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4 crucial steps in building an e-commerce site – remember digital commerce is not the future, it’s the present

by on September 10, 2016 in Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, Latest News, Lead Article, Lead story, Mobile/Tablet, News you can use, Nuggets, Small Business, Startups

4 crucial steps in building an e-commerce site – remember digital commerce is not the future, it’s the present

Things to consider when building an e-commerce website

Digital commerce is not the future, it’s the present. Over the past years there has been a growing trend towards online sales, with e-commerce in the UK alone expected to reach a staggering €174 billion in 2016.

While not all merchants are ditching their brick and mortar stores, more and more sellers are beginning to move their transactions online. With rent costs on the rise in urban centres, this is a prudent move.

However, creating a successful e-commerce site requires careful consideration and design. We’ve listed some crucial steps in building an e-commerce site below.

Site aesthetics and efficient structure

Like any physical store, appearances are important when it comes to attracting customers. The same principles apply to stores online. Your e-store should be structured well, with clear categories to differentiate between products and to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for. The design of the site should be attractive, professional and engaging. And while you might want to start the design from scratch, some businesses take the opportunity to use ready-made WordPress themes such as these, to streamline the process without sacrificing on quality.

Brand identity

Visitors to your site should immediately be able to identify who you are and what services or products you have on offer. This ties in with the design. Your logo, slogan and anything else relating to your corporate identity should always be visible. The logic behind this is two-fold. It allows customers who are familiar with your brand to feel more comfortable on your site, whilst immediately becoming more recognisable and retainable to new visitors.

Ensure that your site is mobile-friendly

With 51% of online sales taking place via smartphones and other mobile devices in the UK, it is absolutely imperative that your e-commerce store is equipped to be mobile-friendly. Due to the always-on nature of smartphones, many consumers expect an optimised experience for mobile devices, and in April 2015, Google announced that it would cater to mobile users and use mobile-friendly sites as a ranking signal.

Thorough customer service

As with a physical store, customers expect the highest standards of customer service to further enhance their shopping experience. You’re at a slight disadvantage due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, but this can be countered by offering shoppers a way to contact you, and being prompt and sincere with your replies. At the very least you should have a list of contact details, an FAQ page, and information regarding refunds, returns and exchanges.

If you’d really like to impress customers, having a live chat service that allows you to interact with customers in real time is an ideal way of listening to your customers’ needs and responding accordingly. In this way you are establishing and maintaining relationships with your customers, and this, after all, is the cornerstone of running any reputable store.

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