3 Ways to Build a Successful eCommerce Website

December 1, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

The eCommerce business is one of the most profitable in the world, generating billions of dollars annually. In fact, if trends continue, online retail sales will eventually surpass Brick and Mortar retail. Believe it or not, this is amazing news for the entrepreneur out there.

Traditional retail requires stock, many employees, and a physical location. All of this adds up to a lot of money simply to get your Retail business launched. This puts brick and mortar business owners in a bind: in order to make back their investment, they need to charge higher prices, or operate in a deficit for longer than any of us would find comfortable. And on top of that, you’re market is relegated to locals or passers-by only.

eCommerce on the other hand, requires only a robust website and effective Content Management System. Done correctly management of this system requires a smaller staff and no investment in physical spaces except for stock inventory storage. And as eBay has shown us, you don’t even really need your own stock!

That isn’t to say that an eCommerce website is a walk in the park. While the low barrier to entry into internet businesses is a massive boon to the ordinary joe, the lack of clear and concise information can lead to poorly managed business (without you even realizing it until it’s too late).

So to help provide you with the tools to succeed in the world of eCommerce, we’re going to write about 3 tricks you can use to create a more successful online retail business.

1. Use a Framework

As a website development company we love building custom websites from the ground up; and, to be frank, we’re damned good at it. But we’re equally good at using eCommerce frameworks like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and PrestaShop to build wonderful websites.

Custom Web development, while resulting in awesome and unique sites, takes a long time to build, incredible effort to make an effective UX/UI, and extensive testing. It’s also costly. eCommerce platforms like Magento, on the other hand, are comparatively inexpensive, with thoroughly tested code – and you can go from no website to launch in 2 weeks!

That’s why we are recommending a Framework in this post; while we might otherwise recommend Custom web development, we are in the heart of the retail season. It behooves you to move quickly!

Additionally, Magento and others contain massive libraries for different themes and Plugins. This lets developers rapidly build websites that are unique to our clients and their business. Plus we can always customize a framework with our own code.

2. The Shopping Cart

We all know this: that little button in the right-hand corner where all of our goods go, sometimes to be purchased, other times to languish forever in Retail Purgatory. Shopping Cart Abandonment is the bane of eCommerce. If you compile every major Abandonment report and average them together, you still end up with almost 69% of all goods placed in an online Cart are abandoned (see full report).

While this is arguably just a feature of how people shop, it is still a missed opportunity. The challenge of any eCommerce website is to figure out ways to avoid high Abandonment rates. This is something that can (and should be) designed into your website from the get-go.

Tactics include creating an algorithm for automatic re-engagement tools and offering a discount to shoppers the more they add to their Cart (Jet.com is the ultimate example of this). Another popular option is to offer discounts on items that have sat in a Cart for a given length of time.

3. Go Mobile

Our last tip to building an eCommerce website? Don’t. Consider instead building an eCommerce app, more commonly known as mCommerce. Online retail isn’t going anywhere, but it is clear that its future lies in Mobile First. Already, the near majority of web surfers do so from their phone or another mobile website. Apps are the most popular way among users to engage with any business.

And an app lets you create an entire system that can offer all sorts of unique features that you don’t get from a standard website. Don’t worry though, SDI’s top eCommerce developers are capable of making a mobile-first website or app that works perfectly on any device.

Already got an eCommerce website? Contact us to turn it into a mobile-first website!

There are more tricks to a successful eCommerce project, including engagement tactics and an effective marketing strategy; but in order to learn more, you’re going to need to give us a call at 408.805.0495/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

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