Adding an e-commerce dimension to your site is becoming part and parcel with most commercial web pages. If you’re consulting someone about the web design of your company’s site they are eventually going to ask whether you want a section where customers can purchase your services or products online. So what are the benefits of adding such an option?
First of all, the most obvious one is that you have opened up a whole other way to bring money into your business. It means customers can simply click around on your site, select what they want and buy it all without getting up from their chair. With mobile technology becoming increasingly common, e-commerce is getting more important. Now if a person is suddenly reminded they forgot to buy a present for a friend, they can do it there and then on their tablet rather than hoping they remember when they get home. It is just a simple matter of convenience. The easier it is for people to buy what you’re selling the better.
Another great positive is that it massively increases your reach to potentially global coverage. Obviously, there are extra logistical implications with this, but this is easily offset by the increased number of potential customers. Consider it like this: Say you own a small clothes shop in the middle of some town somewhere. All of your sales will be coming from people actually walking into your shop and pretty much nowhere else. Set up an e-commerce section on your site and now you can sell your products to people from Australia to America.
There is one downside to e-commerce though and that is that it can be very easy to get completely wrong. Follow these tips to ensure you get the most from your site.
A good user interface is absolutely key. Your site needs to be as easy as possible to use. People don’t want to have to call up or email just to find out how to use their site. They’ll be long gone to a competitor by then. Simple is best when it comes to this. If it gets complicated, it gets frustrating and especially for those that aren’t particularly computer savvy.
In most cases an e-commerce site is going to involve having pictures of your products on it. These need to be as of high quality as possible. Having blurry or distorted photos will be of no help and make your company look cheap and lazy. Try and include a few pictures to show as much as the product as possible. Also include some tools to zoom in or enlarge the picture. You want to try and replicate a customer’s experience in a shop as much as you can. You want them to have as few questions about item as possible.
Finally, if it isn’t essential for your customers to sign up then do not make them do it. Nothing irritates people more than having to sign up for yet another website when they just want to buy a new jumper. Feel free to put the option there, but always allow them to just get straight to paying. Your sales will be much higher this way. Again, it is about making the process as simple and painless as you possibly can.