Ecommerce revenues are expected to top $ 1 trillion this year. That represents an incredible opportunity for businesses to capitalise on consumers’ growing reliance on online for big and small purchases of all sorts.
But getting an ecommerce website off the ground isn’t simply a case of opening your shop doors and waiting for the sales to come through. If you’re about to launch into the wonderful world of ecommerce, here are 4 things you need to consider:
1. Your Customers are Multiscreen
30% of online transactions take place on mobile devices. That figure will probably grow. It’s all good and well having a website that makes it easy for large screen users to browse, research and buy, but don’t forget the smartphone and tablet users.
A responsively designed website will respond to the user’s screen size and adapt accordingly. Ensuring you have a seamless experience regardless of the design will be key to capitalising on that growing segment of smartphone shoppers.
2. Online Shoppers Compare Prices
Online shoppers are a savvy bunch of people. And if your product is one that could be bought in multiple different places, then you can expect price comparisons.
What do you need to do about it?
- Be competitive
- Have a USP, whether in your product, your delivery, your service or anything else
- Build loyalty amongst your customers by offering them an excellent buying experience before, during and after the transaction has taken place
3. It’s Not All About Price Though
In a survey I carried out in 2015 (slide 89 onwards here), over half of consumers asked said that trusting a retailer was more important in their buying decision than the price of the product.
So, build a reputation, being accessible and consider core trust factors on your website as well.
4. Your Platform is Critical
Choosing an ecommerce platform is a major decision in the process of getting set up and there are literally hundreds of options out there. Typically, a new ecommerce store (unless it’s a complex product set or has to integrate with a well established offline and its systems) shouldn’t need a whole new bespoke custom built website and platform. It’s a huge investment and there are a number of other options out there, including:
- Shopblocks – new to market. The only platform with fully hosted packages starting at no monthly cost at all. Huge flexibility in terms of design without and development or design resource needed
- Shopify – from $ 29 to $ 299 a month, a well established platform with thousands of stores already live on the platform.
Key considerations for a new ecommerce site in terms of platform choice include:
- Initial investment required against the likely revenue the site will generate at the outset, all weighed up against your budget.
- How flexible is the platform in terms of customising the design?
- Will you need a designer or developer? And if so, do you have one?
- How easy is it to manage products?
- Does the platform cater to multiscreen?
- How easy is it for you to update content across the website?
It’s not impossible to change platform later, of course. But the right decision at the outset will save time and money later on.
Great Resources for New Ecommerce Businesses
If you’re new to the world of ecommerce, there are some excellent resources out there to help you once you’ve launched your site:
- A Better Lemonade Stand is full of advice, guides and even comprehensive online courses for ecommerce retailers
- E-Commerce Insights is a great place to go for new and opinion on the matters that will affect online retailers
- Business2Community’s Ecommerce channel, right here, is loaded with advice and opinions for online retailers