By Mitchell Harper, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not an easy task to narrow down an e-commerce solution from the thousands of options available to you today. The Internet brings the world closer to you and with that you have more options and competition within the online realm. People today are becoming more and more computer savvy, so you will want to stay informed of latest technologies and tools available to you for the benefit of your shoppers online.
The right e-commerce solution should be one that caters to all of your requirements. With so many options available to you here are three tips to help your online business find the right e-commerce solution with the right design and usability to meet your needs.
Keep it simple
The best e-commerce solution is the simple one. Make sure to choose a solution that is easily navigated by the visitor or potential customer and also for the operator. You want to choose an e-commerce solution that provides the right tools for your needs. The features should include easily navigated pages that allow for your customers to have a successful shopping experience.
There should be shopping cart access on every product page. This way it is a simple click to add any of your products or services to the shopping cart. The ultimate goal is to make it easy for your customers to buy from you. A simple all in one package that includes everything you need to start selling online is your best bet.
You need to make sure your prospective customer feels safe with their online transactions. Make them feel secure purchasing your product or service online. When a potential customer is shopping online, it is much different than an in-store experience. When shopping online, you don’t get to see the employees working, the logo familiarity, other shoppers, the products and the overall work ethic of your company. Online businesses have to work extra hard to make potential customers feel safe with their money and comfortable with your services and products.
You don’t want to loose potential customers because of their concerns over your credit card security. A familiar security icon that customers will recognize when they are entering their financial information will help to put them at ease. For instance, VeriSign is a very common logo that people look for when going through the checkout process. When you choose an e-commerce solution you want to make sure they take security various seriously, so that you can build trust with your online shoppers.
Only make security and billing questions mandatory. Never require product reviews, surveys or future contact post sale. You can encourage your customers to leave comments by letting them know how much you value their opinions but should never make this voluntary information a requirement.
In today’s market we need a variety of payment options, so make sure your e-commerce solution can accommodate credit cards, debit cards and PayPal. Clearly show your payment options with icons for all credit cards and for PayPal as well. It is a good idea to have these same logos on every product page as well. The ability to capture e-mail addresses to contact your customers again is a good option to have as well for future promotional campaigns.
Make sure they always know where they stand during the checkout process. Mark errors in thick red font at the top of the page. Providing customers with the option to make adjustments to their shopping cart before the payment is charged is very important as well. Make sure your policies are clearly stated from shipping to your payment policy and then you can better gain their trust. This is a sure way to keep your customers happy and coming back to your site for products and services.
Keep in mind that although e-commerce sales pay the bills, your marketing efforts are ultimately what will drive traffic to your e-commerce website. An SEO (search engine optimized) shopping cart has features built-in that will automatically optimize your product pages and photos to help you rank better in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. You'll be able to enter keywords and descriptions for products and the HTML code of your web pages will be designed in a way that these keywords and descriptions can be "read" by the search engines to figure out what your website is about. SEO shopping carts bring customers directly to your products. The main goal is to increase traffic to your site and ultimately increase your revenue and with and SEO shopping cart you will be in a better position to do this.
Although many businesses have limited budgets it is a good idea for you too choose a great e-commerce solution for your online business. Otherwise, it will be a costly mistake toward your online marketing efforts later on down the road.
Mitchell Harper is co-founder and CTO of Interspire, the company behind online shopping cart BigCommerce,one of the fastest growing hosted e-commerce platform in the world with over 10,000 clients since launching just over a year ago. Mitchell can be reached at email@example.com.