Most businesses and business processes are getting automated and are shifting online. More importantly, a large number of people around the world are buying goods and paying for services online. While the brick-and-mortar store hasn’t been razed to the ground, it has found a formidable competitor in the form of online stores.
Whether you run a business in a physical location and want to add an online component to it, or you are an entrepreneur pinning your hopes on the success of an online-only selling operation, you need to make a strong start to succeed. The market is highly competitive, and you cannot afford to lose time or make mistakes.
In this article, we will take a quick glance at the most essential ingredients of building an ecommerce store.
Website Design and Hosting
Just like you need a building in the physical world, you need a website in the virtual world. There are two things that you need to do: design a website according to your specific purposes, and find the right hosting services for your website. There are thousands of ecommerce website development services that you can choose from, and there are hundreds of hosting companies online.
Choosing the Right Shopping Cart
The shopping cart is, arguably, the most important part of your online store. Its design will have the power to impress users and convince buyers to buy more. It will simplify the process of buying and help you make more sales. You need to select a shopping cart that offers all the tools, features and functionalities that your ecommerce store needs. While there are several open source shopping carts that you can choose from, it is best to go for custom ecommerce development and create a cart that is specifically built for your needs.
Payment Gateways and Merchant Accounts
Accepting payment online is slightly complicated than taking money physically. While the actual process of payment from the customer’s side is pretty simple, you need to integrate different payment gateways with your website to enable your users to pay using different methods. You also need to set up a merchant account to accept payments online.
Securing the Website
The last thing you want to do is get hacked. Your website will collect personal and financial details from the customers. If you compromise the information in any way, you can expect to lose a large chunk of your customers. Follow the best standard practices for website security: choose a secure platform, secure hosting, secure connection, and do not store sensitive customer information on your servers.
Just building a website doesn’t guarantee success or profitability. You need to advertise your website and drive visitors to your online store. The best way of marketing an online store is through digital and social channels. For this, you need set up a solid SEO, SMO and online marketing strategy.
Most ecommerce application development companies also offer good digital marketing services. By taking a package, you can get good discounts and ensure that all your design, development and marketing work is done in one place.
The above-mentioned points are the pillars on which your online store stands. Here, we have simply taken a quick look at what you need to do to start an ecommerce website: build the website, get hosting, secure the website, get payment gateways and merchant account, and market the website.
Each of the tasks related to setting up a website has many complex steps. So, it is best to find a reliable ecommerce website development company and entrust your work to professionals.
Image credit: Ali via flickr