An eCommerce platform is a software application where online businesses can manage their website, marketing actions, sales, and operations. Besides that, they have specific eCommerce features such as payment options, shipping methods, etc. and can be integrated with other business tools, to ensure the functionality and operations. A custom eCommerce is built specifically to meet your business needs and goals. There will be no other website like yours. Moreover, you can personalize it as much as you want, based on where your company stands now and where it will go in the future.
Why Should You Consider Investing in a Custom eCommerce Platform ?
When building your website, think of building a house. The most important part of it is the foundation. You wouldn’t build a house on a foundation of moving sand, so why would you build your site on a poor platform? Maybe you think that free web hosting is a great idea for saving some money, finding cheap payment process plugins, choosing a good looking theme, and adding other free or cheap basic features that in the end will slow down your website. The outcome will be worse than imagined. Your website can be hacked because of lack of security, servers will go down regularly, and you can experience other repeated issues that might cost you more money, resources, and time fixing them. The saddest part of all of this, is that you cannot do much about it, because the eCommerce platform won’t allow any changes, or they are very expensive to implement.
Let’s look at some facts about online shopping behaviour. Now is a great time to start selling products online because the eCommerce sector is growing by 23% every year. 67% of millennials, prefer to shop online rather than going into physical stores and they spend around 6 hours per week doing so. This means people spend a lot of time navigating the web, searching for products and services to spend their money on. More than that, millennials are growing older and become more wealthy, which means more sales for eCommerce stores. The eCommerce environment is getting stronger as more than 80% of the online population is using the internet to purchase goods or services.
But just owning online stores will not guarantee your success. As a business owner, you should know that your business will need grooming when it comes to performance optimization to be on top of your competition. Also, you need to invest in digital marketing efforts to create brand awareness, increase website traffic, create brand loyalty, and increase your return of investment (ROI). Do not forget that mobile solutions are mandatory for your online business, as more than 60% of website visits come from mobile devices. Mobile usage has exceeded desktop since 2016, and having a mobile-friendly website is crucial right now. Therefore, considering everything, we advise you to acknowledge the importance of a custom solution, a powerful platform that can satisfy your current and potential customers needs, bring value to your brand, and ensure long term success with a maximized revenue.
What Is Important for Custom eCommerce Websites?
eCommerce platforms are different from other website types because of their specific features. The most important functionality of eCommerce websites is related to the purchasing process. You can find on the market plenty of off-the-shelf eCommerce platforms such as Prestashop, or Shopify. You can use open-source platforms built on WordPress, such as Woocommerce, but they won’t be able to cover all of your business requirements and you won’t be able to stand out from the crowd. The first thing we recommend is building a clear, intuitive, and easy navigation menu, filters, and checkout page. Your clients are looking for these vital features to help them navigate through various product categories and items on your website. In case your visitors have issues with using your site, they will look for simplicity on your competitor’s sites.
Next, we suggest you consider an omnichannel approach. This means using all your channels to create one, unified customer experience. This includes offline and digital channels, in-store, and your online e-commerce website. What is important is that your customers have the same experience with your physical products and digital products. This approach is the first step to provide a seamless and unified shopping experience from the first interaction to the last. Nowadays, people value the power to switch between different devices and get the same experience on each of them.
Another important factor that should not slip your mind is to have inclusive product descriptions. Based on the CSA survey 98% of users will not complete a purchase if the information on the website or mobile app is incomplete or incorrect. Customer service should be on point as 80% of consumers want brands to be available 24/7 and to receive quick updates regarding their purchases. We recommend adding a chat on your website to facilitate the communication process.
The most demanded features that buyers expect to find on a website are the tracking shipment details, information about refunds, and returns. Free shipping would be a very nice touch that will increase your sales, as 93% of users are more likely to complete a purchase if they receive free shipping. Do not forget about SEO optimization as organic traffic is the decisive factor for brand visibility. 51% of the total site traffic comes from organic searches. Being present, especially, on the first page of SERP (search engine results page) is the key to a successful business, as over 70% of people do not go further than the first page of results after their search.
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