FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN LAUNCHING AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE

Various studies have proven the fact that most modern users prefer using mobile commerce applications instead of E-commerce websites. This is why you must ensure that your E-commerce website delivers greater user experience to defeat the mobile commerce apps and all other competitors. There are several factors to be considered if your ultimate aim is to entice visitors, keep them occupied and encourage them to order for; or purchase; your products or services.

You should not only work on the outlook of your website (appearance, features, functionality etc.), you need to upgrade the user experience also. To upgrade the user experience, you should work towards enhancing the website's accessibility, security, usability, credibility, as well as the visibility of the website on search engines. Below are ten factors to be considered while launching an E-commerce website.

SEARCH ENGINES

SITE'S VISIBILITY

CREDIBILITY

USE A SEARCH BOX

THE CONSUMERS/USERS/POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

Pay attention to the consumers and their choices while planning and developing an E-commerce website (always have them at the back of your mind). You should know that a web store is very much unlike a physical store where customers can come around and have physical contact (feel, touch, smell) with the products they want to buy before actually making the purchase, they can even decide to test before buying.


So, you must ensure that your users do not loose interest in website by providing them with a hassle-free and fast experience of doing business on your website. You can entice them with discounts on the products you offer or a free delivery service system which ensures they do not have to pay for products or services delivery and shipping to their homes. Make the checkout process also simple.


DESIGN

While what you are offering matters a lot, there is something else which matters even more, and it is packaging. You might have good products to sell but how you present them for sales might either encourage or deter buyers.

This is why you must package your products by building a good design and user interface for your E-commerce website in order to impress visitors and sustain their interest on the site. Since you are not an established brand, you should think out ways of obtaining the trust, respect, and confidence of visitors.

This is why you need to include some pivotal elements while designing the website: A recognizable and unique logo (avoid imitations)

Product options

Testimonials

Product reviews and testimonials

Call to action.

Lastly, ensure the clarity and simplicity of the website so that users can experience a simple and straightforward purchase process.



Perfect Mobile View

As discussed earlier on, it is obvious that many modern users prefer using mobile commerce apps instead of E-commerce websites. But you should not also forget that many users also use their mobile devices to access E-commerce websites.

So, you must ensure that the E-commerce website satisfies the users on both the computers and mobile devices, all features that can be found on the computer should as well be found on the mobile devices.

You can use a web design that is responsive to make the web store appear good every device using a single code base. Optimizing the mobile will also upgrade the visibility of the website on major SERPs--Search Engine Results Pages.


INCLUSION OF SOCIAL ELEMENTS

To impress users, you need to work on the inclusion of various social elements in the E-commerce website. Provide users with the option of sharing the products purchased from your web store with their friends via widely used social networks or platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This will also let users help you in advertising, promoting and popularizing the E-commerce website. The social media platforms can also be used in gathering information and studying consumer behavior and response towards your products.


USE A SEARCH BOX


An E-commerce website cannot showcase every of its products on a single page. However, you can engage visitors by showing all branded products to the visitors at an initial stage. You also should let users to inspect your goods on the basis of specific criteria.You can do this by compartmentalizing your products or placing them in various categories.


Nonetheless, ensure that the website has a search box feature which lets users find relevant products or products that assuage their needs without much delay and effort. All they need do should be to just type in relevant key words or name of the actual product they want and click on "Search"; or the popular Microscope icon; and available products related to their search appears on the screen.


With the search box, users do not need to expend extra time browsing through the arrays of available products till they find what they seek. They can also buy the product and exit the site quickly with much ado.Therefore, you should ensure that your E-commerce website has an efficient search box.

A DEPENDABLE SHOPPING CART

Use a shopping cart that will have a direct influence on the consumer experience offered by the website.There are many options you can select an E-commerce shopping carts from. Some are open source while others are commercial shopping carts written in different programming languages.

Whatever your choice, ensure that the selected shopping cart software is one that enable users to check previous and current purchases very quickly and in a convenient manner. The shopping cart selected must simplify the process of removing and adding items without expending extra time and effort. You should also work on enhancing the identification, visibility and accessibility of the shopping cart via the use of the popularly recognized basket icon.

PROVIDE VARIOUS PAYMENT OPTIONS

When it comes to online payment options, customers have their reservations and prefer one process better than the other. For instance, while some customers like making payment using their debit or credit cards or even internet banking facility (app) on their mobile devices, others prefer popular online payment options such as PayPal and digital wallets.

It is therefore of utmost importance that you provide all available means that would help customers make payment using whichever means is preferable or available to them. Lastly, you must ensure that details of online and financial transactions of your customers are kept secure.

This can be achieved through the use of a reliable payment gateway and new encryption techniques. And while the payment is being made, ensure that no extra cost follows or is attached. If a product is to be sold for say $40, for instance, do not withdraw even one cent above the stated amount, that little cent you might presume is worth nothing might mean everything to an angry customer who feels cheated of his money and this would discourage them from visiting your site next time.

ENHANCEMENT OF THE WEBSITE'S CREDIBILITY


Many people do not trust E-commerce website and are afraid of being defrauded.You must work towards erasing such views from the mind of users, especially as regards your own E-commerce website particularly.To do this, you have to win customers' trust by enhancing the E-commerce website's credibility.


This can be achieved by displaying accreditation certificate, trust marks of reputed brands and most importantly, by including robust security features in the web store. The accreditation certificates and trust marks will guarantee the credibility of your new web store. It will also give customers the assurance that their personal data will be kept private and details of online transactions will be kept absolutely secured.

PROVISION OF ANSWERS TO PRE AND POST-SALE QUERIES

Users are fond of making enquiries before buying, and after, the purchase of the products. It is necessary you answer these questions immediately as it would help to increase sales and revenue. You can provide answers to pre-sale and post sale questions from customers via platforms such as emails, Facebook chats, phone calls and text messages, etc. Whichever option(s) you provide for customers, ensure that the customer is aware of it by making the option(s) visible on the site.

If you are providing a phone number or email address, place it where it can easily be detected by the customers. Do not limit the medium to be utilized by customers for sending in queries to just one, use at least three different platforms.