Websites for online commerce have a significant impact on our daily lives. How frequently do you place online orders? A set of footwear? A furniture item? These days, you can even order groceries online. One of the biggest online retailers is undoubtedly Amazon, where you can find anything and everything.
An e-commerce website is a must if you run a business where you sell goods or services. An e-commerce website should make it easier for both you and your customers to buy and sell products. Owning a physical store would cost more money and take more time. You would have to consider things like monthly rent payments. All you need to sell on an e-commerce website is a website and the product you are selling.
What is an e-commerce website?
The act of buying or selling goods between entities is known as commerce. The term “e-commerce” refers to the same thing as “online electronic commerce.” E-commerce can take many different forms, such as your own branded e-commerce website, online auction sites like eBay, or social selling on Instagram. You can sell a wide range of goods and services on an e-commerce website.
How is e-commerce used in business?
Over the past few years, as more people have come to understand the advantages of owning an e-commerce website, online retail has expanded. It’s important not to undervalue the process of placing an online order for something you’ve been eyeing from the comfort of your home.
Furthermore, it’s likely that your rivals have already established their online retail presence. Establishing your own retail website can be very advantageous if you own a small business. It can be beneficial to set up a retail website even if you also own a physical store. By building your own e-commerce website, you can spread the word and increase traffic to both your online and physical store.
Additionally, you can win over people everywhere. You can begin selling your goods to citizens of different nations, cities, or even continents. E-commerce offers enormous potential for growth.
7 benefits of setting up a retail website
- Low operating cost with 24/7 availability
Unlike a physical shop, an online store does not need a space to rent, so you don’t need to worry about paying rent, or electricity fee, or any other fees that come with renting a space. That’s a lot of savings you can invest in promoting and growing your business!
Plus, online stores are open round the clock, always ready to sell to buyers worldwide at no extra cost. Around the clock e-commerce websites are very valuable and will enhance your business.
- Control over brand and message
Setting up your own retail website allows you to connect with prospective shoppers on your own terms. Share the latest customer success story, display the entire product portfolio, and so much more. Whatever you think will close the sale, go for it and don’t worry about character limits, image caps or layout restrictions.
Furthermore, you control your marketing. For example, you can choose to send emails to your customers every day, informing them of a sale or a new product.
You can gather a massive amount of data that can be very useful. Track your customers’ behaviour and their interaction. This will boost your marketing efforts and identify your most popular products. Subsequently, you can make a conscious decision to allocate your time on products that are wanted and maybe discontinue products or services that are not as popular.
Furthermore, you can track which page a customer exited on your website. If this happens several times, you might want to look at that page and consider what you can do to improve it and make the customer want to move on to the next step in the process instead of exiting.
- Shelf space exclusivity
One disadvantage to trading through an online marketplace is that your goods or services are placed next to competing ones. The struggle for attention forces merchants to slash prices and pay premium listing fees that reduce margins. However, if you own an e-commerce website, your visitors will only see the products and services you offer instead. Additionally, your visitors are there purely because of the interest they have in your products and services.
- SEO visibility
Allocating time to implement search engine optimisation of your e-commerce website builds visibility for your brand. Basically, everything you’re spending time and money on is purely for the sake of your e-commerce website. Ensure that visitors find your shopping website on Google when they search for a product and make it effortless for them to purchase directly.
- No transaction fees
While payment models differ, most e-commerce website platforms charge a flat subscription fee instead of charging per listing or transaction. Costs are low and transparent, no matter how wildly successful you are.
- Encourage loyalty
One purpose of an e-commerce website is to have repeat customers and repeat sales. You should ensure that you encourage loyalty in a repeat customer who buys various products from your e-commerce website.
Create your own online shopping website
Make sure that you have a solid plan before creating your e-commerce website. Consider the time and resources that you have and come up with a clear step by step in your process. Think of your domain name and the price points for your products. Choose your web hosting provider and an e-commerce platform you’d like to use. The choices you have to make are endless, so we have provided a few things that you should keep in mind during the process of setting up a retail website.
Ensure that your e-commerce website has an eye-catching design. You want to make sure that you will attract customers. In addition, make sure that your design is as eye-catching on a mobile phone as on a desktop computer. Many people browse and shop on their mobile phones today, and you want to make sure that you are ahead in the competition.
- Sales features
You can have sales and discounts on your e-commerce website that can persuade a hesitant visitor.
– Make sure that you have several payment options to match the customers’ preferences. Be transparent with your fee structure, show listings, re-listings, transaction, and payment processing fees so that the customer knows what they are actually paying for.
- Store management tools
Once you have built your own successful retail website, orders will start flying in. In order to keep up with your orders, you need a good system in place.
– You should have a good inventory management system that will notify you when your stock is low, and that will automatically delist products when the stock has run out.
– You should enable order tracking that includes email confirmations sent to your customers so that they feel safe when purchasing on your e-commerce website.
– Ensure that your shipping cost is flexible and that the cost varies by destination, content, and weight. Also, be aware of making correct taxation by state or country and consider tax-exempt product categories.
– Finally, make comprehensive reporting and ensure that you can export data for analysis or accounting.
- Restrictions on your plan
Consider your provider as it might restrict access to some functions.
– For example, if you are using a free e-commerce platform, you’ll most likely need to contend with ads on your website. Simply pay to remove them and have your website ad-free.
– Your online store builder might put a cap on the product listing, turnover, and access. Ensure that you have a plan that does not limit the products you can list, limit the number of staff accounts you can create, or even limit the sales volume you’ve acquired over the year.
– All your pages and images can add up to quite a lot of disk space, so make sure your subscription comes with a generous allowance and limitless storage.
– Your e-commerce website needs a domain name to function; connecting your own might cost extra but might be worth it. Hosting mailboxes with @yourshop.com domain is also often charged separately.
- Customer service
Consider offering customer service if you have products or services that might require that. Customers will undoubtedly feel satisfied and secure, knowing that their questions and inquiries can be answered straight away.