3 Good Reasons to Have an Ecommerce Website

Ecommerce websites are more important for businesses than ever before. Not only can they help to grow the online presence of your business, but they can also help businesses reach a wider audience likely to be interested in the products or services they have to offer. There are plenty of great reasons why you should make sure your company has a top quality ecommerce website design – read on to find out more about three of the best.

Online research is on the up
One of the biggest reasons to get your company a top ecommerce website design is that more people than ever before are researching businesses through the internet. It used to be that if someone wanted to find out about a particular business, they went to the Yellow Pages or asked their friends. Now, they go online.

It is thought that around 80% of people go straight to the internet when they want to research products and services, and so a good online presence is vital. Why make it more difficult for them to access your business? An ecommerce website is definitely the way to go. Just make sure that it’s also optimised for SEO, as research suggests 99% of people don’t look past the first page of search results – and you don’t want to miss out.

The UK’s internet economy is growing
Another great reason to ensure your business as a great ecommerce website design is that the UK’s internet economy is growing. Recently, the Boston Consulting Group carried out some research that discovered that out of all the G20 countries, the UK’s economy is the most dependent on the internet. More than 8% of the country’s economy is thanks to the internet, and that figure is growing. This isn’t an area that you want to neglect.

The UK’s internet economy is also predicted to grow at twice the rate of that in the US. Over the next four years, it is predicted to grow at a rate of 11% each year. This means that businesses that do not embrace the World Wide Web and all that it has to offer – including ecommerce – will increasingly be at a disadvantage as services and business operations increasingly move online.

The UK is the e-retail capital of Europe
As well as the booming internet economy more generally, we also have clear evidence that suggests the UK is the e-retail capital of Europe. In 2011, the UK notched up e-retail sales of £68.2bn, according to e-retail specialists IMRG. That demonstrates a 16% growth rate in online sales – not an insignificant figure, especially when you consider other parts of the economy are continuing to struggle.

IMRG also found that the average value of an e-retail basket (excluding travel) in 2011 was £84. The average e-retail basket value overall was £137. Per shopper per year, the amount works out to be around £1850. This means that even though the high street might still have the bulk of our purchases, the internet is becoming ever more significant and is increasingly where we can expect to find growth for businesses.

What can you do?
So, with all this in mind, what can businesses that haven’t yet embraced ecommerce do to ensure they don’t get left behind? Getting a good ecommerce website design surely has to be one of the things at the top of the list. An easy to use website with a sensible, simple ecommerce component is definitely wise, as is a good SEO campaign to promote the website.

The offline world will always be important, and our high streets and physical businesses will always matter. However, the web is more important than ever and as a result of this, ecommerce website design is more important too. Don’t let your company get left out in the cold – if you haven’t done so already, start taking steps to ensure your business remains competitive in the new online retail era.

3 Tips For Building an Ecommerce Site

Most websites never make any significant sales.

In fact most so called “ecommerce” sites are costly brochures for overpriced web designers.

If you want your ecommerce site to make real sales and become a genuine lead generator and profit stream for your business you need to give up the idea of making your website look fancy and embrace the idea of using your website as a selling tool.

The first tip to building an ecommerce site that makes real sales is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of internet marketing and websites.

Online you can deliver a huge amount of valuable content to your prospects and clients at minimal cost.

You can pre-educate prospects with text, images, streaming audio and video.

You can send your prospects a series of emails one after the other leading them to this content and you can automate the whole process.

In the same way you can send clients who’ve just bought from you a whole range of information on how to get the most from your product or service.

You can tell them to most common problems and how to overcome them, the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

So delivering information over the internet is a fantastic strength of this media.

But if you try to make all your sales online you’ll be leaving a fortune on the table.

A well crafted online sales letter will never get the same response as talking to a prospect through mail, over the phone, through live chat or in person.

Once you understand this you can analyze the sales process your prospects go through before they buy your product and use the internet to deliver information but also follow up by mail, phone or in person at key times when your prospects are most likely to buy.

The great news here is that after being pre-educated with your online sales process closing the sale offline with your prospects should be very easy.

The second tip for building an ecommerce site that makes real sales is to design your site around what your prospects need at each stage of the sales process.

Forget about looking pretty.

While functional, professional looking web design is important the most effective ecommerce websites focus very heavily engaging qualified prospects with information that is useful to them in a media that appeals to them.

Some prospects love streaming video…some love print…some love audio.

In some cases you might want to give all three options at some point in your online pre-education process.

You need to get to know your prospects and clients so you have a better understanding of the kind of information and the kind of media they prefer.

Always keep in mind that while we justify our purchases based on rational reasons we actually make our purchasing decisions based on emotional reasons.

So presenting your information in a way that has more emotional impact…through engaging real life stories, through video and audio…is far more likely to bring your prospects to the point where they’re read to buy.

The third and final tip for building an ecommerce site that makes real sales is to have a definite call to action on every one of your website pages.

If a page on your website is there to entice new prospects into your sales process then give them a valuable incentive for sharing their name and email address to get more information from you.

Tell them to enter that name and email address and tell them about the valuable gift they’ll get in return and the valuable information you’ll be sending them by email in the future.

If you have a page that’s further on in your sales process designed to get your prospect to finally take action tell your prospect to call you on the phone for a free quote or for a free personal consultation.

If you don’t have a strong call to action on your web page then your prospects are most likely to do absolutely nothing.

You need to build trust in your prospects then get them to take the next step.

That’s how you build an ecommerce site that turns prospects into eager paying clients.

Top Ecommerce Solutions You Need to Get Your Online Store Off the Ground

Since the internet has become such a competitive marketplace, it’s become more important than ever to choose the right ecommerce solutions to get your online business going. Even if you are already aware of the importance of establishing your business online, you may not be sure how to get everything going. Online stores definitely offer you the ability to expand your business to the online arena, but you won’t be successful if you don’t have the right solutions for your online store. Here is a look at some of the top solutions that you’ll need if you want to get your online store off the ground.

First, it’s important to buy a good domain name. You have to have your own unique web address for your store, which is why choosing and registering your domain name is so important. When you make this purchase, you’ll be the one that owns that particular website address. This allows you to have a “home” for your online stores.

Another of the ecommerce solutions you’ll need to get your online store going is shopping cart software. This software helps you to set up your inventory, manage customer orders, offer customer service and deliver products to your customers. It can be difficult to choose the right shopping cart software, since so many options are available. However, always make sure you make a choice that will fit with your business instead of fitting your business around the software.

Of course, you also need to have professional web hosting if you want to get your online store off the ground. You’ll want to choose a web hosting company that will offer you the bandwidth, space and merchandising that you need. Also, ensure that this solution comes with 24/7 customer support so you will always have assistance if you have any questions or problems.

Ecommerce web design is also essential as a solution for your online store. The look of your site is important when you first start your store on the web. You can choose from professional web designers or web design software that is easy to use. Just make sure you keep your store web design simple and make sure that it focuses on the best user experience. Making your site easy to use is just as important as making it look professional.

Last, you’ll definitely need a merchant account. This solution is important if you want to keep customers because most customers like to use credit cards as a method of payment. If you cannot process credit card transactions, you may end up losing customers. Finding a good merchant account will allow you to offer more payment options, which will help improve business.

These are just a few of the ecommerce solutions that can be a huge help when you start your online store. As ecommerce solutions continue to grow in popularity, make sure you use these solutions as you work to get your store off the ground.