E-commerce Best Practices: Building an Online Store
A lot has changed over the last decade. The digital age is here to stay, bringing the world closer to us. Buying and selling is no exception to this. Shoppers can conveniently go online and shop for what they need in a friendly shopping environment at the comfort of their home, likewise for the retailers or sellers who also have access to a global market like never before.
Statistically, worldwide e-commerce sales will increase by 246.15% from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. And even in light of these statistics, some small business still do not have an online presence. Some of these businesses face the challenge of web development and keeping up with the trend of recent technological improvements, and this prevents many retailers from engaging in the online market.
A better understanding of how to properly utilise the business to business e-commerce and business to customer e-commerce solutions is all that is required to get involved with the online world.
Taking your Business Online.
This is the first and very important approach to start an online store. There are a few things that when you begin to see, you know your business is ready to go online.
- The business is showing a good level of stability and profitability.
- The data of the business is well structured that it can be analysed to improve other factors considered important.
An offline store looking to start an online store as well will have to go through a number of organisational restructure to be able to integrate this online system with its already existing functions. This can involve the creation of a whole new department in your organisation, hiring staff and also the allocation of resources for the new agenda. It is important to consider integrating the enterprise resource planning (ERP). This software will help in properly handling managerial activities of your business in real-time. Also, recognising that data of online and offline activities have to be synchronised.
A proper business analysis will help in choosing the right platform and approach that will best suit your business, even if you have clothes to sell and you are confused on how to start an online clothing store, a thorough business analysis will be the best way to go first.
Now when you have successfully put your business online, here is what to consider and revisit after a few years.
Rebranding your e-commerce website design
Over time, things get obsolete as new techniques and methods are introduced, and when it comes to handling a webshop, this is no exception. You have to realise that improving an already existing pattern or interface will not just be enough. Total transformation might just be what your online store requires. Based on data from your business, from ROI to overheads, revenues etc. you will discover that a new design, or approach will be what is best to raise efficiency.
Look at your e-commerce design and make both front-end and back-end changes. Front-end involves the general layout and design of your web shop, this attracts customers and improves their shopping experience. For the back-end, this requires improving the overall efficiency of the site, better navigation, improved search, ease of transaction with better cyber-security, better loading time and more. All of these greatly influence the way customers visit and make transactions on your site.
One other essential thing to consider is
A mobile-friendly site
This is key in a sites overall functionality. As an organisation looking to serve its clients better, you have to consider that people access the internet at any time and almost anywhere. One device that makes this possible is the mobile phone. If you have a site that is not optimised for mobile phones, you begin to lose a great deal of your clientele. No one wants a site that causes them to go back and forth makes it more difficult for them to properly navigate through the page and a site that takes longer than normal to load. To successful keep your online store, your e-commerce website has to be mobile friendly for ease of access by anyone.
Talking to your customers and understanding their needs is important when growing a business.