How to Build an eCommerce Website

The Internet is flooded with numerous e-commerce (electronic commerce) websites and setting up an online business is not very difficult today. If you are determined to sell your products online to earn a big sum, then you must plan and execute the business wisely. The website that you launch should be absolutely user-friendly and it should be visually appealing as well, because the design of a website also plays an important role in attracting customers. The first attempt to create an ecommerce website might be a little confusing, but once you get complete hold on the norms and the basic policies involved, things will automatically start rolling in the right direction. The more you market your website with the aid of search engines, the more you make sales.

☛ Research Thoroughly
The first and foremost tip for making an e-commerce website is, carrying out an intensive online research on every aspect pertaining to success of a website. Remember that your motive is to earn money. Therefore, check the demand and sale value of the products and then pick up products that fetch heavy chunks of money. Get to know the keywords that will support your product and which people use randomly for searching products online. Check other eCommerce websites that have a high ranking over the Internet for understanding the design, layout and transaction mode implemented by them.

☛ Purchase a Domain
Once the research is over, you can register a domain name. Never choose complicated domain names, rather name your domain in a way that would be easy to remember. The domain name should be short and relevant with the product as well. The URL and the topic of the site should be compatible with the keywords selected by you. You also need to tie up with a web host company. Avail their packages and check for features like, bandwidth, web space, database, pricing, etc. before making any investment. You should opt for a cheaper price initially and then proceed to the expensive packages if at all necessary.

☛ Construct the Page
Building the pages is probably the most important aspect of an e-commerce site. The number of pages, their appearance and the content are some of the important factors that you should take into account. A welcome paragraph should be present that will introduce your product to customers. The navigation links should be well placed so that people can easily switch from one page to another. The content that you frame for the website should inculcate trust in the customers. The products and services should be defined clearly for assisting people to understand and access them without any difficulty. There must be a FAQ section where people can find out appropriate solution to their queries.

☛ Design the Website
Take help from professional graphic and website designers to make it look the best. The sections that you must include in the front page of the website are, ‘about the company’, ‘products offered’, ‘product description’, ‘what’s new’ and ‘contact information’. Design the layout in such a way that it is easily accessible by customers and they do not find difficulty in finding the product that they are looking for. The website should not be crowded with numerous links, rather incorporate links that will provide useful information on clicking. Heavy designing and graphics are not required for an e-commerce website. Since it’s a business site, you must keep the layout simple and sophisticated.

☛ Payment Options
Customers should not be misguided with the payment options. eCommerce websites usually open PayPal shopping accounts that make payments easy and it also eliminates use of a merchant account. You can use your credit cards as the mode of payment. If you have accepted a non-hosted package (like Magento), then you must open a merchant account at a bank and then integrate it with your website for ensuring better security. You should have the options clearly defined on your website so that users can access them freely.

After reading this crisp and compact guide, I hope you have fairly got an idea on how to build an ecommerce website. All you need is, a drive for establishing your website successfully in the huge competitive market. Therefore, analyze everything in depth and discuss with an experienced entrepreneur before launching your ecommerce website. All the best!

O2O Commerce is the New Hot Methodology for Local Business

Typically, it is safe to view the ‘next big thing’ moniker with skepticism when it comes to the Internet. There is such a history of false starts and ideas that seemed good on paper―but then ultimately failed―that it is a common response. But the newest ‘next big thing’ in online commerce is not something to dismiss so easily. It’s called ‘Online to Offline’ commerce, or O2O. Like its predecessors in the Internet commerce world―B2B and B2C come to mind―it promises to be something that truly is a big deal.

Put simply, O2O Commerce is the utilization of online efforts and methodologies for driving offline, local sales. As online local commerce continues to explode on the web, brick-and-mortar business owners who once felt helpless to take advantage of the worldwide phenomenon of the web are now grasping it enthusiastically and with a very specific direction.

Some very obvious examples of O2O Commerce are Groupon, Restaurant.com and SpaFinder, all of which were recently highlighted in an article on O2O Commerce in TechCrunch. What all of these sites have in common is their use of the Internet to appeal to consumers via an online connection, and the leverage of that connection to persuade the consumer to purchase locally, and in person.

According to research, the average e-commerce shopper spends around $1,000 per year. However, that number is still dwarfed by the amount of money that is spent ‘live and in person’ at local establishments. All the aforementioned companies, as well as essentially all companies engaging in O2O Commerce, share one thing in common, in that they act as a platform for discovery of local venues or service providers via the web. For example, even though a great restaurant may be only a few miles away, you may have never heard of it. With Restaurant.com, and many others that work in the same space, you can research restaurants in your area by type of cuisine, price, reviews, and other criteria, and then make reservations online.

Groupon, another big player in the O2O market, is unique in that it provides coupons for local services directly to consumers. Consumers sign up to receive special offers from Groupon―narrowing down their interests via the site’s functionality―and receive one offer each day in their local area. In some instances, consumers may receive deals for stores, restaurants, pubs, and other establishments that they are already familiar with, but are nonetheless drawn back in by the ‘deal’ that they received via e-mail. In other instances, consumers can discover new spots via Groupon, making the company one of the best known and biggest in the O2O space.

And while all of these O2O sites are very attractive for consumers, they also are huge for local businesses. In the past, local businesses had great difficulty tracking the effects of their local advertising efforts. With Groupon and other O2O sites, however, everything is very easily and obviously quantified and tracked. Businesses utilizing O2O services understand exactly what their ROI is on their ad spending, and can make fine-tuned changes as needed to bring in more business. And, thus, the era of brick-and-mortar businesses not getting to share in the joys of widespread Internet marketing are a thing of the past.