Developing a new Ecommerce Website in 2017
Building an ecommerce website for today is not the same as it was yesterday, with customers demanding great content and the simplest processes.
The web development game has seen massive changes over the last few years, and that does not look likely to change anytime soon. User requirements from just a short time ago are completely different to what they are now – developing an ecommerce website must cater for today’s requirements, as well as tomorrows.
Customers demand to be able to go from logging in to a site to checking out with as little effort as possible. We once thought to be able to select individual items, clicking add to basket, clicking on the basket, clicking buy, entering contact details, entering delivery details (even though they match exactly) and entering card details before waiting a few days for delivery was quick. It simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
Now the process is as simple as selecting an item and clicking buy. That’s it, done. This undemanding process is possible for customers logged into an account with payment and delivery details already saved onto the system. This simplicity is what attracts returning customers, just ask Amazon.
What your customers expect is what you should be building your website around. At this point, it is beneficial to carry out research on other ecommerce websites in your field and look at what works and doesn’t work, from a user’s perspective.
Think about the functions of your ecommerce website and what you can do to minimise abandoned baskets. Will you be incorporating wish lists that users can save for a later time? Special online offers and related items (people who bought this also bought…) are other functions that are employed effectively on a range of ecommerce website.
The layout of your website must allow your customers to search through your site quickly and easily. It may be worth discussing the design of your ecommerce website with potential customers and experts who can offer the correct help and guidance in what works best. With over 50% of online shopping projected to be done via a mobile device in 2017, ensuring your website is both functional and responsive has never been more important and this will only become more and more emphasised.
If you will be using WordPress, there are a number of useful plugins available for ecommerce websites that are definitely worth looking into. You will also want to compare the best prices for hosting your WordPress website – many offer specified ecommerce plans which suit most budgets, this is dependent on the size of your business.
Whether you build your website in-house or seek the assistance of a design agency, reliable servers are a must to minimise downtime of your website – while you are offline you are not making any money and risk losing customers to the competition.
Before your website is live, devising a marketing strategy will help your business to gain exposure – there is no point in having the best website in the world if no one visits. To maximise your website’s presence online, digital marketing is key and there a number of methods in which to do so.
Creating and maintaining a blog not only keeps your website updated with quality content, it helps your SEO ranking. Using relevant keywords and linking back to pages in your website is healthy from an SEO-perspective.
Blogs can also be used to acquire links from other authoritative websites, which increase your domain authority. Forming relationships with influential bloggers in your area can be highly beneficial – having a trusted voice in your corner will see their audience also become your audience, thus becoming your customers.
Always have a strategy of when you will be covering certain topics and keep a calendar of what specific products come into season. It may be a case that your particular sector is much quieter one-half of the year and busy the other. Quiet periods are a good time to take the time to review what you are doing from a commercial standpoint and look at areas that you can improve on to maximise results in busier months.