It is common to be attracted to the idea of starting your own sprawling e-commerce business. E-commerce website development has never been this easy. It seems like a laid back way to make quick money, developing an asset year after year – milking the cow. The global reach of the Internet too has played a favorable role in spreading your product across borders and oceans. You’re still thinking of milking the cow. Earlier it was local, now it is international.
Earning a good buck though is never really easy. But it’s not you to be blamed. With the e-commerce industry growing in double digits year after year, anybody would want to be a part of this burgeoning $681 billion industry, which is only poised to grow further and further. Setting up a shop is never really easy, be it online or a brick-mortar store. Furthermore, the complications involved in either of them, especially the online part of it, requires specialists. A simple reason why you cannot do everything single-handedly.
Here are the 10 simplest things you should keep in mind before setting sail with your own e-commerce website.
- Your Niche Market
There is never a bad time to not question your product demand and dive deep into the niche market you are servicing. Going online would eliminate costs but would also add other costs, the most basic of them being the e-commerce website development cost. If you’ve come as far as considering whether you need to go online, you must have that consistency in your demand for your online site to generate revenue.
You need to consider where your niche market is and are they ready for an online experience. Are they educated enough to be able to use online tools for shopping? If the answer is no, maybe you’re doing just fine right now.
- Testing Your Market
Before investing your money and time into the website, you’d be better off testing it first. Building a website could be a very costly affair, especially if you are going to outsource e-commerce website development. A good way to test whether your customers are ready to shop from you online is by starting a blog or even building a landing page to give you exact numbers.
- A Mix and Match
Never should you go completely online or completely online for retail, especially if you are a business going online for the first time. Your customers love options and giving them an option to shop both offline and online would help gain traction. The majority of the companies in the fashion industry use the two-way approach to increase sales. Online gives your customers ease of accessibility while offline access gives them the personal touch.
- A Platform is Pivotal
You need to invest some considerable amount of time into deciding which platform(s) would be the most beneficial to you. It is rarely a single platform. Research shows 50% of the consumers now shop via mobile, but the other 50% still use different platforms. Going only mobile or only website will not help you or your customer. But, you should stand cautiously because this is again an expensive affair for your company. Depending on the platform, your e-commerce website development costs would accrue.
- Associated Costs
E-Commerce website development costs are just at the top of the mountain. When you decide to go online, your costs for the initial years would increase drastically. From advertisements to deep discounts for customer attraction, your profit pile would take a plunge for a considerable amount of time. Vendor costs and payment gateway costs come just after that. You need to decide whether your budget would allow you to splurge so much.
- Building a Foundation
It is important you build a solid foundation before launching your website. This foundation would be teasers, online promotions, offline promotions, advertisements and blogs which would inform your customers about the website and the brand. Knowing your niche market and targeting those customers would make it easier. Social media marketing plays a big role in your branding too.
- Website UI
Keeping your website clean and simple for your customers to use is very important. A lot of this has to do with the right choice for your e-commerce website development. A loud website with too much going on would distract your customers and might just irritate a few of them, increasing your bounce rate. A clean, simple website with clean messages would not distract customers. Each page should be easily accessible to your customer.
- SEO is Important
For your website to take off and then garner some attention, you need to accommodate SEO into your website content. SEO plays a major role today to get traffic to any website and with good SEO techniques, you would see an immediate result in the incoming traffic, which would also help increase your sales.
- Listen to Your Customers
Feedback in the online world is very important. The internet has given your customer the ability to search for anything and read anything. your customer is more knowledgeable now than ever, which then makes it important for you to listen to your customer. Each new design, each new product, and each new change would garner some feedback from your customers. Ignoring is not bliss here.
- Building Your Store
All things said, it is important that you keep updating your products and your stock to retain customers and attract new ones. Products you sell must be new. The vendors you choose, from shipping to procuring, must all maintain a quality of standard which leaves an impression with your customer. Moreover, you need be consistent with your quality.
India, as suggested by new research, is positioned to become the biggest player in e-commerce. It is already the fastest growing one, and with an influx of cheaper phones and faster internet speeds, it has become much easier for companies to penetrate this market and enjoy economies of scale.
Outsourcing your e-commerce website development tasks could take a toll off of, giving you more time to focus on internal factors, while internal e-commerce website development would help you control all the elements each step of the way.
It is still important for you to first listen to your customers, even after you test your product. There is no assurance given in the market. Your goal must be to eliminate risks, as many as you can.