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Mark Thomasson

5 Key Elements To a Successful eCommerce Business

eCommerce business checkout

The success or failure of any eCommerce business venture depends on detailed planning and preparation. The rule of thumb is that building an eCommerce business is the same as building a brick-and-mortar enterprise. You need to create a firm structure that will be able to stand all the challenges it’s exposed to. That structure should contain the following cohesive elements.

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Eclectic content for lead generation

When you watch a soccer training session, it looks like the most boring sport in the world. Players rarely hit the ball and they just run around or practice tactical moves most of the time. However, when the match starts, the skills exercised in training sessions suddenly take the right form and turn into a glittering spectacle observed by billions of people.

This is exactly what your eCommerce business needs –a mixture of eclectic content features that will attract visitors to your website. Once you grasp their attention, those visitors become potential leads for your future sales.

As for the website content itself, it has to contain top stories from your niche, original photos and, most importantly, it needs to display the products you want to sell. In addition, the major lines of products need to be presented through creatively written descriptions, to boost their sales.

retail-ecommerce-sales-worldwide-forecast

Retail ecommerce sales worldwide forecast, source: www.emarketer.com

From-scratch or ready-made solutions?

If you’ve learnt how to use tracking tools and you’re satisfied with the traffic on your website, it’s time to start selling products. Now we get to the key players of online sales – eCommerce solutions.

The first question you will ask yourself is whether you should go for a completely custom built or a ready-made solution. Although you can try the first option, in practice it’s usually too demanding. Apart from that, it’s also pretty expensive for a newly founded eCommerce business.

As opposed to that, eCommerce business owners can choose from a variety of distinguished commerce platforms. They’re used across virtual space and they’ve proven to be affordable eCommerce options for already existing websites. What’s more, if you go for Magento, Shopify, or other ready-made options, the process of adding the solution is simple. Here’s an example of how Shopify can be integrated in a few minutes’ time.

In addition to that, if your commercial needs surpass the sales capacity of your business website, you can launch a separate eCommerce website on the same platform at affordable rates.

credit-card-1730085_1920Secure and user-friendly cart

While there are many different features of eCommerce, the shopping cart is probably the most important one. And just like in offline stores, this e-cart should be spacious and easy to use. The next few points will help you create a practical cart.

  • Don’t force registration – Requiring people to register on your website in order to purchase is simply obsolete. Today, every single action on the Web happens in a second or two. Offer the option of a guest cart instead.
  • One email for many purposes – Ask the shoppers for no other personal information aside from their email address until they reach the checkout page. Also, enable them to save their cart for later. They can register after the purchase – if they want to – only with that address.
  • Encourage longer stays – Just like in a brick-and-mortar store – Customers may buy more items if they stay longer on your website. Great content is the key prerequisite for this goal.
  • Don’t keep confidential data – An email address will work for the majority of actions on a website. Credit cards and personal details should be required only during the checkout – and never retained by the website.

 

The key word for modern e-carts is definitely flexibility. In line with that, eCommerce entrepreneurs should work hard on offering their customers as much flexibility as possible, while asking as few actions of them as possible. All those features lead to only one conclusion – the customer remains the king. E-commerce entrepreneurs and their solutions should always communicate that rule.

Frictionless checkout

It’s a shame that your shoppers give up at the last stage of their purchase process – the checkout. Since this final step generates the majority of abandonments, it’s pretty clear that this stage requires special care. So, first of all, forget about registration and login details here. You’ve managed to create appealing content on the entire website. It has become a visible and recognizable online hub. Your visitors are ready to purchase something. Do you really want to bother them with registration? Of course not. Just add the basics to the checkout interface: the shopper’s name, the credit card (especially the CVV number) and the billing address.

Moreover, don’t play hide-and-seek with shipping costs. The link provided in this paragraph also shows that about 35% of online purchase terminations are caused by unclear shipping costs. Apart from leaving the website without making a purchase, your buyers will also be disappointed by the pettiness of hiding the shipping costs until the very end of the purchase. For all these reasons, explicitly state the shipping expenses for every item before the checkout point.

Dealing with billing

Credit card payments are still one of the most popular methods of online transactions. Nonetheless, more and more online shoppers are accepting alternative payment methods, as well. These options embrace innovative tech solutions. That way, you can transfer money or shop online with a few touches on your smartphone. This is why the use of online payment gateways, such as PayPal or Stripe, is rising pretty fast. The latter, for instance, can be paired with handy software for auto-invoicing.

This online collaboration of two software solutions can speed up the process of invoice creation and distribution. Due to the fact that an eCommerce business can acquire hundreds or even thousands of new buyers daily, automated billing will be of great importance in future eCommerce deals.

simple-corporate-invoice-template-metro-3A commercial online business can’t function without an eCommerce extension. The great news is that both fields provide easily installed, mutually responsive solutions. With special eCommerce platforms and their user-friendly options, you can easily incorporate those solutions into your old website. If the workload you’re dealing with keeps growing, this solution can be upgraded to a full eCommerce website and launch your eCommerce business to professional stardom.

Over To You!

Do you have any comments regarding the above, or perhaps something to add? We’d love to chat! Please share your thoughts, below.

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Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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