How to Build a Successful Ecommerce Website – TechTarget | Hot Mobile Press

Organizations can build ecommerce websites relatively quickly, but for maximum success, they should consider key elements like page layout, catalog quality, and product pricing.

Ecommerce websites can reach large audiences and let people shop 24/7/365, which can help businesses increase sales and attract new customers. Additionally, these locations require less overhead to operate than brick-and-mortar stores. However, if business leaders don’t consider audience, page design, and contact center staffing before building their ecommerce websites, their websites can fail due to poor CX and customer service.

Why build an ecommerce website?

An e-commerce website can boost a company’s CX because it offers customers the convenience and flexibility to shop from anywhere, anytime. These online stores may use automatic product recommendations to provide customers with a personalized shopping experience and improve a business’s ability to upsell. In addition, e-commerce websites can generate a high ROI because they require a low investment compared to physical stores that require site rents, operational costs and in-store staff.

8 steps to create an ecommerce website

Ecommerce websites can generate significant revenue, but only if businesses follow best practices. To create a successful ecommerce website, business leaders should take the following steps.

1. Consider an ecommerce platform

Organizations no longer need to design an ecommerce website from the top down. In the past, they had to code each catalog, payment, and shipping page themselves. Businesses now have the opportunity to integrate their websites with an e-commerce platform.

Several vendors offer platforms that allow business professionals to customize page designs and integrate them with their organization’s domain name. These platforms—many of which offer simple management capabilities—include the following:

  • Shopify
  • square
  • BigCommerce
  • wix
  • WooCommerce
  • Amazon
  • eBay

Although many platforms primarily target US and European markets, other e-commerce platforms such as JD.com and Alibaba offer access to markets in China. Businesses that don’t want to invest in web development should consider an ecommerce platform.

2. Design for a target audience and brand identity

Organizations need to identify their target audiences so they can create an ecommerce site design that meets customer expectations. For example, the customers of a jewelry store are likely to value fashion and elegance and would appreciate a fashionable and elegant website design when shopping online. Conversely, an outdoor clothing store might want to focus their website design on sturdiness. Customer demographics such as age, gender, income level, and geographic location can help companies understand their target audience’s design preferences.

In addition, organizations should adapt their e-commerce website design to their brand identity to promote brand awareness. For example, if a beauty salon uses a pink star as their logo, they might want to consider a pink website design that includes the logo in key places. Once organizations have identified their audiences, creative teams can design layouts that resonate with their clients and their brand identity.

3. Create a marketing strategy

To maximize website traffic, businesses should market their ecommerce websites on every channel that can reach their target audiences, including social media and Google Ads. Additionally, marketing teams should use SEO best practices in their content to reach new search engine users and send out email newsletters to keep in touch with existing customers.

Discover eight steps that can help businesses build successful ecommerce websites.

4. Offer a mobile option

Many people use their phones to shop online. So, before a business develops its ecommerce website or chooses a third-party platform, it needs to make sure that the developers or the platform can enable a smooth mobile experience. Organizations can also create mobile apps that customers can download for free on iPhone and Android devices. Although mobile app development can cost businesses significantly more than just a mobile-friendly website, these apps can provide customers with a more personalized and engaging CX than a website.

5. Create a loyalty program

Loyalty programs reward customers for their repeat business, which can help businesses increase sales on their ecommerce sites. These programs often follow a free model, where customers can sign up for free and earn points as they spend more money with the organization. Other organizations offer a paid subscription model, where members pay a fee to join but receive immediate benefits. Whether free or subscription-based, loyalty programs can increase customer retention and brand loyalty.

6. Offer detailed catalog and competitive price

Online shoppers expect detailed product descriptions, so businesses should provide high quality images and text descriptions for all items in their catalogues. Businesses can even consider video descriptions for high-end or complex items. Additionally, internet shoppers can easily discover competitor’s prices online, so businesses need to offer competitive prices on their e-commerce sites.

7. Personalize the shopping experience

Businesses can increase their online sales by personalizing their customers’ shopping experience. For example, companies can use automatic recommendations on their e-commerce websites to provide customers with personalized product suggestions based on their web activity and purchase history. These recommendations can introduce customers to new and relevant products and increase a company’s sales.

8. Properly staff a contact center

Although e-commerce can eliminate the need for employees to take orders, process credit cards, and send product information, customer service representatives must respond to customer inquiries and questions about products and services. For example, companies need to staff their contact centers appropriately so agents can respond promptly to customer emails, phone calls, social media posts, and live chat requests.

Third-party ecommerce platforms allow businesses to quickly implement an ecommerce website. However, leaders should not rush the process. Before companies create their websites, they must consider key elements such as target audience, design, catalog quality, marketing strategy, mobile functionality, and contact center staffing.

When a company launches an ecommerce site before they have quality item descriptions or their contact center is adequately staffed, poor CX and poor customer service can frustrate customers and hurt the brand. Also, online stores face intense competition, so businesses need to price their products appropriately and ensure their websites run smoothly on desktop and mobile devices.

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