Once upon a time, having an eCommerce Website was considered a novelty and written off as a fad. I mean, surely you can’t seriously hope to get rich by selling books out of your garage over the internet, right?! In ancient times (early 2020), conventional retailers scoffed at the prospect of online-only sellers superseding their stranglehold on the marketplace, believing that consumers would return to the high street as soon as they could after all of the lockdowns.
It’s estimated that by the end of 2022, online stores will be responsible for a massive 17.5% of all worldwide sales transactions. In New Zealand, eCommerce is still a massively growing market and we are now embracing the revolution. For a business that trades in good or services, a well-designed online store is critical.
Can an online store be launched by anyone?
On paper, there is nothing to stop anybody from creating and launching their own eCommerce website. You’ve probably seen all of the Wix, Shopify or Squarespace websites that all can look very similar to each other unless they’re built by a professional. Here at Tyler Tech NZ, my preferred eCommerce platform is WooCommerce because it is customisable, open-source and built on WordPress.
In order to run a successful online store, you’ll need the following:
- An SSL Certificate to protect the financial information of your customers.
- Clear and watertight Terms and Conditions
- Any disclaimers that relate to your product.
What does all of the legal mumbo-jumbo above have to do with running a store online? Surely I can just put my McGuffin’s on the website and the customer will give me money so I can ship it to them, right? The short answer is: it has EVERYTHING to do with it.
eCommerce websites may be becoming increasingly common, but huge amounts of people are still a bit dubious about handing over their personal information and credit card details to an unfamiliar website. By making all of the above points prominent and easy to access, you set your potential customers’ minds at ease.
What are some of the best practises for an eCommerce website?
For starters, your online store needs to be mobile-friendly. Since 2017, over 50% of website traffic worldwide was served to mobile devices. If your online store isn’t easy to use on mobile, you’re potentially blocking out half of your sales. Mobile-friendly also includes tablets and other medium-sized screens.
Your website should also be simple and user-friendly. An appealing design is fundamental to a positive user experience and this is doubly so for an online store. For an online store, you’re not just providing static content for people to read. You’re wanting them to hand over their credit card details and spend their money on your products.
You should also be available for contact from your customers. Sometimes a customer will want more information before committing to a purchase. They could be looking for information as simple as whether the item is in stock, what the shipping policies are or even information about the product itself. As with a brick-and-mortar store, you’re much more likely to close the sale if you’re able to answer your customer’s questions. When you build your website, you need a clear and easily accessed Contact page with an email form, and even consider adding Chatbot software.
If you’re interested in creating a website to compliment your physical store, contact me and I can help.