E-commerce refers to the activity of electronically selling or buying products on online services or over the Internet. If you want to start a business from scratch or grow your brick and mortar business, e-commerce can be a highly profitable venture.
However, before you can even begin working towards building your e-commerce platform, you must figure out a few crucial details. What type of products do you want to sell? Who will be your target demographic? What sets you apart from the competition?
The success of your website depends more on the questions above than the actual website itself. Because the point of your business at the end of the day is to sell, you can have the most functional and aesthetic website, but if your product fails, then it doesn't matter.
Ecommerce from Scratch
From an outside perspective, an e-commerce website seems simple. You pick what you want to buy, seamlessly checkout, then conveniently have your favorite t-shirt or pair of jeans. In reality, an e-commerce platform is deceptively complicated and challenging.
This brings us to our first question, is it even worth it to build an e-commerce website from scratch?
We already discussed that the most critical factor in your success is selling your product. The less time you spend pushing product through the door, the more it will hurt your business. An e-commerce website built from scratch will take significantly longer than the alternatives.
There are advantages, such as increased options for customization. Also, the fact that you can make your website look and feel precisely the way you want. However, the sheer volume of custom code is required, not to mention the countless problems associated with it leave much to be desired.
You wouldn't even be saving money. The cost of hiring developers and employees to build and maintain the website would require significant capital investment. The smart option, especially for new or small businesses, is to pay the alternatives' subscription fee.
Luckily for you, several e-commerce tools are available online, which are specifically designed to make the process easier. You do not need to have any technical experience or know how to code. These tools have been perfected over a long period with massive capital.
You wouldn't have to worry about security issues, bugs, and crashes. Not to mention the money that would be saved on maintenance costs. Each tool has its team of developers, analysts, security experts, and industry professionals working on it.
Let’s look at a few of them.
is considered by some to be the best e-commerce website builder due to its simplicity. It is the best choice for beginners. You can build a website trouble-free through their drag-and-drop site builder. This means you merely have to use your mouse to drag different website elements around – changing them to your specific needs.
Your website will be SEO friendly and fully customizable. Furthermore. Wix is not offering payments for Egypt or any Arabian Country!
Shopify is the leading e-commerce platform, with over 100 million online stores using its service. You have the option to choose from Shopify's 70+ free and premium themes. More importantly, all payments are handled directly through their platform. This means you won't need to connect any third-party processors to accept payments. Other services include 24/7 customer support and a 14-day trial to see if it is the right fit for you. Monthly subscriptions are higher than other e-commerce platforms.
Shopify Basic Plan $29 monthly (2.9% + 30 cent per transaction).
Advanced Shopify $299 monthly ( 2.4% + 30 cent per transaction). Check more about Shopify Pricing
When you search for e-commerce platform you should consider the next:
- Speed, nice and organized design and secured website helps to gain consumers' trust and respect.
- minimize Payment Gateway fees, most of the e-commerce platforms take fees from payment transactions
- Using Local payment gateway leads to paying less, the exchange rate is higher when you use overseas payment gateway, Also Transfer fees to transfer International Payments to your local bank.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Now that we have our website, the next step is to secure organic traffic. The success of your website depends on the traffic it receives. The best way to do so is to optimize your website so that search engines, such a google, can rank it higher on their search results. The higher your page, the more consumers will engage with it.
Here are a few ways in which you can optimize your website:
- You must have excellent website structure, in terms of both usability and SEO. This means taking steps such as linking all your relevant pages together.
- Fine-tune the website and ensure it renders smoothly on all mobile devices. Mobile search makes up a sizeable chunk of all web traffic, helping to cater to it.
- Your website should be optimized for speed. Studies have shown that over 90% of visitors will close a website if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load.
- You can research specific keywords to identify buyer intent keywords. These are extremely useful as they show someone is actively looking to make a purchase.
- It also helps to identify natural variations and long-tail keywords. These are more specific than common keywords. However, they have higher conversion rates and are being utilized more than even in mobile search.
- A 2017 Study showed that the most effective search engine optimization tactic in the world was on-page content. Content is the primary fuel that powers all websites. It will serve you well to hire professional copywriters to produce high-quality content for your website.
- Utilize sales funnel. A sales funnel describes each step that a consumer has to take to become your customer. To attract visitors into your "sales funnel," you can use a loss-leading offer such as a free trial, free guide, discount voucher, to name a few.
- Ask visitors for their email address. People might visit your website once then never open it again. However, if you have a working email, you can send automated emails, cross-sell, and even upsell.
The final thing to remember is that, like any business, an e-commerce website will take time to grow. It is your job; however, make sure that growth continues upwards through constant updates and improvements.
It is not unusual for websites to undergo massive re-designs after many years. The most crucial step is to take the first step. You're not going to get everything perfect on your first go around. Do not be afraid to experiment, fail, innovate, and keep moving forward. This is the journey to successful entrepreneurship.