Is it time for your business to switch to an eCommerce website?
Due to recent events, we’ve seen a boom in online retailers and eCommerce options for all sized businesses. In our current culture of curbside pickup, social distancing, and speedy delivery times, competitive businesses understand that connecting with their customers online is a critical component of survival.
But how do business owners create an eCommerce strategy for their brand? How can businesses adapt to the times and ensure they are accessible and relevant during the COVID-19 era of online shopping?
It’s through an eCommerce website, and today we’re going to be discussing the key details any business owners need to know before taking the plunge into the world of digital and online sales.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is an eCommerce Website?
An eCommerce website is a website that is specifically designed to sell products or services online. An eCommerce site is an optimized site that puts the customer experience first and is geared primarily to driving sales. The primary goal of eCommerce websites is to act as an online portal for customer purchases in an easy to use and financially secure way. There are numerous types of eCommerce websites, defined by who is doing the selling and who is doing the buying. Types of eCommerce websites include:
These types of sites are focused on selling products and services to other businesses. The branding and content for these types of websites should appeal to business owners, not the general public, and therefore should be more technical and industry-specific in nature. Example: a business buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff from another business who specializes in those products.
This is the most common type of eCommerce website and focuses on customers from the general public buying products or services from a business. Example: buying a new pair of pants from an online shop.
This is an online marketplace that allows individuals to transfer goods or services often through a third party company. Example: selling a used treadmill to another person through Facebook Marketplace.
Why do I Need an eCommerce Website?
A business of any size can benefit from an efficient and customer-focused online retail website. There are a number of reasons why an eCommerce website can amplify your business including simplifying your business structure, eliminating overhead costs of physical retail locations and connecting with your customers where they spend most of their time – online!
Due to COVID-19 and the subsequent retail fallout as a result of social distancing and quarantine measures, we are seeing an increased desire for online retailers worldwide. This changing economic climate has prompted an increased need for efficient customer experiences online and an increased need for efficient eCommerce purchase and shipping options for all size businesses.
Who Should Build my eCommerce Website?
When developing an eCommerce website there are a number of different routes that a business can take. There are Do-It-Yourself options available to create an online store site. CMS platforms, also known as Content Management Systems, are abundant and are commonly free to use or offer a free trial.
Examples include WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix but you won’t be able to make the best eCommerce site just by using these free website builders.
An eCommerce website builder has their place in extremely small ventures but if you’re an SME or growing business, you’re going to need something more robust.
These simplified drag and drop programs often miss the mark on effective and integrative customer experience. A professional web development agency specializing in eCommerce site development is often well worth the additional cost and can often help to mitigate issues down the road that can result in additional web development costs and potential lost revenue.
Customized websites designed specifically for online sales site should be optimized through integrative and experienced development strategies such as tapping into market trends and employing advanced development technologies to make your site stand out.
We know that your eCommerce website isn’t just a site, it’s a business and a storefront. It only makes sense to optimize it for maximum sales and profit.
Using this data helps to provide an evidence-based approach to an eCommerce strategy rather than just applying an all-size-fits-all recommendation. There is also incredible value in an agency’s creativity and access to multiple designers, copywriters, and other eCommerce specialists like we have at Advesa.
Some more specialized services that we at Advesa, an eCommerce development agency, can provide includes:
- Advanced coding and other back-end web development
- Custom, front-end web design
- UI/UX Design
- Online store-specific apps and customer experience services
- Mobile app design and integration
- Overall digital and social media strategy to integrate your eCommerce site into your other digital marketing initiatives
- Dynamic inventory management systems
- Advanced copywriting services to tell your brand story throughout your store online
- Innovative solutions to maximize sales funnels and avoid common problems like abandoned cart
Elements of The Best eCommerce Websites
In order to make an impact in an increasingly competitive online marketplace, any online commerce website needs a key set of differentiating factors to help elevate your business online. These factors contribute to the overall success and experience your customers feel when visiting your online shop site.
Building a strong customer community
A successful and impactful online sales website should create the same feeling of community that an in-person retail location should have. By focusing on customer experience through thoughtful content and strong branding, businesses are more likely to attract and retain online customers.
A great way that an eCommerce agency such as ours can integrate this sense of community is by creating a review section on your website. By encouraging customers to engage through reviews on your products you can focus on creating a strong online community. Plus the added benefits of having your customers act as spokespersons for your brand!
Tailored customer experience
Working with an experienced designer or development agency such as Advesa allows businesses to amplify their brand by offering tailored experiences through their online store. These experiences often relate to other digital marketing efforts such as social media strategy, online ads, or email marketing.
By integrating your overall digital strategy in alignment with your customer and online data, specialists can maximize your customer’s experience as they interact with your store, products, and brand online.
Routinely updated and reviewed content
Another element of a great eCommerce website is a business that routinely undergoes updates and efficiency modifications. These eCommerce updates should include not only the user experience but also the content, branding and layout. Fresh content, branding and user experience reassures customers that they are purchasing from a reputable and engaged seller and online store.
Content is king, but it can be difficult to continuously create content that doesn’t lead anywhere. Find out how to make content that lasts by checking out “Evergreen Content: Full Guide with Tips, Keywords and Examples.”
Integrating with other apps or customer experiences
Working with Advesa also ensures that your eCommerce site has the most up-to-date technology, integrated apps and customer experiences. These new and advanced features are not often available on DIY website builders as they require specialized knowledge or training.
Accessing the creative expertise of Advesa expands your circle, connecting business owners to a range of specialists who have the experience and know-how to not only develop a great site but to mitigate any problems that may arise.
With an eCommerce website, you won’t have to dedicate too much time in moving your customers down your sales funnel. From start to finish, the entire process is automated to maximize both your time and productivity. With our dynamic sales process and inventory management system, you’ll only need to dedicate a few hours a day to see your sales increase exponentially and to make money in your sleep. We’ll help you handle the rest
Key Takeaways on Having an eCommerce Website
While there may be a multitude of reasons why a business may choose to develop or upgrade an eCommerce site, the opportunities to create fluid and engaging customer buying experiences online are endless.
While drag and drop DIY eCommerce website builder platforms are available, they cannot replicate the advanced integrations and services provided by a website development agency that specializes in eCommerce websites such as ours.
In addition to developing an eCommerce website, Advesa can also collaborate with you to further strengthen your branding or create a new identity entirely if you already don’t have one.
Branding doesn’t only help customers recognize you and your business, it builds consumer trust, increases your brand recognition and ultimately puts your business on the map.
From the brand logo and colors to tone of voice and typography, branding only kicks into gear when all these moving parts come together holistically as a whole – acting as one to convey consistent brand messaging that aligns everything that your company is and does as one unit.
A branding strategy needs to be intentional, strategic and heavily researched in order to be effective. While this type of work can be done in-house, we strongly recommend consulting digital marketing specialists such as ourselves for an entire suite of branding services including but not limited to interactive design, content, copy and graphic design and branding and identity.
Get started on your free 30 minute consultation today at https://advesa.com/