22022
192

E-commerce Website 2022

Do not open a shop unless you know how to smile.

If you have decided to start trading online and launch an online store, this is definitely the right decision. The “RA-SOLO” web studio team has prepared this article to help you create a selling website, avoiding mistakes and excessive spending. Read this article to the end, and you will be able to able to get an answers to many questions related to creating an online store before funding certain items of the technical task .

Why e-commerce is especially relevant in 2022

Until recently, online shopping was just one of the convenient ways to buy products, but the coronavirus events have turned it into almost the only possible way. Moreover, online shopping is expected to continue to be popular after the strict lockdown requirements are lifted around the world.

E-commerce is profitable, convenient and safe not only from the point of view of buyers. Many companies that previously paid attention to the development of a network of physical points of sale are now forced to move into the online space. Apparently, many of these companies will never return to their previous business models.

Of course, competition among e-commerce sites is constantly intensifying. And so that your business does not lose profitability, you should work as productively as possible and invest in creating an online store. If you do this in a timely manner, then you have a chance to launch a well-thought-out and successful e-commerce startup that will meet the current market realities, as well as the current preferences and demands of buyers.

Six Types of Online Business

Possible options for business schemes in the online market for products and services

If you have decided to start your online business from scratch, the first thing you should decide is the business scheme that your startup will operate under. Here are short and clear descriptions for all six schemes:

B2B (business to business)

You sell goods to another business structure or provide services to it.

B2C (business to customer)

A classic retail scheme where you sell goods and/or services to the end consumer.

C2C (customer to customer)

You yourself are a consumer and sell goods/services to another buyer/consumer.

C2B (customer ti business)

Your repeat customers or one-time customers perform services for you, such as promoting your products through reviews or through legitimate lobbying, such as including information about your products in their video blogs.

B2A (business to administration)

You sell your goods to government agencies, for example, through electronic tendering platforms.

C2A (customer to administration)

There is an interaction between individuals and organizations, for example, when a patient makes an appointment at a public clinic using an online service.

Find the right niche and audience - 4 business techniques

Be sure to use all of these techniques as it will help you significantly reduce the cost of creating an online store and increase the profitability of your business.

PEST – Politics, economics, sociality, technology
Politics, economics, sociality, technology - PEST
Start researching the market you are interested in using PEST analysis. This method allows you to fully assess the situation in the chosen niche, taking into account political, economic, social and technological factors. The method will also be effective if you plan to carry out foreign economic activity.

SWOT – Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats
Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats - SWOT
This is a fundamental method that allows you to adequately assess your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and dangers of developing a business in the market where you are going to invest. The advantage of SWOT analysis is that you can use it both at the idea testing stage and to evaluate the effectiveness of your business strategy. The search for new directions of development without the use of SWOT analysis will not be effective enough.

The five factors are competition, new entrants, suppliers, customers, and counterfeit products.
Competition, new entrants, counterfeit products, etc. - Five Factors
This is one of the best methods of market research, first of all, the analysis of your future competitors. The method provides answers to the most important questions about competing structures and projects, creates the basis for developing the best offers for your potential clients.

Focus groups – Study of the structure of the client base.
Study of the structure of the client base
Focus group research makes sense when you already have either a customer base or a minimum viable product for which you want to find a suitable pool of buyers. Hint: if you install interactive polls on your site, visitors will share their interesting ideas with you for free. In addition, it is necessary to find the target audience for the future mobile application, but this issue is beyond the scope of this publication.

Is it better to create a new website or update an existing one?

The first thing to start with is to decide what is better – to make a new site from scratch or to update the design and engine of an existing one? Of course, the solution to this dilemma will dramatically affect the cost of a new online store.

Answer to the question!

Updating a site makes sense when you already have a good site and just need to improve it a bit.

Of course, there is no definite answer here. It is necessary to evaluate the technology with which the existing site was created, how outdated it is. In addition, it is important to think through and comprehend the new business strategy and new ideas that you are going to implement. A simple redesign is appropriate when you already have a full-fledged site with an active audience, and you just want to implement new trends in web page design or make the site more convenient for visitors.

Creating a site from scratch gives more opportunities for creativity and taking into account customer‘s individual wishes. In addition, it is easier to install modern components on a new site, such as, for example, a recommendation engine. The new site is much easier to integrate with advanced payment systems. And, of course, the new site will be much more resistant to hacking attempts.

Of course, the cost of developing an online store from scratch will be higher than updating an existing site. But, of course, a well-designed platform, combined with a clear business strategy, will allow the investor to recoup the investment and make a profit.

Common mistakes while setting up an e-commerce website

Regardless of the type of task you want to solve by creating an online store, try to avoid the mistakes listed below. This will greatly reduce your development costs and will certainly significantly increase your chances of winning the competition in the e-commerce market.

Too fashionable of a design

Blindly following trends is not always the best solution. Especially when it comes to creating an online store. First and foremost, your website needs to sell products, so it‘s important to strike a balance between usability, beautiful design, and functionality.

Poor quality product images, lack of videos, prices and descriptions

This error does not even need further explanation. All information about the product should always be in front of the eyes of a potential buyer, and images should be of high quality and have sufficient resolution.

Inefficient search quality and inconvenient navigation

According to modern usability standards for online stores, a site visitor should receive the required information in no more than three clicks.

Lack of filtering functionality or low-quality structure of product selection parameters

If your online store sells many items of goods, then it should be possible to filter the goods by price, popularity, as well as by a variety of distinguishing features. In addition, tracking visitor filtering activities provides valuable information for manufacturers. Oftentimes, the addition of one custom filter can make searches much easier and, consequently, dramatically increase sales.

Slow page loading

The maximum acceptable page load time for a website is 3 seconds. And the point here is not only that the site, the pages of which open for a long time, will immediately be pessimized by search engines, and, as a result, the site traffic drop sharply. Studies show that most users do not wait for a page to open, but simply move to other Internet resources.

Too complicated registration process

The user registration form should contain no more than three lines. It is also desirable that the possibility of quick registration by phone number or social network account be implemented.

Poor adaptation for mobile devices

In 2019, two billion users made purchases using mobile devices. And, if your online store is not adapted accordingly, you will lose a large number of customers, which means a lot of money.

No reviews, no social media support, no chatbot

According to numerous studies, 84 % of users trust product reviews on the pages of an online store. At the same time, a large number of reviews are fake. Do not abuse the number of reviews if you do not want to risk the reputation of your business.

The development of chatbots has been popular for a long time, and the progress in social networks has led to the emergence of a new term: social commerce.

No personalized or search product recommendations

Personalization and e-commerce are inseparable from each other today. The product recommendation system is just one of the elements of personalizing the interaction with customers. Are there any doubts about the need for such an approach? According to the Rejoiner, Amazon receives 35 % of its profits through a product recommendation system.

There are no versions of the site in other languages

Not all visitors to your site speak the local state language. It makes sense to provide a separate version of the site for each local language group, as well as an English version.

There is no information about the refund and the delivery conditions

Publish information about refund and delivery conditions on your website. The availability of such information could help them make a decision on the purchase of a particular product.

Standard engines or custom development?

The most popular engines for creating an online store are Shopify, Magento and Woocommerce. Any of these platforms allows you to create an online store for free or almost free. However, such an online store will be difficult to modify in order to implement the individual features of your business. The standard engine option is quite suitable for small businesses.

Custom development is a much more expensive and time-consuming way to create an online store. However, the return on investment in such a project can be much higher. However, it should be remembered that a professionally developed custom online store, will not be economically effective without a competent marketing strategy. Without such a strategy, the results of your startup will be unpredictable.

Be that as it may, an investor should always look for ways to cut costs. It is necessary to minimize the time between the start of drawing up a requirement specification and the release of the finished project to the market, without sacrificing quality. Here are some important steps you can take to get an effective online store while avoiding mistakes and unnecessary investments.

Stages of developing an online store

The scheme of stages of creation of online store
Find a reliable expert and get advice

It is necessary to get a professional opinion and decide whether it makes sense to apply a conventional design or have to create a high-quality project from scratch.

Make a general site structure specification

Your first draft of the terms of reference will reflect the main sections of your future site and the navigation scheme. When creating a technical requirements list, you need to keep in mind the content of the site and the promotion strategy. Content topics in different sections should be consistent with each other. Make sure the content matches the overall concept of the site. The right decisions at the initial stage significantly prevent unnecessary expenses in the future.

Invent a color scheme and create a design

At the stage of creating a color scheme and layout of the future site, it is advisable to order a designer to develop a corporate identity, taking into account modern web design trends and the subtleties of the psychological perception of a particular color scheme. For example, the blue and white colours are associated with security and stability, the green colour is associated with the environment, and the red colour does attract attention and inspires the need for quick decision making.

Make a list of features that define MVP

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a site that works but with a minimal set of features. This is what should be on the site of an online store at the MVP stage: a login form for registered users, at least some sections of product categories, at least one payment gateway for paying for an order.

Create and run an MVP

At this stage, it is necessary to check the performance of the MVP, as well as get feedback on the site.

Analyze customer reviews

Analyzing customer feedback is extremely important because it often contains useful ideas that could lead you to change the entire project strategy. It is obvious that the timely change of the concept is extremely beneficial. On the one hand, unnecessary expenses can be avoided. On the other hand, there is a chance to significantly improve the quality of the project.

Create a full-fledged online store

Now that you have numerous customer reviews, you can create a full-fledged online store. It is best to use the LEAN method – lean startup method . This means that you should analyze customer feedback each time you add a new feature set. This should be done until your customers are satisfied with the project and start buying goods in your new store.

Think over the first marketing moves

There is no point in investing in an online store without a proper marketing and SEO strategy. Be sure to use social media, paid advertising, promoters as well as video marketing.

Get support for your project

You will definitely need the services of highly qualified programmers to ensure the performance of the online store. Therefore, provide appropriate items of expenditure in your budget.

Online store page design

According to research, your online store design determines up to 94 % of the visitor‘s first visit experience, and it will be difficult to change this impression later on. This is why the appearance of the pages must be balanced. Ideally, the pages of the site should be visually pleasing, but at the same time not mask the important information necessary for effective sales.

Conversion Rate Optimization

The conversion rate is the ratio of the number of sales to the total number of site visitors, as a percentage. Optimization of this coefficient is a continuous process. This means that you should constantly monitor user activity on your site. The purpose of this tracking is to build a user-friendly layout and site navigation system that makes it easier for users to make purchases.

In other words, your site should not have logical and visual obstacles for the user. Tracking visitor activity allows you to find and eliminate such obstacles.

Ecommerce conversion funnel

Conversion Funnel Diagram

The ecommerce conversion funnel has four levels:

  • awareness;
  • desire;
  • желание;
  • action.

It is necessary to ensure that each section of your site corresponds to the element of the conversion funnel. Literally every element of design and navigation is important here, their purpose is to help site visitors move through the elements of the funnel to making a purchase decision.

Modern design trends

Your site must be adapted to all screen formats of visitors, incl. for mobile devices. Modern trends are characterized by the use of animated backgrounds, asymmetrical layouts. Minimalism is still in vogue, the use of white space combined with original typography.

Recommended functionality of the online store

Modern content management systems allow you to implement many useful functions. Moreover, this can be done without significant efforts of the programmer. Here is what we recommend to include in your marketplace software algorithm:

User registration and login

The site visitor creates his personal account (i.e. an account in the database) and receives a personal account page. Be sure to implement the possibility of recovering a forgotten password. Login and registration forms must be protected by a captcha algorithm.

Shopping cart

An online store cannot work without a shopping cart. Try to make the cart convenient, informative and ergonomic. It is necessary to exclude the disappearance of goods from the cart due to technical problems on the server.

Wish list and comparison list

These features will help you maintain a high volume of sales, and they are also very user-friendly. Every user gets more opportunities to choose products, compare them with each other and plan his future purchases.

Personal account with purchase history and customer data

These features will help you maintain a high volume of sales, and they are also very user-friendly. Every user gets more opportunities to choose products, compare them with each other and plan his future purchases. As soon as an account is created, the site will store the order history, personal data and other individual information. It becomes possible to dynamically change the prices of products for certain users, for example, for different categories of buyers. To do this, you need to program on the site discount system.

Payment systems integration

Create an opportunity for your customers to choose a payment method from the list of the most popular payment systems, for example, “Privatbank” or “PayPal”. Sometimes it turns out to be useful to create the possibility of paying with cash and cryptocurrencies. It is important that all financial transactions that visitors make on your site are securely secured using SSL technology or similar security measures.

FAQ, contact info, loyalty programs, and social share buttons

These are all must-have features for your online store as they help shoppers find information easily without taking up call center staff time. The site should include links to your social media accounts, with their help, users can interact more closely with the store staff.

Blog

The feature articles section will help you kill two birds with one stone. With a blog, you can attract new visitors to your site from search engine pages, and provide customers with valuable information about your products, industry trends and promotions of the company.

The functionality of site management and collection of analytical information

With these features, you can manage non-standard features of your website. Tracking analytics is very important for making the right decisions regarding certain marketing strategies.

How much does it cost to create an online store?

There is no single answer to the question posed. The final amount of the contract is influenced by many factors, in particular, the complexity of the project, the technologies used and the time spent by the web studio staff. When preparing a budget, it must be remembered that after the launch of the MZHP, the cost of work can increase significantly.

Obviously, even the geographical location of the developers you hire to make the site affects the final amount of the contract. It is possible to make the final cost of the work only after a thorough discussion of all the details and the specification of the stages of the technical task in a separate document.

According to our experience, the minimum cost of creating an online store cannot be less than two hundred US dollars. The maximum cost of an online store, as is often the case, is limited only by the customer‘s budget. Projects based on advanced state-of-the-art web site technologies can cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Does it make sense to start an online business?

The answer is unequivocal and beyond doubt: there is a meaning. You don‘t have to be a marketing expert to see how every year more and more companies, in a variety of industries, are actively developing their Internet infrastructure. More and more potential customers stop visiting mega malls and start looking for their purchases on the Internet. To date, there are simply no serious enterprises left that have not acquired a fully functional online store.

Of course, there are always certain risks when you start a new business. However, you will have a good chance of success if you:

  • have conducted a thorough market analysis;
  • have made sure that your products are really in demand;
  • were able to set attractive prices for their products;
  • have created a modern website, the most convenient for buyers;
  • have found reliable developers of their online store, with whom they managed to conclude a profitable contract for the development of an online store for an acceptable cost.

The employees of our web studio have all the necessary skills and rich experience in creating complex and effective Internet projects. Contact us and we will develop a modern online store with which you can reach your target audience and significantly increase the efficiency of your business.

Eight good reasons…
There should be no…