Making an online business is a trend that’s getting more and more popular amongst the entrepreneurial community all around the world. Why? Well, because, even though it isn’t completely free of startup costs, it can be achieved with a much smaller initial investment. This means that more and more people are free to pursue their dreams and ambitions, not being held back by the lack of adequate finances. Even the knowledge threshold that these online entrepreneurs have to undergo isn’t that steep, yet, a surprisingly large number of people, again, fail to cross it. In order to avoid this problem, you need to learn of five simple steps for making your e-commerce website.
1. Identify your audience
The first thing you need to understand is that the efficiency of your design depends on the person you’re referring to. For instance, millennials and teens are more receptive towards design styles such as brutalism, while older generations lean heavily towards a traditional, linear design. The amount of patience that your audience has is also a generational trait, which means that it affects the amount of time you have to properly introduce yourself before leading them to the e-store or placing a CTA button in front of them. A great introduction boosts your overall CTR (click-through rate), however, a too long of an introduction may drive some of your customers away. Identifying your audience will help you find a perfect balance.
2. Present yourself
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that your e-commerce business lacks presence in a traditional sense. You don’t have a physical address (at least one related to your headquarters) and you don’t have the staff. In a scenario where you’re opting for drop shipping option, you don’t even have a warehouse or goods, which means that, outside of the business world, you virtually don’t exist. This is why some clients will have a hard time trusting you. In order to overcome this problem, you need to introduce yourself in the blogosphere, on social networks but, most importantly, you need to publish some information about your brand on your e-commerce platform.
3. Choose the right platform
We already spoke about the issue of an e-commerce platform, however, you would be surprised to learn just how many online retailers decide to completely skip this step. Why? Well, because they believe that they can do as well on Amazon and similar online marketplaces instead. The problem with this logic lies in the fact that this isn’t that great of a long-term solution. Your own platform may cost somewhat more to set up, however, once you reach a certain volume of sold items, you’ll find that the platform pays itself off in fees that you avoid this way.
Moreover, there are so many scams on online marketplaces that having your own e-commerce website helps you establish a certain level of authority and credibility. Lastly, by using marketplace owned by a third-party, you’re forced to play by their rules. When making your own online marketplace platform, on the other hand, you get to choose what features and traits are a priority.
4. Look for the right host
Another thing you need to find is the adequate host for your website. Failure to load within the first several seconds is probably the No.1 culprit of a high customer abandonment rate. So, you need someone who can provide you with the appropriate speed and enough uptime (preferably 99.99 percent). Aside from this, you also need to look at the issue of support, seeing as how you’re bound to use this feature at one point in the future. Keep in mind that for an online business (with an international audience spread across several time zones) a problem at 3 AM is as serious as a problem at 3 PM.
5. Make some tests
At the end of the day, you need to understand that, while things may look great on paper, there’s no guarantee that they’ll act the same way when enforced in practice. The functionalities of your page should be the first thing you need to test in order to prevent them from making problem in other areas of your business, such as visitor or customer flow. Security is another problem that needs to be addressed, especially since it’s a never-ending process in need of a lot of maintenance. Lastly, there’s the issue of compatibility across various browsers, especially when you include the legacy browsers into the equation.
After you complete all of these five steps successfully, your work has only begun. Now, you have to promote your business online, develop a pricing strategy, organize categories, make special deals and do all that’s in your power in order to stay competitive. On the other hand, with the right platform on your side, all of this becomes substantially easier.