Your eCommerce website should also include a shipping page, where you provide customers with all the information related to the shipping and delivery of the products. This information should include the areas shipped to, shipping charges, and delivery time.
8. Search Box
In a normal website, the search box is a very important navigation feature that helps customers to access information easily. Its importance is much greater for an eCommerce website, as it helps to make sure that customers do not have to surf through the entire catalog to find a product. Therefore, you should make sure that your eCommerce website comes with a product search feature.
9. News and Events section
The News & Events section is a great way of keeping your customers informed about new products, events, and the latest news that are of importance to your online business.
10. Social media plugins
Social media platforms are very beneficial for an online business, as they allow you to interact with your customers, thus helping you to build strong relationships. You can also use social media platforms for customer support services, where customers can contact you for any problems with their orders.
E-commerce setup is one of the most important features for a business that uses its website to sell products. A good e-commerce setup can help your business to increase the sales by ensuring that customers have easy access to the products you are offering, and that the shopping process is fast and smooth. Therefore, you should assess your e-commerce setup using the above checklist to make sure that the productivity of your website is great.
Having an ecommerce website is not all you need to run a good business. If you are not sure how to assess the components of a good ecommerce website, get in touch with us.