In the last few years, we all have witnessed a major shift from brick and mortar businesses to e-commerce stores. In other words, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of e-commerce businesses.
Each day, there are hundreds of e-commerce websites, being launched worldwide.
Most of the retailers are either already running an online store or are in the process of developing an e-commerce website.
No matter which category you are in, this blog post will provide you with rich information on why e-commerce is a must-thing to have and what are the essential features of an e-commerce website.
Let’s get started.
Why E-Commerce Will Continue To Grow
E-commerce websites provide convenience to the customers. Yes, e-commerce stores provide hassle-free & convenient shopping experience to the customers.
The customers find it easier than ever to buy their desired products & services at the comfort of their homes.
Now, they don’t need to put effort to go down to the different stores located in the different parts of the town and compare the products based on their quality & cost. The customers now can do this on their fingertips.
So, convenience is definitely one of the primary reasons that has made e-commerce businesses successful thus far and still continuing to contribute to their growth.
#2 Low Cost Development
Did you know?
The cost to develop an e-commerce website in India may start from $1000? While many businesses still think that an e-commerce website may cost them fortune. That’s not true at all.
Although, in their early days, e-commerce websites development used to be very expensive, like any other product or service at their infant stage. But, with the evolution of great CMS platforms like WordPress, now you can build your website with a little technical knowledge in few hours or few days.
Don’t get disappointed if you are not tech-savvy at all. You can still get an e-commerce website at an affordable cost.
All you need to do is, hire a website designer in India to build your e-commerce store at low cost.
To sum up, the low cost development of e-commerce websites is also one of the major reasons for the popularity & growth of e-commerce businesses over the last decade.
#3 Low Cost Marketing
Imagine if you have a brick & mortar store and you want to advertise your business on billboards, TV or radio. How much its gonna cost you?
Well, the answer is it may cost you a fortune. And the worst thing is that the return on this investment is not worth it.
However with an e-commerce business, that’s not the case. An e-commerce website can be marketed & advertised through targeted & effective yet affordable channels like SEO (search engine optimization), Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc.
So, you see, it’s not only the website development cost that’s affordable, but marketing an e-commerce business is within your budget too.
When you run an e-commerce business, your website is available for your customers round-the-clock. In other words, your customers can access your e-commerce store 24/7/365. This benefit alone has really caused a major disruption in the retail industry.
Not only this, but your website is also accessible to the worldwide audience.
Unlike brick & mortar business, you don’t necessarily need to deal with the local customers only, instead you can expand your reach & go global. This wide exposure will help you increase your sales & revenue.
The customers can also access your e-commerce website to get more information and answers to their frequently asked questions. They don’t need to call you or email you since they can get all the details on your website only.
#5 Wide Range Of Products
Unlike a physical warehouse or retail outlet, your website can accommodate thousands of products and even more. Look at amazon.com and you will see how vast is the range of their products.
Now imagine, if we were to place all of those hundreds and thousands of products inside a warehouse, how much space will we need.
Moreover, running an e-commerce website can save you a lot of money which you would have spent otherwise, on a warehouse maintenance.
If you do need a warehouse or retail outlet anyhow, you can choose to keep a selected collection there and for the entire range, you can encourage your customers to visit your e-commerce store.
Now this is something for which we like e-commerce business more as compared to a brick & mortar business.
When you run a brick & mortar business and advertise or market your retail outlet, you can’t measure the performance of your advertising campaigns precisely. As you don’t know whether the customers are coming down to your outlet after seeing your advertisement or they are just walk-in customers.
However, in case of an e-commerce business, you do have the ability to view the analytics and view the outcome of each & every marketing or advertising campaign.
You can also set goals and conversions in your web analytic tool so that you can know how many goals or conversions have been achieved for any specific month, week or day.
Action Exercise For You
Getting an e-commerce website can really add wings to your traditional retail business. If your major obstacle in developing a website is it’s development cost, here’s a good news for you.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on development of your e-commerce website.
It’s because of 2 major reasons:
1. You can build an online store using any of the free CMS like WordPress. The cost to develop an e-commerce website is lower as compared to other platforms.
2. You can hire web designers in India who can help you to create an e-commerce website for as low as $1000 only.
10 essential features that every
e-commerce website must have
If you are convinced from above facts that you must build your e-commerce website, here are few essential features that you must not miss at all.
#1 Easy Product Management
The CMS of your e-commerce website must be so intuitive that you should be able to manage the products easily.
Because for any successful e-commerce website, it’s important to add new products regularly so that you customers always see new materials each time they visit your website.
No matter how beautiful your website looks to the users, if you are unable to manage it efficiently from the backend, you will not be able to make most out of it.
#2 Discount Coupons
Discount coupons help e-commerce websites to get more sales & revenue from the existing customer base. Therefore, you must ensure that you are website has the ability to create discount coupons hassle-free.
As an administrator of your e-commerce store, you must be able to generate, view & download all the necessary reports such as:
- Sales report
- Order report
- Customers report
- Inventory report
#4 Order Execution
Again, you must be able to manage the orders on your e-commerce website hassle-free. Your website must have ability for you to:
- Receive notification upon each order
- Search for any order
- Change any order status
#5 Fast Loading Pages
Loading speed of a website matters a lot. Especially in case of e-commerce websites, loading speed is the key. A slow loading website can cause you to lose several sales & customers.
Don’t let this happen to you. You can check your website’s loading speed with any online tool such as https://tools.pingdom.com
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#6 Recommended Products
Showing a set of recommended products to the existing visitors of your website will help you to yield more revenue from same resources. Its one of the best methods to cross-sell your products.
#7 Easy Checkout
The checkout process of any e-commerce must be quick & easy. None of your potential buyers want to spend their time on filling out dozens of fields and going through various steps of checkout.
Complicated checkout is perhaps #1 reason for high order abandonment rate of any e-commerce website.
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A robust search feature has always been the backbone of any e-commerce website.
Therefore, you must ensure that your e-commerce store has a robust search feature that can help your customers to find their desired products easily and buy them.
#9 Product Filtration
Not all of the visitors on your e-commerce store know what exactly they want. Therefore, it is vital to have a product filtration feature for the visitors to filter & narrow down their search.
An efficient filtration feature will help you to grab more sales.
#10 Intuitive Navigation
Without an intuitive & user-friendly navigation, your website visitors may get lost. A robust navigation is just like a radar to the ship.
A website’s navigation helps its shoppers to find their desired products quickly & easily. It would be right to say that a good navigation can enhance the user-experience of your shoppers and help you make more money.
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