Just imagine a beautiful store with lovely products all laid out for you on display. When you want to buy them, you realize that they are all chained to the shelves and that you cannot pick them up let alone purchase them.
Now use the same image and think about your website. Many websites today, offer just that, they show you a beautiful catalogue of products, when you are just ready to click, you realize that the images are not clickable and there is no way to purchase online. The website is nothing more than a brochure website. What you do get is a message directing you to the store itself or sending you to find your nearest branch.
The amount of clients you are losing out on is astounding. Last year online Christmas shopping revenues surpassed the standard retail revenues. This means that most customers nowadays opt to buy online and if your shop is not in the online business that your competitor will probably gain that customer.
If you are in the business of selling products and you have a store but no e-commerce website, well it’s time to think of developing one.
So, what does a good e-commerce website need?
- First and foremost, secure a domain name and buy it. A good catchy name sometimes makes a big difference. It’s exactly like branding a retail business only online.
- Use a good shopping cart that allows multi user access and keeps complete financial cost data.
- Have a robust database that includes: logs of all customer and transaction data, all product data, allow both admin and customer interface , allow for customer personal accounts.
- Allow for various ways of payment. (Payment gateways such as PayPal, credit cards.
- Make sure your website is secure, use an encryption tool such as a secure socket layer.
- Get a merchant account. You will have to sign an agreement with your bank. This is done to allow you to clear credit cards on your website.