With all that's going on in the world, having your business set up to sell online has never been more important.

With the impacts of the internet on every area of our daily life, there are more and more people using it for shopping. Sales in online stores are expected to reach 22% of global retail sales by 2023, compared to 14.1% in 2019. So, whether you have a brick-and-mortar business and want to expand online or you’re interested in starting a new eCommerce business and ecommerce website design from scratch, it can be a highly profitable venture.

A successful eCommerce business starts and ends with the website. ECommerce sites empower businesses to reach new markets and more customers. Retailers cannot afford to stay offline forever if they want to develop and survive.

Luckily, ecommerce website designing is not as difficult as you think. You can choose to build it yourself or go with a developer. But either way, knowing about the process can help you make informed choices to get a website that’s optimized for selling your products.

1. Why You Should Sell Products On A Website

The buyer’s decision-making process has changed dramatically in recent years. Buyers are conducting extensive research online when they want to buy something. Buyers are also making more direct purchases online and via their smartphones. ECommerce is growing every day, ecommerce website design will offer businesses unique opportunities to connect with their target audience. A well-designed eCommerce website can benefit from providing convenient shopping options for consumers. To capture a piece of the pie, brick-and-mortar stores need to adapt to their customer's behavior. Here are a few good reasons to let you think setting up an online store is a good idea.

People Spend Money Online

While some shoppers still prefer the experience of buying things in a store, many prefer to do their shopping from a computer screen or mobile device.

This timeline displays a forecast of the number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021. In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online. That makes 27.6 percent of the 7.74 billion people in the world. In other words, more than one out of every four people you see around you is an online shopper.

The number of online shoppers has been growing over the past few years. In 2021, there were 900 million more digital buyers than there were in 2020, a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase. The increase should come as no surprise, as internet connectivity penetrates the world and online shopping becomes increasingly convenient. So ecommerce website design is very necessary.

Global eCommerce sales are expected to total $4.891 trillion worldwide in 2021. This number is expected to continue growing over the next few years, proving that eCommerce is becoming an increasingly lucrative option for businesses. By 2024, it’s estimated that world retail eCommerce sales will reach $6.388 trillion and the overall eCommerce share of retail sales will hit 22 percent.

Given the rising trend, the potential for an eCommerce store is huge. The eCommerce industry is booming like never before. If you are entertaining the idea of selling online, there has never been a better time to join the market.

An Ecommerce Website Design Costs Less Than A Storefront

The Wall Street Journal and Onestop Internet Inc., made a comparison between storefront retail and eCommerce cost structures for a $150 apparel piece.

Even if they are providing the same goods, storefront retail and eCommerce stores have very different cost structures. Both the retailer and e-retailer have the same factory costs and are assumed to spend a similar amount of resources for marketing purposes. Outside these basic similarities, their respective cost structures vary significantly:

Storefront retail cost structure

Payroll (18%) and rent (15%) are the most significant retail costs that are location-specific and cannot be effectively mitigated. A good retail location usually commands high rent and labor costs, which are associated with higher sale volumes. Other retail costs mainly involve utilities and store supplies. Transportation costs account for 3% of retail costs, depending on the origins of the goods.

ECommerce cost structure

Operating costs (20%) are the most important component of eCommerce website design costs and include the software and transaction platform, which requires maintenance and updating. Then, shipping costs (7%, often free or highly discounted) are the most significant costs, which also include returns. Since many e-commerce distribution centers are located in low-cost areas, warehousing and fulfillment costs are usually in the range of 3% of the retail price.

In the end, if the same retail price is used, an online retailer can achieve a 30% profit margin compared with 15% for a standard retailer. To further improve their market share, online retailers offer goods at a lower price. In this case, an online retailer could reduce the price by 10-15% while maintaining a similar profit margin.

Running a storefront requires a lot of expenses. Selling products on a website, on the other hand, cut out most of those costs. You will still need to pay for things like web hosting and marketing. And you may still need to hire some staff, depending on the size of the eCommerce store you run, but the costs are overall more manageable and easy to plan for.

Online Shopping Provides Convenience

The most significant reason people love purchasing online is due to the convenience it brings to people. Customers can check necessary information like your store hours, phone number, or address, which helps drive in-person sales. Customers don’t need to get ready and go to a store in person. They can shop from anywhere, anytime and don’t need to worry about the working hours.

Some eCommerce websites even provide COD (cash on delivery) service which brings the convenience up to another level for those who do not own a credit card or do not know how to do online transfers.

ECommerce is going international, with many users buying from foreign sites. You could stay at home and purchase a product from another country with the help of a credit card. Just need to visit the site, browse the items, select the product you wanted, fill in the necessary information, make payment then wait for the product to be shipped to you.

When you sell your products through an eCommerce website, you remove a lot of the barriers to buying that exist with a physical store. So, it is not a surprise that eCommerce is on the rise with speedy development in both local and global settings.

An Online Presence Gets Your Products Found In Search

According to a Kenshoo survey, most shoppers (85%) use Google to find product information before they decide to buy.

This means that if you are not showing up in search engine results you are closing yourself off from the primary way consumers shop. Showing up in search results has incredible value for any type of business, and having an eCommerce website is the first step to results.

Once you have your eCommerce website up and running, there are many low-effort tactics you can implement to allow your site to rank highly for keywords and phrases associated with your business and its products. But before you can even start thinking about that, you need an eCommerce website for your products and services.

The Growth In Mobile Means People Can Buy From Anywhere

ECommerce sales made by mobile devices are expected to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021, 22.3 percent more than the $2.91 trillion it registered in 2020.

This is especially impressive considering the fact that revenue from mobile commerce sales in 2021 has multiplied by more than 3.5 times what it was in 2016.

With the number of mobile users currently at 5.22 billion and growing, as far as trends go, there’s nothing to indicate that mobile commerce growth will stop anytime soon.

Not only is the number of mobile users increasing, but the total time spent on mobile devices has also been on the rise.

In the US alone, the amount of time spent on mobile devices every day by consumers has increased from 2,25 hours in 2018 to 3,12 hours per day in 2021. This marks a 38 percent increase in just 4 years.

 

Incidentally, mobile commerce share figures have also been on an upward trend. The share of mobile eCommerce sales in total eCommerce sales has increased a whopping 39.1 percent from its 52.4 percent market share in 2016 to the current 72.9 percent market share.

In other words, nearly three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases today is done so through a mobile device.

2. What You Need To Build An Ecommerce Website

Building an eCommerce website will be a little different than creating a standard website or starting a blog. Beyond securing a domain name and hosting you’ll also need to consider tools and software for processing payments, along with actually creating and manufacturing your products.

There are now eCommerce solutions that do most of the work for you, but you still need to understand what’s offered and what your site needs. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s required to build a website from scratch for an eCommerce website:

  • A domain name
  • A web hosting provider
  • An integrated payment processor
  • A platform or tool to build your store
  • Initial capital to create your products
  • Packaging for product shipping

While building an eCommerce site is much cheaper and easier than building a storefront, it does still require some upfront capital and work. Make sure you work out a budget that makes sense for your goals.

3. What Is Required To Build A Beautiful (And High Performing) Ecommerce Website

No matter what type of eCommerce site you plan to build, the first thing you need is an eCommerce platform that helps you build the best eCommerce store. Here are the features that are required in one platform to make your eCommerce website work perfectly.

Mobile Responsive

What is a responsive website? It is built in such a way that its content and elements automatically scales to match the screen size on different device types. A responsive eCommerce website ensures that visitors from all sorts of devices have equally great on-site experience, without any design constraints.

With the obvious transition to greater mobile usage, you’ll be missing a lot of sales if your website is not mobile-friendly. A mobile responsive website is no longer a “nice to have” feature, it’s a necessity for growing your business online.

Responsive design will ensure a consistent experience for all visitors, regardless of device type. This leads to your potential customers having a positive experience with your business and encourages them to return in the future.

Customization Opportunities

Using a website builder can make you save up money. But if you buy a website template, remember that you’re not the only one who bought it. What this means is that your eCommerce website will look like other businesses’ websites. If your eCommerce platform lacks customization features and beautiful ready-to-use templates, you are stuck with using the same mold as hundreds of other stores, with little room to show how your brand stands apart. The more customized your website is, the more professional you appear to your audience.

Easy-To-Follow Site Navigation

Easy navigation will encourage people to stay when they land on your home page. It allows the users to explore your site and know your products or services better, giving them confidence in your brand. If a visitor can navigate your website with ease, chances of him exiting your site immediately are less. Hence, decreasing your bounce rate and increasing the possibility of a purchase.

Easy-To-Use navigation also includes a steady flow of content. Your eCommerce website will be successful only if your users can easily access the content. It is essential that you highlight the section that holds the USP of your business. They should be able to see the information they need all by themselves. You should never have multiple links leading to the same page. It is just confusing. If this happens frequently, your customers will leave the website and choose a site with better navigation.

Unique User Experience

User experience (UX) describes how people feel when navigating a website, using a mobile app or otherwise interacting with a company's digital products or services.

Because of the push for companies to become more customer-centric in their processes, investing in user experience should be a given today. Here are some benefits of designing valuable user experiences:

  • A better understanding of users and how they interact with your business
  • Driving long-term customer loyalty by continually refining the experience of your products and services
  • Once the number of connected devices increases, it becomes more important for your company to provide consistent user experiences across them all.

For any business going through digital transformation, investing in user experience helps ensure that digital offerings are well-received by new and existing customers.

4. 10 Experts Advice On Ecommerce Website Design

Your eCommerce website design acts as a chance to make a first impression about your business. No matter how effective and helpful your product might be, if your website design is failing to impress your visitors then they will shoot to your competitor’s website without having any second thoughts. The eCommerce website design you create and offer will decide how much time shoppers will spend on your online store and whether they will make any purchase on your online store or not.

Keep It Simple

Try to keep things minimal and as simple as possible. Users don’t like clumsiness. They love using sites that are straightforward, doesn’t require too much hunting.

Don’t hesitate to use the whitespaces. They are vital to keeping things understandable. Use the proper amount of whitespaces in between stuff and maintain the consistency of whitespaces throughout the website.

Try using a grid menu with icons for different categories. This provides a better view and enhances the possibility of user engagement. Use high-quality pictures where necessary. Users prefer photos over texts as they get the message putting less effort.

Conversion Is About Satisfaction

The best way to grow a business is to ensure that the customers are as satisfied as they possibly can be. Unfortunately customer satisfaction is not all that easy. This is because you will be dealing with people of different kinds from all walks of life and with all sorts of needs and desires. You can’t please everyone but then you can try to please at least 90% of those who interact with your business.

There’s a lot of advice online when you search for it. But in my opinion, truthfully all you need to focus on is three primary questions.

  • Are customer expectations being met?
  • Will customers recommend you?
  • Was the process easy?

If the answer is “No”, ask yourself one extra question: “Why?”. By answering this question, it gives you a starting point for your optimization campaign. What you need to improve to make your customer satisfied.

Great user experience amplifies the pleasure of interacting with your brand. After you are done with the initial design, audit each page. Determine where you can remove friction and add extra delight to improve your store conversion rates.

A Custom Store Protects You From Competitors

Branding is a powerful asset for building emotional connections with your audience and turning them into loyal customers. Four out of five customers are more willing to promote a long-time favorite brand. By creating a distinctive eCommerce shopping experience, you are securing your spot as a long-time favorite brand, one interaction at a time.

With so many eCommerce businesses appearing, it’s imperative that retailers offer unique online experiences for customers to ensure continued conversions. The competition among eCommerce businesses is fierce, making it more challenging to attract and retain customers. You always have to be one step ahead of what consumers are expecting to ensure you create unique customer experiences that will keep them coming back.

A Great User Experience Should Always Come First

Attractive prices, cool promos, catchy banners are still important, but their effectiveness shrinks if the overall UX is clunky. A great user interface is so seamless that we don’t even think about it. We just use it, get what we need, and move on. But a poor user experience tends to make us frustrated, impatient, even angry and we inherently remember that negative experience for a longer time.

So, when creating an eCommerce website, focus on ensuring high website usability and performance first. Then work on extra graphic design elements.

Embrace Flat Design

Flat design is a minimalist UI design genre that is currently used in graphical user interfaces for apps and websites. The style is aimed to create a 2D (or flat) image by not using any stylistic elements like shadows or gradients. A flat design user interface appears streamlined, efficient and easy to read. This leads to the primary advantage of flat design: fast load times and easy resizing.

By now flat design has become a ‘classic’ look around the web. And for good reason. The main principles of flat design prompt:

  • Clear hierarchy to speed up information processing.
  • Action-emphasizing iconography and adaptive design.
  • Usage of familiar patterns that helps us quickly understand affordances.
  • All of these elements add up to a great eCommerce experience.

Be Distinct

The eCommerce space is getting busier year over year. Your branding, iconography, website features, and on-site experience should jointly reinforce your unique value proposition and differentiate your eCommerce business from the competition.

Differentiation allows you to provide superior value to customers at an affordable price, creating a win-win scenario that can boost the overall profitability and viability of your business. The brand does not automatically differentiate a company from its competitors. The brand has to stand for something, be recognized by the target audience, and communicate something unique and different from the competition. Branding is much more than just creating a logo. It is the ongoing communication of your value proposition in a meaningful and effective way.

Think CRO When Designing A Website

A successful website is one that is both optimized for conversions, in addition to being a pleasure to use. Creating such a website can only be done on the basis of both UX design, as well as CRO. These two professional disciplines should therefore always go hand in hand to ensure that both website owners, as well as the audience, get the most out of a given site.

Study your customer lifecycle, analyze their browsing habits if you are redesigning or conduct usability tests with a focus group. Learn as much as you can about their browsing habits, then incorporate those findings into your design. Your eCommerce website design has to appeal to your target audience, not just be aesthetically pleasing to you.

Show, Don’t Tell

Great eCommerce websites visually lead the customer during their journey. Each element plays a strategic role in that discovery process. We observe that product images are very effective at showing scale, highlighting features, and getting users excited about products. While text in product descriptions and specs gives users a comprehensive overview of all the product details. Tooltips and service texts can be helpful and prompt conversions. But if you need to explain each new step, the selected design isn’t working for your brand.

Don’t Make Your Customers Think

Online product discovery and purchases should be intuitive. Present a clear path to purchase to each visitor through navigation bars, straightforward information architecture, and promptly-placed call-to-actions. By minimizing the cognitive load at each step towards a purchase, you increase the chances of conversion.

Seek First-Hand Customer Data And Feedback

With a ton of eCommerce best practices around the web, it may be tempting to use each one of them. But more isn’t the merrier. Not every practice works universally well for every retailer. As a business owner, base your design decisions on first-hand customer data and feedback, rather than common wisdom. This way you’ll create a unique user experience that makes a mark with your target audience and makes them more loyal to your brand.

5. Building An Ecommerce Website The Easy Way

Building an eCommerce website is similar to the process of building other websites, except that it needs to be set up to sell physical or digital products. You should anticipate a bit more work upfront to get your website ready.

Here’s the process of discovering your market, finding out what you’re going to sell, and finally building out your store.

5.1 Market Research And Finding Your Niche

A niche market is a focused set of people or businesses who are in the market to purchase a product or service you sell. This group of individuals has a specific set of needs that can be met by a targeted product or service that addresses those needs.

When starting a business, rule number one is to know who your customer is. The result when you try to sell to everyone is that you sell to no one. A more solid approach is niche marketing which refers to a strategy that focuses on a unique target audience.

Reflect On Your Passions And Interests

If you don’t really care about the work you are going to do you definitely won’t be successful. Think about a hobby or skill you're particularly passionate about or good at. Your niche should arise naturally from your goals, interests, and values. The best ideas for a niche market might come from your own experience. Below are a few questions to spark your brainstorming:

  • What skills come naturally to you?
  • How do you enjoy spending your free time?
  • Do friends, family, and colleagues ask for your advice on a specific topic?
  • How do you approach problem-solving?
  • What topics do you enjoy learning about?

Write down your answers to these questions and begin a list of ideas to consider for your business's niche market.

Identify Customers' Problems And Needs

Once you have a couple of overall ideas about what could be a good niche to have a more detailed look at it is time to estimate the market size. Think of the problems faced by your target market and how your passion or interest can become a product or service that meets their needs. What's their motive to buy?

Research your potential customers to determine their buying behaviors and the challenges they face. There are a variety of tools (including free ones) you can use as you explore your customer persona. This will give you a better idea of how your business can provide value to your niche market.

Research The Competition

No matter what niche market you are pursuing, you should definitely investigate your potential competitors. Is there even a market for your niche? Is there an opportunity for you to stand out in the crowd? How will you plan to differentiate yourself?

Below are a few websites that can help you with your competitive research.

  • Google Trends
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • ClickBank
  • Amazon

Use these tools to explore the best-selling products consumers are researching and see if your new business can meet their needs.

Define Your Niche And Its Profitability

If you're dedicating your resources and time to a new business, it should have the ability to become profitable. Here are a few factors to consider when finalizing the niche you'll be catering to:

  • Customer demographics
  • Customer values and interests
  • Customer location
  • Product quality
  • Price

Your idea could be profitable if you research the market and discover similar products but not many companies selling them. Take a look at the price points of your competitors' products so you can price your own competitively. Google Trends is a useful tool to dig into trending topics. Another idea is to search on Amazon or Clickbank and see what pops up. Doing research there will give you some indication of whether there is a potentially profitable niche market. Ideally, you have narrowed your selection down to a niche that has both a need and a market where people will pay for your product or service.

Test Your Product Or Service

The last step is to validate your idea. Create a simple website or landing page for your business so customers can find you. Offer a trial period of the product or give out free samples to your target customers. This initial test period should not cost a large amount of money, but you can certainly use paid ads to drive traffic to your website.

See if people want to put money towards your product with crowdfunding sites. Not only can you gain funding but you'll also get your product in front of potential customers.

If the test is not as successful as you hoped it would be, don't scrap your idea entirely. Go back to the drawing board to find key areas where your product or marketing could be improved.

5.2 Getting Ready To Sell

Before you settle on the product you want to sell there are a few issues you should take into consideration.

Make sure the product is light enough that it’s easy to ship. During the early days of your eCommerce store, you’ll have to handle most of the packaging and shipping yourself unless you choose a dropshipping business model. So, sticking with products that don’t weigh much will not only make your life easier, but you’ll be able to maintain better product margins, which can be crucial in the early days of your store.

Consider creating a prototype for your product. That means starting with a sample of the product you have in mind that you can test out in the market. If you’re building a new product, you probably won’t make it perfect the first time. Prototyping gives you room to iterate and improve based on feedback before you make a huge investment in inventory. This will help you get to market faster and build a better product over time.

5.3 Find Your Perfect eCommerce Platform

Finding the right eCommerce website builder is the first step in your journey. It’s important to have one that can meet the needs of your products and brand.

a) Types of Ecommerce platforms

There are three main types of eCommerce platforms to choose from, which suit different kinds of businesses and have different functionality.

Open source: Open-source platforms offer their source code freely to everyone who wants to use it. It’s free to install and endlessly customizable. However, open-source platforms usually require advanced coding knowledge to use properly. Security breaches are also a concern, and users often need to hire people dedicated to maintaining the security.

SaaS: SaaS, or Software as a Service, is an eCommerce platform that’s offered as a subscription service. These systems are generally easy to use, scalable, and have robust security. As they’re designed specifically for eCommerce, they can handle the logistical processes, like checkout and payment processing.

Pricing is a concern with SaaS, as there’s a monthly subscription fee, transaction fees, and expenses for plug-in apps. Some services may also have restricted branding, which limits your creativity when designing.

Headless commerce: Headless commerce keeps the shopping cart and display layer of ecommerce sites separate. This means you can use a content management system (CMS), digital experience platform (DXP), progressive web app (PWA) or other technology on the frontend and power that with an ecommerce engine on the backend.

Headless commerce enables customer-facing changes to be made quickly and gives businesses plenty of creative control. It also lets companies get to market faster, with a lower total cost, and businesses get increased control over their store while outsourcing security and PCI compliance.

b) Ecommerce Website Builders To Use

Your website builder is the foundation of your online store. Here are a few to consider:

BigCommerce: BigCommerce is a SaaS solution that’s known for being scalable. It has 24/7 customer support, with priority support available for large accounts.  There are plenty of built-in features. Multi-layered security keeps data safe, and local payment methods bring in customers from around the world. BigCommerce supports headless, so brands can deliver API-driven experiences through a CMS, DXP, application, device, or custom front-end — with BigCommerce powering the commerce engine.

Shopify: Shopify is another SaaS solution that’s fully hosted and known for being quick and easy to set up. They have an extensive range of plug-ins, but if you need to use a lot, the price can quickly add up. Shopify can handle a high number of transactions per minute, so it can easily cope with traffic spikes.

Magento: Magento is a self-hosted solution, so you have total creative freedom; however, you need someone with coding knowledge to take full advantage of the platform. There’s a wide choice of integrations, and it can handle instant purchases and product suggestions.

WooCommerce: WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plug-in, so it’s free to install. It’s generally used by those with an existing WordPress site. WooCommerce is flexible, has limitless customization, and industry experts audit its secure code.

customers, and converts casual shoppers into loyal customers. Choosing the right eCommerce platform and having a wiseful marketing strategy to create a successful online store. 

5.4 Choose Elements To Include On Your Ecommerce Website And Building Your Ecommerce Website

One of the first steps to organizing an eCommerce website is figuring out what pages and categories to include. You’ll obviously want a home page and pages for each of your different products. But how will you organize all those product pages so that people can find what they’re looking for? Think about how your potential customers are likely to shop and browse and build out the site architecture that makes the most sense based on that.

a) Purchase A Domain Name And A Web Hosting Provider

To start the process of building your eCommerce site you need a domain name and web hosting plan. Without these, there’s no way to actually have a live eCommerce website.

There are dozens of different providers and services you can use to secure a domain name and hosting, and you can either purchase them together or separately.

A domain name should be easy to remember and type. Make sure that it’s also easy to pronounce, as you want customers to tell their friends about it.

Your hosting choice will impact the way your website works, how fast it loads, as well as how secure and backed up it is against hacks and server crashes.

There are many different factors to consider when looking for a web host. The most important ones relate to your website's functionality, performance and reliability. Each of these can significantly affect the success of your site.

b) Pick An Ecommerce Template

There are so many free or paid templates available on the market. So, how to pick the right template for your eCommerce site? Ask yourself these three questions to find out which template is right for you:

  • What Features Do You Want Your Ecommerce Website To Have?

Features are the key part of how to build an eCommerce site. Ask yourself what’s important to your online store: do you need maps, galleries, videos on your homepage?

Some templates come with more features than others. Think about what features your store needs, then make a list. When searching for a theme, filter by features in your list. Narrowing down the options can help you find the theme that best suits your needs.

  • What style of homepage do you want?

Your homepage is the first thing your customers see. It’s like the front-door of your online store. So, customers should be able to tell from one glance exactly what type of business you are.

Your homepage could be set with simple images, a slideshow or a video,... Make a decision based on your business goals.

  • How Do You Want Customers To Move Around Your Ecommerce Website?

Most shoppers will leave a website after 10-20 seconds if they find nothing useful and attractive. So make sure they can find what they’re looking for on your eCommerce website without any hassle.

c) Customize Your Store’s Template Design

Once you’ve selected your theme/template for your eCommerce site it’s time to customize and make it your own. Customizing is easy, and you can change just about anything.

Start with a theme that already is generally similar to your ideal store design. Consider what parts of the page need to be customized? Does the font and color scheme match your branding? How many images can you include? How are products displayed, and can they be changed? Can social media be embedded?

Here are some tips that always work:

  • Keep the design clean, simple
  • Choose attractive colors that complement each other.
  • Keep consistent style and format. The users should not notice any differences between your pages.
  • Don’t use too many fonts: one for the titles and another for the text is usually enough.
  • Any images you add must look professional.

The main thing with design is to get something that looks professional enough to trust, easy enough to see, read and understand and clear enough for users to find what they want.

d) Add Products To Your Store

Product pages are among the most critical pages on your eCommerce site, as they show your customers what you sell. Ensure you display your products in the best way by including optimized product descriptions, eye-catching images, and easy-to-navigate categories.

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are an essential part of your eCommerce site. They describe the usefulness, colors, textures, measurements, value of the product to your customers and allow bots to index your page for SEO. Avoid cliches, long sentences, and complex phrasing when writing descriptions, and make sure the descriptions answer the following questions:

  • Who is the product for?
  • What are the product’s basic details?
  • Where would someone use this product?
  • When should someone use the product?

Product Images

Website visitors are engaged by visual information, especially for eCommerce websites.  So high-quality product images are essential. When producing photos, consider the following issues:

Use high-quality images: Never select images that are blurry or too small. High-quality photos make your products stand out. Vibrant photos also make the images more appealing, keeping customers browsing.

Make sure each image is the same size: Different-sized photos can misalign your gallery. Use an image editor to adjust each picture to the required size.

Add product variation image: make sure shoppers can look at the product in the full range of colors and features and make sure they can view your products from all angles. Plus, add a zoom option to give your customers the chance to view your product’s detail. You should also include an in-context photo that shows the product being used. These are helpful on product pages and can also be used in social media to boost emotional engagement.

Images are a great way of showing off your products. But the more images your store has, the longer it can take to load, so optimizing is super important. You can easily optimize images using a free online compressing tool. This basically reduces the file size of your image without affecting the quality too much and can do wonders for your site speed

Product categories

You can add products to different categories to help customers find what they’re looking for. Categories can also be used with filters to enable people to sort through specific brands or price ranges, keeping them within their budget.

Price Range: Displaying price ranges on your category page adds clarity and prevents customers from browsing products they can’t afford

Featured Products: A good way of leading your customers down your preferred shopping path

Filtering Options: Let your customers filter by size, price or brand name. The more options you can give them, the happier they are and the more money they will spend

Give Extra Product Information: Your customer has navigated to a specific section of your store. It’s fair to assume they want more information about the products they’re viewing

f) Set up payment methods

The next step is to set up your payment method. This is a crucial part of converting a browser into a buyer. If the method is too complicated or not trusted, it might influence the customer's purchase decision. Also, make sure the payment method meets your payment processing needs.

Three types of eCommerce payment gateways:

There are three types of payment gateways, which all have their own advantages and disadvantages. When deciding on a gateway, think about the steps you need to take to keep payments and information security.

Redirects: A redirect takes the customer to a separate site to process the payment. This is a simple solution for retailers and passes on security concerns to the third party, but adds another step for customers, which may drive some away. The most widely used example is PayPal.

Checkout on-site, payment off-site: This gateway hosts the front-end of the payment, including collecting details, but the payment is processed off-site. It takes away extra steps for customers, but you have to ensure your site is encrypted correctly so information can be safely sent to the payment processor. Stripe is a popular company offering this service.

On-site payments: On-site payments happen on your site, which gives you complete control and responsibility. It’s suitable for large corporations who process a lot of payments, as they can afford to keep it working and secure.

A payment gateway integration is a secure method that encrypts and transmits credit card data to your payment processor. As it’s an essential part of your eCommerce site, make sure you research and understand what you’re getting from your payment integration.

Plus, find out where your customers are from. If you have customers from different countries, make sure you meet each nationality’s needs.

Sort out shipping settings

Online shoppers care deeply about shipping costs and delivery options. You can provide the greatest shopping experience, the best prices, and outstanding customer service, but it’s your shipping process that ultimately allows your customers to touch your products.

Any steps you take to make shipping more reliable and efficient directly impact this critical physical connection between your customers and your products.

Determine your shipping policy

Your shipping policy includes fees and carriers. Are you offering shipping for free, a flat rate, or a variable fee? Who are you shipping with? Also, consider whether you plan to ship internationally and, if not, make sure that information is readily available, so international customers aren’t frustrated at checkout.

Select eCommerce shipping solutions

There are a ton of different considerations with delivery and shipping solutions. Different companies have different shipping needs, so there’s no single eCommerce shipping software solution that’s objectively better than the others. Some need the functionality to organize their multi-channel orders into batches. Some people use shipping software to organize their drop shipping and manufacturing. Others prefer the time-saving automation options that can act as a substitution for additional warehouse pickers. Sometimes, smaller merchants don’t need the advanced features, they just simply have an account for shipping discounts. Whatever your situation is, sign up for a trial with shipping software, find one that’s right for you. As your business grows, a shipping solution that works will continue to scale with your business.

5.5 Launching Your Store And Selling Products

A successful launch relies on everything on your site working as it should. If a link doesn’t work, payments don’t process, or the site doesn’t look good on mobile devices, it can send customers away and lead to time delays while you fix mistakes. Make sure you test everything before publishing your eCommerce website. 

Does checkout work? Do a test run on an order. Can you add products to the cart? Is the payment processed? Do you receive all the confirmation emails you were expecting?

Are the store’s functions working? Click every button and link it to your site. Do the buttons and links work? Do filters and categories work? If a link doesn’t work, does your 404 page direct customers back to your site?

Does the store work on mobile? Look at the store on a mobile device. Are the dimensions correct? Are the buttons easy to click? Are images clear on a smaller screen?

Test your store on different browsers. Look at the store on as many different browsers as you can, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. Make sure it works on all the browsers, and if you have difficulties, ask the developers to fix it.

Set up the store’s settings. The store settings include things like language, time zone, your address and contact details, tax, and measurement units. Check that these have all been set correctly before you launch.

5.6 Marketing Your eCommerce Website

The internet is vast, and you have a lot of competition. If you don’t make an effort to get your website in front of people, they’re unlikely to find you at all, much less buy from you. To be successful, you need to invest in marketing your eCommerce website to the world.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a valuable marketing tactic for building up your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) authority, attracting more relevant traffic to your site, and building trust with your target audience. Content marketing requires a considerable investment in time and money, but it’s a good way to grow the online influence of your business.

  • Blog posts: A blog regularly publishes high-value blog posts about topics important to your audience which is a great way to raise your profile and demonstrate your trustworthiness.
  • Longform content: Longform content like in-depth guides or ebooks. It helps to build up SEO or could be a form of a lead generation tactic. If your customers find your content is valuable enough they will be willing to give their address in return. That will be a good way to build up your email list and identify potential customers.
  • Videos: Video content is one of the main ways many consumers like to get their information. You can create video tutorials or educational videos on topics your audience cares about.
  • Audio content: In the past few years, podcasts have become a huge part of how people consume information. Consider if your audience is the podcast-listening type and whether you can provide value to them in an audio format.
  • Visual content: Visual content formats like infographics and high-quality graphics can be a way to either supplement your written content or provide value on their own.

Content marketing doesn’t deliver immediate results, but if you care about the long game, it’s a good way to build up an audience of followers who care about your brand. And over time, it will strengthen how visible you are in your field and in the search engines.

Social Media Marketing

Social media can be a great way to increase brand awareness while driving traffic back to your eCommerce site. For eCommerce businesses, some of the best channels to grow your audience and promote your products are Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Instagram and Pinterest are image-driven platforms, so they align well with selling products. Instagram will give you a way to showcase your product and demonstrate how it’s commonly used. And Pinterest gives you the opportunity to create and share content that’s related to your niche and drive targeted traffic back to your site.

Twitter and Facebook are better for growing your community and promoting your content. You can use them to tap into the community that’s talking about your industry, connect with influencers in the space, and directly reach your audience. You can also get a lot out of community-building tools like Facebook groups and Twitter chats.

In addition, you can monitor social channels to stay on top of what people are saying about your products. Negative tweets are useful for learning how to improve your products. And positive ones are powerful social proof.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the process of reaching out to influencers (most often on social media channels like Instagram) and having them promote your brand and products to their audience.

You have the option of doing paid shoutouts, but you might also be able to find accounts that will mention you for free in exchange for your product. Influencer marketing plays on the idea that these people have already built a loyal following, so your product gains exposure and trustworthiness by association.

SEO

Search engine optimization is the collection of tactics that increase your website’s authority according to the factors valued by search engine algorithms. In another word, SEO is how you increase your chances of showing up on the first page of Google (and Bing and Yahoo, but mostly Google).

  • Keyword research: All of SEO is based on targeting the specific keywords you want to rank for, so this is an important step to start with. Use SEO tools to learn what terms your audience is commonly searching for.
  • On-site optimization: This step includes making sure your website works on all the important technical levels, like loading quickly. It also means ensuring that each page is optimized for your chosen keyword. 
  • Content marketing: Content marketing involves creating a lot of great content that keeps your website fresh, useful, and gives you the chance to target more keywords. For all those reasons, it helps with SEO.
  • Link building: The search engine algorithms see links as a measure of how valuable other people see your website. As such, they’re an important ranking factor. Link building involves encouraging other websites to link back to yours.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is arguably the best way to turn website visits into relationships. Every consumer that opts into your email list is telling you they want to hear from you. It’s an invitation to keep the relationship going.

Email marketing gives you a good way to keep driving traffic back to your site by promoting new content and sharing company announcements. And it gives you a loyal audience to promote special deals to. For eCommerce stores, earning new customers is definitely important. But getting those customers to come back, again and again, is how you really build a sustainable business.

PPC Advertising

All of the marketing tactics listed above are useful, but require a significant amount of time and work before you start seeing results. If you want to start driving traffic to your website as soon as possible, maybe paid advertising methods will help.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads. Most of the ads you see on Google employ this model, as do most social media platforms.

With PPC advertising you can set your budget, target the audiences and keywords most relevant to you, and design your ads with copy and images most likely to appeal to your ideal customer. And PPC campaigns produce a lot of data, which helps you learn what your customers respond to and improve your marketing efforts over time.

Conclusion

A good eCommerce site is more than just a place to sell products. It’s where a business can strengthen their brand, draws in new customers, and converts casual shoppers into loyal customers. Choosing the right eCommerce platform and having a wishful marketing strategy to create a successful eCommerce website can give you a headstart to success.

We - CMSMART is on a mission to provide eCommerce businesses like yours a solution to make your ideas come true, from website development to marketing and brand identity.

If you want to get any advice on building your eCommerce business, contact us by leaving your comment, sending emailing , or contacting our consultant here.

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