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e-commerce Basics

What is ecommerce and how can you develop your ecommerce website?

‘ecommerce’ is the word used to describe the process of selling and and getting paid online. You can sell digital or real products and services or a mixture of both.

No two businesses are the same and your existing constraints, specific needs or future requirements will determine the type of e-commerce application(s) you should use. Whatever stage you are in the planning or improving of your online web shop, it is always a good idea to involve an ecommerce consultant or specialist like us. Why?

Your time is better spent working on your business rather than in it.  You know what makes your business work and your experience(s) makes you invaluable in your chosen/specialist field.  As a business owner you may need to be versatile and have many skills but would you try to be a barrister or an accountant? Would you perform your own dental work or build a house?  We know what and how to make things sell online.

What are some of the things you need to consider for an online shop?

  • Are you selling products or a service?
  • Are your products digital or physical or both?
  • How big is your product range?
  • Do some products have different attributes (size, colour etc)
  • How do you plan to take payment (there & then, invoice, cheque etc)?
  • How do you deliver your products (courier, self etc)?
  • Where are you prepared to sell and ship to?
  • Do you want to manage the e-commerce site yourself (adding and keeping products updated)?
  • How long is the learning curve to understand how to use your site (there will be one!)?
  • What fraud prevention measures do you want in place?
  • Will staff need to be trained?
  • Will your online shop need to be integrated into existing systems (accounts, stock control etc)?
  • Do you need to revisit your terms and conditions of trade for distance selling regulations?
  • and lots of other things ….

e-commerce solutions come in all shapes and sizes, some will be ready to use ‘out of the box’ and may do the job you want with very little customisation. On the other hand you may want your site to look a specific way or do certain things which will require customising to one degree or another.

Some e-commerce software may have more functionality than you really need and a simpler cheaper alternative is available and would be better for your business.

If ecommerce is new to you or technical things don’t appeal to you, ask for assistance or advice because it will save you time and money in the long run.

Building an ecommerce website, developing a strategy

There has never really been a time where you could ‘throw’ a website together and expect to make a fortune overnight. I can agree that some people have made significant amounts of cash during the early stages of a successful product launch – but you can bet safe money that lots of time was spent during the planning stages. I put the phrase ‘planning stages’ is in bold for a reason. To avoid unexpected or expensive problems in the future, planning, developing and implementing your ecommerce systems, in stages, is the only logical way to proceed.

If you develop a solid base on top of rock solid foundations, you will not be worrying about your business crumbling from under you.

One strategy that we suggest you should embrace right at the start is to plan in or incorporate into an existing website semantic markup and silo structure. plan your web site structure using LSI fortification concepts.