Running a successful business of any kind, whether it’s a brick and mortar store or an e-commerce website, requires the right tools. Before you launch your online company, make sure you have all the required programs and systems in place. Opening your digital doors without them is a risk your company should not take.
There are many online stores with a wide range of almost anything you can name of. Which can make your customers or visitors glued to the screen for hours. Also, there are numerous web stores that cater for kids, parents and teenagers as well. In general, ecommerce websites engage web customers and they are ready to struggle for each and every one of them.
These days, you can’t really say that online shopping is a niche market, aimed at a small audience anymore. No need to go to the topic of advantages here. It has been already known that how the system works. What is more important is about – are the home page designs and layouts that could really help your online business flourish.
Surely, there are no universal features or design options which guarantee that your online shop will be elevated to the top throes of popularity. But there are several general essentials and even desirable things which should not be ignored when creating an online store. So, first of all — there should be a clear understanding of the main goals of ecommerce home pages.
Here are some essential tools that are needed for a successful ecommerce site:
A Stable Ecommerce Site
It sounds strange but there are many stores which are designed without a thought on making a sale. They look cool but they are absolutely useless when it concerns shopping. For these sites, it is enough that they are equivalent to the online presence of the brand or physical store, but all the site does was put a big ‘Buy’ button in plain view. Some businessmen, developers and designers don’t draw their attention to such details.
An ecommerce business succeeds or fails on your website’s reliability. A site that uses streamlined coding for fast load times. Runs strong security software to protect customer information. And that won’t crash during heavy traffic periods.
If you’re new to the ecommerce world, using templates generated by design platforms can give you a solid basis to launch your store. Once you get comfortable with their system, you can customize features to suit your needs going forward.
Launching an online store is not a quick process. Skipping steps or rushing can leave you without the necessary tools needed for success. Build your ecommerce business the right way, and you’ll reap the benefits for years.
The shopping cart, login box and search box features are usually placed together at every ecommerce site. It’s almost impossible to imagine a store without a shopping-cart function included. The most popular shopping cart icon is a simple basket so it makes sense to choose something similar for your site. Many stores also provide their customers with private accounts where it’s possible to check all their previous and current orders.
Analytics Tools For Ecommerce Sites
Knowing how visitors behave when they visit your online store can serve as an invaluable asset for improving your product pages and increasing conversion. Google Analytics gives you this information, including user flows through social media, total web traffic, time spent on site and conversion goal tools, free.
Installing the program is a single-string code that you can copy and paste into the header of your ecommerce site. Adding code for Google Webmaster Tools (also free) helps you find errors, including pages that don’t load properly, before they turn into larger issues.
It’s not enough to know that you are getting sales. You need to know where those sales are coming from. The types of websites that are sending you traffic and how your marketing efforts are doing. Some ecommerce scripts have statistics built in or available through a plugin. Stand alone packages such as Google Analytics also provide you with a way to thoroughly check your stats, and all you do is place a line of code on your site for tracking.
Analytics allows you to check all of your data online. You also have access to it whether you have access to your ecommerce servers or not. Show the advantages of your products. A list of product categories or a grid of them can be the perfect thing to help your online store. Special deals and new arrivals are also good to coax the common web surfers to buy.
You probably know that there is a huge chunk of online surfers who don’t know what they want exactly. They just want to hang around. Your goal as an online seller is to tap into that market and show them what they are missing out on.
Communication Tools For Ecommerce Sites
People watch what they spend on. So it’s only natural to expect that they want to know everything there is to know about the product they’re going to buy. The purchase process, payment methods, the delivery service, warranties etc. That will help them secure a decision and commit to a transaction.
So, make sure that you have linked to the appropriate pages from your home page. Such foresight will save much of your support team’s time, and reduce the number of customer’s pre-sale help requests. And there are several notable features which will probably help you to improve your web store usability and increase its profitability. Note that these features are desirable but not obligatory.
Establishing real world connections with your vendors and supply chain requires traditional forms of communication. Many business people won’t deal with you if they can’t reach you over the phone. They want to know you are a real person. Which makes a business line an essential tool for running a successful ecommerce business.
User Friendly Experience
Ecommerce software comes in many shapes and sizes, from WordPress plugins to massive scripts that require a data center to handle. There’s many complementary, web-based tools that help boost the performance of an ecommerce site. Use these to earn the sales increases you need to make this holiday season your best one yet.
Back in the day, ecommerce sites used to be built from scratch. Projects would take months, and cost 5-figures and more. Expensive and time-consuming for sure. In the modern era, it has made things incredibly easy. In fact, with some platforms you can have a store up and running in 15 minutes. However, it still behooves retailers to customize their store. After all, copycats never last long in business.
Unless your customers can buy your products easily, your ecommerce business will stumble out of the gate. A simple checkout experience powered by the right shopping cart platform can solve the problem before it starts.
There are some softwares which allow you to get your store up and running without needing to muck around with servers and complex coding systems. Adding products and changing prices is simple using their intuitive system. You can also process credit card payments the second you open it. In order to keep your prices as attractive as possible, do a little comparison shopping of your own to keep business expenses low. Since utilities are among your company.
Having the right accounting software for your ecommerce store is essential to keeping you in the black. It’s even better when you get accounting software for free, such as the free trials. Any accounting system has a learning curve to it, so it’s best to look into ones with free trials.
This way you have enough time to learn the application to determine whether it fits your needs. Ecommerce platforms such as Squarespace support direct imports into popular accounting software. This simplifies the bookkeeping process and cuts down on the chance of human error causing issues with accurate profit and loss numbers.
Customer Feedback Channels
Don’t ignore the people who buy your products. Providing them with an email address, blog comments section or social outlet where they can communicate with you is vital for your site’s success. Make sure you respond courteously and in a timely manner to build strong relationships with your customers.
When your customers believe they have a voice, they morph from people simply buying a product into cheerleaders for your brand. Cheerleaders do more than spend money; they leave positive reviews and encourage others to give your store a try. That type of advocacy is worth more to your business than any one transaction.
With online shopping, buyers interact with sellers via computer networks making transactions that are no longer geographically bound. When there is a problem however, customers would more likely prefer to have someone they can talk with. This is the core of the need for a store support team. 24/7 hotlines and live chats are highly appreciated forms of value-added customer service.
If online purchases can be done all day and all night long, there is a need to provide 24-hours customer services to solve the majority of pre-sale and after-sale questions. Moreover, people can go online from their working places or from home, so a purchase — and any accompanying enquiry — may come at any time of the day.
Social Media Management
Your online store is more than a website. It’s a brand. Customers expect your company’s brand to exist on social media, and not on just one or two platforms. Promoting your store’s identity across the web requires multiple social media accounts and delivery systems. Including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Posting to each individually can take up valuable time and hurt your company’s productivity.
There are many platforms which allow you to manage all your social accounts from a single dashboard. Their platform allows you to schedule posts to your social accounts ahead of time. And gauge user interaction to your content. You can also set permissions that allow you as the owner to approve all out-going posts. That way your brand message stays consistent.
It is said that online purchases are accomplished after surfing through social media sites. People are inclined to take in public opinion. Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are the best, if not fastest, source to get the info you need on just about everything.
Moreover, social media accounts bring excellent opportunities for self-promotion. Online communities can help to identify the most active and influential customers. Or find new ones who are not familiar with the web store yet. For online shops, it’s a good channel to keep customers abreast of the latest news. Or special deals which are oriented towards Facebook or Twitter followers only.