I have been interested in eCommerce since I first heard the term and understood what it meant. I read and researched to see how it worked. My wife and I set up our first eCommerce website in January 2007 and I’m excited about eCommerce. You should get excited about eCommerce, too.
eCommerce offers greater opportunities than a stand-alone brick and mortar store. If implemented properly your eCommerce site can make you rich. You do want to be rich, don’t you? Take a trip to the Virgin Islands, buy that new Dodge Challenger Hellcat, or buy a nicer home? Whatever your goals, eCommerce should be a component, whether you have a physical store or not.
Aren’t sure about eCommerce?
Look at how fast the big retailers moved online after analyzing the potential. As Amazon expanded and grew their presence online, major retailers jumped online. Some did it right and saw immediate results while others confused their customers.
But, you say “Some Failed”
Some of the early adopter big retailers failed. They tried to make their online presence a “me too” of their retail stores without success. Did they online shoppers seriously? They threw up websites that were not accurate reflections of the company. Some refused to include pricing online for fear of something. If you wanted to do business with them, you had to call and talk to a customer service rep to place your order. Wow, was that silly.
So what’s the difference? Physical stores have an ambiance. They target your senses: sight, hearing, touch, and even smell. But online eCommerce stores need ambiance, too. This is the hardest part of a successful online store. Ask the question, “How do your customers experience your website?” They need to feel trust, enthusiasm, curiosity, and more.
So what do you do? Learn from the ones that are successful and from the others, as well. Treat the online eCommerce store with the care it deserves and make it great, not just an extension.
What made some so successful?
So what did the successful companies do that made the difference? They planned, they challenged, they strategized, they implemented, and they treated their eCommerce websites as the different things they are. They didn’t put up .pdf files of their inventory and make you scour 100 pages to see what was available.
The successful companies used a lot of brilliant colors, and the sites did more than sell; they informed, compared and educated the consumer. They added good search features and easy navigation. These companies added ambiance, and the customers had an experience.
And these companies didn’t make you rummage through pages and jump through hoops to check out. Okay, some did, but they got better. They succeeded because they put out a better product, just like they did in their physical stores.
What can you do for success?
So, what is your next move to bring an eCommerce website online. First, think about it.
- What are your goals for the site?
- What type of search should it have?
- How will you handle sales tax?
- What about shipping? Will it be free of charge? Will you charge a flat rate or ship by weight?
- What about color scheme?
- What information do you need during checkout?
- Do you require an account or do you allow guest checkout?
- How will you handle payments?
- Do you need an SSL Certificate?
- Do you need a merchant account?
- Where do you host your eCommerce site?
These are a few of the questions to answer before discussing an actual website. The information is abundant and readily available.
What questions do you have? Let’s discuss them below in the comments and see if you get excited for eCommerce.