If you want to create an ecommerce website then there are several features that you will need to bear in mind. The look of your site is not the only thing that matters, and certain softwares are essential if you want your site to run as well as possible, and if you want people to enjoy its functionality.
If you’re interested in finding out more about specific ecommerce features or softwares then keep reading. Otherwise, if you’re ready to start comparing quotes, just fill in the form above to start getting the best deals.
Ecommerce Payment Processing
As an online shopper you probably take payment for granted on the sites you regularly shop with. If you regularly use websites to buy online - sites like Amazon or eBay, for example - then you might have stopped thinking about the payment process altogether.
Unfortunately, as the person running the ecommerce website, you need to be aware of the process. It goes without saying that providing the ability to pay for goods is vital; if people can’t pay for goods on your website, the whole process is undermined.
Fortunately, there are options available for those companies who have not got the time or resources to create a bespoke payment system. Ecommerce systems like Paypal are widely used and trusted, and an experienced designer will be able to implement this option without too much hassle; Google Checkout is another ecommerce system that can be implemented on your site.
Both Paypal and Google Checkout enable secure payments via a third party - using either software is also likely to send positive signals to users who recognise and trust the two brands. Additionally, as these payment systems are widely known and used it is likely that a good portion of your potential clients will already have the required account. This can shorten the checkout process, which could help increase your conversion rate; generally, the fewer steps there for a customer trying to buy, the more likely they are to do so.
Both Paypal and Google Checkout charge a transaction fee which will be taken off of every sale you make that is completed using either system. In most cases this charge includes a flat fee of between 15p and 20p, as well as a percentage of the transaction value. The percentage you pay per transaction depends on the type of account you have, as well as on the volume of transactions; usually, you can expect the percentage to be between 1.5% and 3.5%. Although this fee could seem small, it is something that you will have to bear in mind in the future - in particular you will have to factor what kind of effect it will have on your revenue.
Bespoke Payment Gateways
If you think that the transaction costs that go with systems like Google Checkout and Paypal will amount to too much, or if you just want another option too, then consider setting up a bespoke payment gateway. These can be created using banks or merchant accounts. Speak with your ecommerce designer and go through the costs involved in creating this bespoke software to try and work out if this is a cheaper option in the long term.
There’s a lot to take into account but in a lot of cases paying for the bespoke software early can save a lot of money. In order to gain your customers’ trust, you should only use a payment gateway that offers 3D Secure authorisation verified by Visa.
Ecommerce Shopping Carts
Unless you are operating a simple, one-product shop, it’s likely that you will need software to help manage your customer’s buying process.
Shopping carts, as they are generally known, allow your users to collect any items together before they checkout. This means that they can complete every purchase at once, rather than having to complete several transactions. More sophisticated shopping cart softwares also allow merchants to manage their inventory, and can include sales analysis tools to maximise revenue.
Similarly to the payment softwares mentioned above, there are a number of programs available online which a website designer would be able to implement for you. As access and ecommerce usage his risen, prices have dropped, meaning that it is possible to have a shopping cart hosted for well under £20 a month. Although these options are cheap, they may not be suitable for every ecommerce website. Paypal and Google also offer shopping cart software that works in tandem with their payment platforms.
Shopping cart software also helps in a number of other ways:
- Inventory. Keep track of your inventory automatically and stay aware of which products sell best, and which don’t sell at all.
- Prices. Shopping cart software can help you to manage pricing. When products are not selling you can reduce their price, if products are selling well then it may be worth increasing the price slightly to maximise the profits.
- Vouchers. It can be a hassle keeping track of reductions and savings; fortunately your shopping cart software can manage that for you.
- Delivery. Just like the voucher options, it can be difficult to keep track of where products are going and how quickly they’re going there. Fortunately a sophisticated shopping cart program can help manage this process.
Discuss shopping cart options with your designer to ensure that you choose the one best suited to your business. In most cases, your designer will be able to make recommendations - if not though, it’s also worth seeing what kind of functionality your rivals have.
Most importantly of all: remember the customer. If they struggle with your software, then they might not bother buying from you. Keep the shopping cart as simple and functional as possible, and you can avoid losing revenue.
Ecommerce Website Support
Running an ecommerce store takes as much time and effort as managing a high-street shop. You need to make sure that the shopping experience is fast and easy. You need to make sure that everything works and runs efficiently. You need to make sure that products, descriptions, pictures and prices are updated when they need to be. Occassionaly, you may also encounter technical issues.
These factors are the reason that continued support is crucial to your ecommerce business. If there was a hole in the roof of your brick-and-mortar store you’d want a professional to fix it - the exact same level of care should be applied online.
If you need more in-depth information, then you should visit our website hosting page. Otherwise, it’s important that you know a few basics.
Without web hosting, your website won’t work. With bad web hosting, your site might still not work. Website hosting determines a number of factors, including page load speed and website capacity. Failure to invest in a quality hosting option could cost you in the long run.
Speak to your designer and get recommendations to ensure that you have the best and most appropriate web hosting service possible.
Content Management System (CMS)
The ecommerce website design agency you work with will most likely include a CMS when they design your site, but it’s important to know a little about what it is.
A content management system is a database with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for website owners and managers to edit, update, add or delete content. Content is not just limited to text on a page, and can include things as diverse as: text, images, videos and sound.
A CMS makes it much easier for a live website to be published, and the alternative tends to require a great deal of website knowledge, including coding skills. Very few ecommerce websites can function without a CMS, and if you are thinking about creating an online store then you will probably need a CMS designed or implemented.
Customer Relationship Management Software
Just as it is with face-to-face sales, customer relationship management is vital to ecommerce. Maintaining good-natured contact with your customers and building an email list based on people who have bought from your store in the past is an excellent way to nurture relationships so that you can continue to build revenue and profits in the future.
Customer relationship management software (CRM) is essential for your email marketing efforts, and is also an excellent way to gain insight into your customer's’ preferences. By collecting emails and data you can continue to update customers in the future about the products or services they are interested in, and you can also work to introduce new products to your range that will appeal to the people that buy from you.
An ecommerce solution with a built-in CRM system will allow your customers to register so that, when they visit the site again, they do not have to re-input all of their details from scratch. A system like this is beneficial to both parties.
As an online business owner or manager, you need to make sure that your ecommerce website is up-to-date. This includes being up-to-date in the ecommerce software you use as well as in the way your website functions.
Your design agency can help with most of these updates, so speak to them about it before, during and after the design process to ensure that you are prepared and future-proof as you can be.
Search engine optimisation is vital to any and every website that wants to get of its rivals. SEO is a process where site managers try to get their site to rank well in search engine results. The most common search engines are Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
This kind of work can be done privately, but for a really excellent SEO campaign it could be worth looking to external companies for guidance. For some people, the idea of paying an external company to help optimise can seem bad, but quality SEO can have a huge impact on traffic, which can in turn have a huge impact on revenue and profits.
Get Ecommerce Web Design Quotes
There are a number of features and softwares to consider on this page alone. Add to that your website’s design and functionality and you have a huge number of decisions to make. Fortunately, Approved Index can help.
We use your specifications to match you up to up to 4 suitable website designers. We do not charge for this service and there is no obligation to buy once you have received your quotes.
If you would like to start comparing quotes today, then just complete the quick and easy form at the top of this page. It only takes a minute and you could be matched up with the web designers most suitable to help you create a profitable website that you can be proud of.
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