Last week I spoke about the importance of an online stores and why you should migrate to the eCommerce world, if you haven’t yet. While most offline store owners will concur with my logic the significant question in their minds might be how to make this transition in a robust and cost effective manner. And, yes if you have this question in mind you are absolutely right in doing so. Developing and maintaining a website can be an uphill task. Furthermore marketing the website and taking it to the people is another major challenge that can be faced by eCommerce store owners. Here’s a lowdown on how to go about migrating to an eCommerce store from your current offline store and the important things that should be kept in mind while doing so.
Important Pointers for eCommerce Website Development
The two domains that need attention while migrating to an eCommerce store from an offline store are Website Development and Website Marketing. In this post let us dive into the important aspects to consider during the process of Website Development
While developing an eCommerce website it is important to consider from the point of view of both the eCommerce website owner as well as from the point of view of the customer. Here are some of the must do’s during the website development process.
1. Opt for an Open Source Platform
While there are many software options available in the market which can be used to develop a website it is best to use a open source platform. For those of you who do not know, open source software basically allows others to study, change and distribute software to anyone and for any purpose which means the code is available for free. An open source platform comes with the following benefits:
- It reduces the website development costs drastically.
- There is a large repository of plug n play extensions that are easily available at affordable prices in the market place.
- Open source platforms enjoy backing from a huge community of developers constantly working towards improving the system.
- One more major benefit of open source is that there are numerous do it yourself tutorials available on the web. So, if your requirements are absolutely basic you can set up the eCommerce website by yourself with absolute ease.
- WooCommerce and Magento are examples of open source software that have been built around the eCommerce ecosystem and are currently used extensively by eCommerce shop owners.
2. Keep it Simple
One important thing to keep in mind during the process of website development is that the customers requirements should be kept at the forefront. It is absolutely essential that the website that is developed should be easy to use for the customers. All aspects, right from the moment the customer lands on your website to the point a customer completes the checkout process should be absolutely simple to use. Following are some of the ways you can make an eCommerce website easy to use.
- Include detailed search options.
- Reduce the number of clicks the customer would require to reach the product page.
- Develop a lightweight website which will load quickly at the customers end.
- Use soothing colors on the website and steer clear from unwanted objects that might clutter the website.
- Include various payment methods at checkout to allow users to select the payment method of choice.
3. Choose a Payment Gateway in Advance
The payment gateway to be used on the eCommerce website should be decided well before the start of the website development as this could influence the eCommerce platform that you will use for your website. Factors that should be taken into consideration while choosing a payment gateway are the currencies it supports, the security it provides and the various subscriptions packages available.
4. Make Security a Priority
eCommerce website means there will be monetary transactions included with customers entering confidential data at checkout. Hence, it is absolutely essential that the security must be of priority while eCommerce website development. Incorporating a SSL – (Secure Sockets Layer) – for your self hosted website would be the best way to go as far as security is concerned.
So, all I have spoken about until now is applicable if you intend to develop a self hosted website. However, if you feel you’re not yet ready to take the leap then you could probably take a smaller step towards migrating to the eCommerce world by opting for an existing website which has already been hosted. But of course, if it is a self hosted website then you have complete control on all aspects of the website. The choice is yours!
That’s all from my end for now. If there are any more tips that you can give our readers then feel free to let us know through the comment section. If you have dealth with website development successfully then go on to the nest step that is eCommerce store marketing.
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