Ecommerce – for some people, it’s the preferred way to do business.
Countless people around the world have shared a common dream. They have a product or service in mind that they believe could help the world. Therefore, their goal is to create an establishment where they can conduct business every day.
Unfortunately, the cost of renting and maintaining a physical building isn’t anything to view lightly. Therefore, more people than ever have turned to the internet as a way to get started.
It’s easy to see why – nearly 80% of Americans now shop online. However, there are hurdles to overcome here as well.
Building a website from scratch isn’t easy, especially if someone has no coding knowledge and few resources to afford hiring one. But there is good news – anyone can use an ecommerce website builder to get started.
Today we’ll offer a guide that covers it all. You’ll learn how to pick a platform, design tips, and more.
Let’s get started – to begin, what exactly is an ecommerce website builder?
What’s an Ecommerce Website Builder? Why’s it Useful?
Most people are familiar with website builders. Even if they only know them in concept and not experience, they know they’re very handy.
Website builders allow people to create sites without having to do any coding. These builders are an optimal choice for ecommerce sites. They’re built to include the features that help merchants make sales. So, in addition to having a drag-and-drop site builder you can use for an ecommerce website design, you have handy sales tools at your disposal.
These can include a product catalog, payment processor, and many unique plugins. Ecommerce platform options are plentiful – but which is the right one for you? Let’s take a look at some of the popular choices and discuss the advantages of each.
3 Ecommerce Solutions: Which Platform is Right for You?
Are you looking to start an ecommerce website? Here are some of the leading names in the industry. You may find other options beyond this – but these are some of the top ones on the market right now.
Magento ecommerce is touted as a modern cloud ecommerce platform. It gives users plenty of tools to help them master the ecommerce process from beginning to end. There are tools to reduce costs and track important metrics. These metrics include inventory, sales, and more. Users can even automate processes through the dashboard, saving both time and money.
It’s also built for quick entry into the market. It’s designed to help startups and small businesses get into the ecommerce game quickly. You can even integrate shopping experiences from popular sites like Amazon and eBay.
BigCommerce is another example of a top-notch platform. If you’re looking to start out with ecommerce, you need an ecommerce website design that your customers will love. Since every industry is different, this platform’s claim to fame is its versatility. The creators know merchants must be adaptive to the needs of consumers and specific industries.
Users experience is everything – companies that focus on it have increased their revenue by 37%. This software as a solution (SaaS) platform is focused on scalability as well. You can grow your business and enjoy the rewards that come with it.
For more tips on how to focus on user experience, click here.
Shopify is the final ecommerce solution we’ll discuss in terms of specifics. This one is built with brands in mind. You can pick a custom domain name and theme with ease. This gives you complete control over the look of your ecommerce website. Ecommerce website design shouldn’t just be great for shoppers. It should also be built to exude your brand’s values.
Is your brand casual? Formal? Petite? Rugged? Technical? Fun? You can craft your Shopify store to build the image you want to maintain among consumers. Everything is set up in one place. You can add new sales channels with ease, and manage an inventory with no cap. There’s also one-step ecommerce fulfillment for your orders and tools to track your business’s metrics. Sales, growth, and more – you can monitor everything with this platform.
These are certainly not all of the ecommerce platforms out there. They are only a few examples of the great platforms you can choose from. Website builders geared toward ecommerce come in many forms. But the unifying traits among them are clear.
What exactly should you know when you are starting an ecommerce website? Beyond just picking a platform, there are certain aspects of these sites you should get familiar with.
Preparing to Launch Your Ecommerce Website
So you’ve picked a platform, and you have a site – maybe it isn’t complete yet, but you’re on track. What should you know about in order to make your site successful? Let’s walk through the various areas you need to focus on.
The first area is design. While this is a bit of a broad subject, we’re talking about design in terms of usability. It’s always good to have a design platform that helps you represent your brand. But you also need to make sure the design is conducive to a good user experience.
Consider the following when you’re designing your site:
- Organization: Most users will leave a website in less than 15 seconds. The reason? They have trouble finding what they’re looking for. Either that or they don’t find the design engaging. Therefore, it is important to make sure your site is well organized. Can users find what they need? More importantly, can they do it with few clicks, and in a short amount of time?
- Contact: Your main goal on an ecommerce platform is usually to get your viewers to make a purchase. But sometimes you may want them to contact you. If there’s an ecommerce fulfillment issue or a question, you need to be available. Hence, you should make sure contact information is displayed clearly – include email, phone, and even social media handles if you have them.
- Load Time: Not everyone has fast internet. Some of the people who shop online may have low-quality connections. Or maybe they’re shopping via mobile, but have a low signal. Consequently, the quicker your site loads, the better. Consider skipping out on the flashy graphics and complicated modules for your site if they leave your users waiting (impatiently) for everything to load.
As far as your design goes, aesthetically, your options are plentiful. Remember to create something that engages your viewers and represents your brand. But beyond that, the points mentioned above are the main things you should be focusing in on. Above all, make sure your site is conducive to the best user experience. Ecommerce solutions are just that – ways to solve your customer’s problems.
Plugins and Software: How to Enhance Your Site
When people choose a website builder, they may want something holistic. If your website has all the features you need, that’s good – but it’s rarely the case. Even if it has all you want when you’re starting out, over time your needs may change.
This is where plugins come in. Plugins allow you to expand your site without having to switch site builders. They’re designed to work with your current design, meaning you keep what you have, but you’re able to modify it. Therefore, finding the right plugins and software is extremely important for having the best overall website.
One example of a popular plugin is WooCommerce. Useful for those who have a WordPress site, this plugin allows you to use the same interface but with more possibilities. You’ll gain ecommerce features that work with your preferred content management system. It shows how, even with a non-ecommerce platform, you can start your online business.
You may also use similar plugins and software addons to link your ecommerce store to popular merchant portals. Amazon, eBay, and others like them are popular for a reason. As you choose to expand your site, you can do so much easier with the proper plugins.
Payment Processor: The Core Component of Your Site
While some people may argue that your site’s landing page or even its contact page is the core, this isn’t necessarily true. When you have an ecommerce website, you have one goal – sales. Everything else, including traffic, leads, and even fulfillment is all tied to making transactions.
Your payment processor needs a few main qualities:
- Security: This is the number one quality your payment processor should have. Above all, online shoppers want security. They need to know they’re transacting with secure sites. Encrypted connections, malware scanners, and secure platforms are hugely important for maintaining a thriving ecommerce website.
- Variety: It is always good to give your customers multiple ways to pay. Try to choose processors that accept multiple credit/debit cards, PayPal payments, and other common solutions people use. When you are trying to convince a customer to make a transaction, make it easy for them. If you can meet them where they are, they’ll be more likely to buy.
- Speed: Transactions may take some time to process. But how long should they take? Going back to the qualities a website should have, we covered speed. The same quality needs to be present in your payment processor. If it has errors on a regular basis, lags, or times out, it may do you more harm than good.
The best way to make your website successful is to give customers what they want. When they’re ready to make a purchase, they want to do it their way. This means using their preferred method, quickly, and feeling secure doing it.
Many ecommerce website platforms have payment processors built in. If yours doesn’t, make sure the plugin or add-on you find has these qualities.
Which Ecommerce Website Builder is Right for You?
Choosing an ecommerce platform is like choosing a social profile. Or an operating system. Or any other digital solution – everyone has their own preference. Therefore, subjectivity plays a big role in the decision-making process.
But this doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things every ecommerce website can benefit from. If you have the ability to customize your site to give it a more user-friendly design, that’s an advantage. The same can be said of sites that work with plugins, or sites that have secure payment processors.
Looking for these things can help you get off on the right track with ecommerce. Even with the coding aspect being removed, many people are nervous about doing business online. They find the entire process intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be.
An ecommerce website should function just like a store – center your efforts around the customer. Know what they’re looking for and how to give it to them. Even in the digital world, this is a proven formula for success.
What do you think is important in an ecommerce website builder?
Share with us in the comments below.