eCommerce – electronic commerce or online shopping – is the process of buying and selling of products or services online using an online platform, which allows people to do business with each other, without the constraints of distance and time.
1. THE BASICS
When you remove all of the bells and whistles, fancy pages, and confusing jargon, the whole eCommerce process can apply to three main components of work processes:
1 – Receiving Orders – this is where customers place their order through the eCommerce platform, your online store.
2 – Processing Orders – this is where you process customer’s orders, making sure the products are all packed and ready to go.
3 – Sending Orders – this is the dispatch aspect, getting orders out there.
Another significant benefit of an eCommerce business is that you will be able to identify and reach a specific target audience in no time!
2. THE PLATFORM
An online store will go nowhere without the ability to transact!
Your first step is to find the right payment gateway platform for you and your type of store. Do your homework and find the one that meets your requirements. There are dozens of platforms available, but here are the current top five.
SHOPIFY – Ideal for start-ups and beginners.
WOOCOMMERCE – Small to medium online stores with agile requirements.
MAGENTO – Suited for enterprise-level merchants.
PRESTASHOP – Geared towards smaller shops and beginners.
OPENCART – Robust offering for businesses of multiple sizes
3. THE DESIGN
There is a saying ‘you eat with your eyes first’ this is true to online platforms as well. Having those extra touches in the presentation of your products can increase the chance you’ll get the sale. Strong branding is also key to keeping brand recognition in place.
‘The Seven Times Factor’ – on average a person needs to see a brand seven times before they recognise it at first glance. So make sure your branding is strong and prominent.
Keep current – If your store looks dated shoppers will be less include to trust that your system will work.
Stand out from the crowd – With the flood of online stores enveloping the web, ensure your offering and style stand-out and make you unique.
4. THE MARKETING
We all know how important it is to get products to reach new potential customers. Creating a strong Social Media program will help get your brand and website in front of your target audience.
Set a budget – ‘it takes money to make money‘ this is very true when it comes to marketing, so ensure you set a budget aside for this.
Have the skillset – ensure you have the right people on the job.
Get seen – the primary key to all marketing it visibility. So make sure your campaigns are getting out there and being viewed by your target market.
The future of e-commerce is bright, but starting an e-commerce business is hard work. Many steps need to come together at the right time. Take your time and do your research.
5. THE BUILD AND DEPLOY
Creating an e-Commerce website is a complicated endeavour.
However, while you don’t need to be a programmer yourself, it’s essential that you understand at least the basics of what your website hosting provider delivers in terms of e-commerce capabilities. That issue remains significant even after you get your e-commerce operation up and running.
As App Inlet has years of industry experience, we would be happy to provide guidelines or support. Please don’t’ hesitate to connect with us.
We offer a range of eCommerce packages to help you on your way. Have a look.