Ecommerce is an effective way for you to attract new customers and cut your costs. If you're a retailer, you can sell through an online shop without the costs of a high street shop and in-store sales staff. A single ecommerce website can serve your entire target market, and even if your customers sometimes need face-to-face meetings, it enables them to make repeat purchases online.
You might find an existing ecommerce platform you can use to sell online — many small businesses sell through eBay or Amazon, for example. There might even be a specialist auction site or online marketplaces for your industry too.
Selling through others can be straightforward and inexpensive, but it won't give you the same flexibility as selling through your own website. Using ecommerce software — such as shopping cart software — to build an online store within your website can transform the way you sell.
Before you build your online store, however, you will need to know:
Good design is crucial to making your online business a success: a well-designed online store is good to look at and easy to buy from. Poor design will damage your brand and discourage potential customers.
Easy navigation through your ecommerce site is essential, so customers can quickly find the product they want. They need clear information about the product and it should be easy to order and pay for.
At the same time, the design and content of your site should help you stand out from the competition. Good content can lift you in search engine rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find your online shop. Helpful product information and ease of contact - by phone as well as email - will set good standards of customer service, while regular updates can encourage repeat visits.