If you strategize to sell anything online, having an E commerce platform is as important as your original business plan.
The first step in writing an e-business architecture is to decide what kind of experience you want your online customers to have. Think not only about today but also two and five years down the line.
Your E commerce strategy starts with your website aims. Who are your target customers? What do they need? Are they getting information only, or can they purchase products at your site? These key questions, raised and answered early, will determine how much time and money you’ll need to develop and maintain an online E commerce store.
Second, determine what products or services you will offer. How will you position and display them? Will you offer both online and offline purchasing? How will you handle shipping and returns?
If you decide to sell online, you’ll need a shopping cart or a flexible tech component, which is a means of handling credit card processing, and an organized order fulfillment process.
Finally, even if you develop an amazing website, don’t assume people will discover you on their own. If you want to develop a consistent flow of traffic to your site, it’s essential that you strategize and maintain an ongoing and multifaceted promotional strategy that’s carefully targeted to your audience.
What makes a good website? Before getting implicated in design details get the big picture by writing a site outline. The content you develop and publish should directly relate to and help you achieve the targets and objectives you’ve set for the website.
The key to a successful site is content. Give site visitors the information that they want, incentives to visit and buy, and ways to contact you. Once your site is live and running, constantly update and add fresh content to keep people coming back.
Determine how many pages to have and how they’ll be linked to each other. Choose graphics and icons that enhance the content.
With the content and structure in place, site design comes next. Whether you’re using an outside designer or doing it yourself, concentrate on simplicity, readability and consistency. Remember to target on what you want to achieve.
Make it effortless and enjoyable for visitors to browse the site. For example, use no more than two or three links to major areas and never leave visitors at a dead end.
This is a concern that shouldn’t be lost in the bells and whistles of establishing a website. Your site should reach out to every visitor, telling that person why he or she should buy your product or your service. It should give potential customers the same feeling of confidence they would get with a phone call or face-to-face visit with you. Remind visitors that you don’t exist only in cyberspace. Your company’s full contact information — company name, complete address, telephone, fax and e-mail — should appear on all or most of your individual web pages and be displayed prominently on your site’s home page.
An outline helps you harvest the most out of your website design/ E commerce budget. It will also help you decide whether you, or someone in your company, can design portions of the website, or if you need to solicit outside help.