If you are setting up an online store, of course you want to design a site that entices potential customers to browse, buy, and come back. However, as Business Computing World points out, one poor decision regarding your online store could spell disaster.
Every aspect of the site, from domain name to design to payment platform has to be chosen with care in order to create a place that will attract new and returning customers.
Here are a few best practices before you launch successful online stores:
Choosing a domain name for your online store may seem straight forward, but you have to be sure not only to pick the right name, but also avoid choosing the wrong name. The name should correspond with your business if possible.
Memorable and distinct domain names are highly suggested. To increase exposure, your domain name should exhibit the savvy nature of your business. Infusing a creative aspect into the choice for your domain name will add value to your brand in the eyes of consumers.
Sales can be lost due to your design’s incompatibility with tablets or Smartphones. The intuitive design of such mobile optimized websites is also crucial. The context of where, when and why consumers are shopping with different devices, should be accounted for through mobile optimized design and functionality.
According to Business Computing World, there are two choices when considering your eCommerce platform: Do you want to create your own platform from scratch or do you want to use an already existing platform? Creating your own platform will save you money, but it requires a lot of technical know-how to get it up and running.
An eCommerce platform, on the other hand, can be expensive at the outset, but as the site is up and running and earning money, you may find it worth the investment. Nate Lipton who runs an eCommerce site called Growers House recommended finding a platform that will provide 24/7 support in order to keep your site up and running.
Finding the right eCommerce hosting provider is as important as using the right eCommerce platform. Your hosting provider should be able to scale the number of servers your site is using and guaranteed uptime despite power cuts or server failures.
You should also consider any times your site might have more traffic than others (Black Friday) so you can prepare for heavy traffic spikes with the right host.
Prior to negotiating a contract, be certain of all the pertinent metrics regarding inventory stock, packaging requirements, and distribution, as they relate to your operations.
Background research regarding competitor pricing, late fees, rate hikes or other aspects is recommended, prior to exploring options in person.
Paypal is an obvious and ubiquitous choice, but it isn’t the only choice. According to Alex English with ProtoParadigm, which sells printer supplies, Authorize.net has average rates and good service, and almost every platform you can imagine is supported. Merchant-e-solutions is also a decent provider that provides integration tools for a wide variety of platforms.
Another fantastic option is BitPay for accepting Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency. BitPay allows you to accept Bitcoin and receive a bank deposit in USD. The currency is a cash equivalent and there are no chargebacks.
By following a set of best practices, you have taken the right step to launch a successful online store. Be sure to do your research and understand what the best route to take is for your business before taking a big step forward.