Thursday, January 2, 2014

Is Your Business Ready for E-Commerce?


The holidays are over and, as expected, more people than ever skipped the long lines and crazies by doing their shopping online. And why wouldn't they? It's just plain easier. Yep, that's right-- People would rather sit at home and shop online in their pajamas than have to travel to your store. It may be heartbreaking, but it's reality, and if you plan on continuing to make a profit with your business, you had better start thinking about incorporating e-commerce into your website. Are you thinking about it yet? Good. Now, before you go any further, stop and ask yourself these 5 questions:

1) Do you have the time and resources to keep up your e-commerce site?
Don't be fooled-- Just because your transactions are happening online doesn't mean that products magically appear on people's doorsteps. Be sure to have a business plan that addresses issues such as packaging, shipping, return policies, and payment methods.

2) Have you checked out the competition?
One of the most basic things you can do to plan for your e-commerce site is to research what your competition's sites look like. When deciding between competitors, customers tend to go to the site that is most informative, organized, easy to use, and visually pleasing. Make sure it's yours!

3) Do you know who your target audience is? 
Think about who you are selling to, then be sure to cater your graphics and content to the demographic that you are trying to attract. For example, Modcloth.com, a retail site targeting young women in their teens and twenties, appeals to their target demographic by using clever product names and girly descriptions. This helps the shopping experience feel more personal and exciting for the customer.

4) Have you put yourself in your customer's shoes?
Ask yourself, "What are my favorite e-commerce sites and why do I like them so much?" Make a list of these features and be sure to incorporate them into your site. Additionally, don't forget to make your site mobile-friendly so that customers can shop anywhere, anytime.

5) How do you go about creating an e-commerce site?
If you've addressed the first four questions, the next thing you need to do is decide if you will attempt to create this site yourself or allow a professional web-solution company to do it for you. . If you'd like to save your time and sanity, click here.

We hope these questions help your business to begin the process of a successful e-commerce website. Please feel free to send comments and questions!

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