Eccomerce has experienced astronomical expansion in 2020, with estimations that 10 years of growth took place in just 90 days at the beginning of this year. But according to the Small Business Association, 36% of small businesses still don’t have an ecommerce website. If you’re one of those businesses, then you’re missing out on a huge untapped audience of potential customers.
However, if you’re used to managing a brick-and-mortar business, the leap to digital may feel daunting. Don’t let that deter you from this necessary business decision. It’s easier than you think – just follow our six steps to building the perfect online store.
1. Choose the right ecommerce website builder
When building a website, you generally have two options: coding it from scratch or using a website builder. If you have extensive coding experience and would like to completely customize every aspect of your site, then coding may be a good method for you. However, if you’d like to get started with a website quickly, easily, and without any technical know-how, then using a website builder is your best bet.
While there are dedicated website builders available, most ecommerce platforms come with built-in website builders designed specifically for online selling. Also, building your website through your chosen ecommerce solution will keep everything synched on the same software, cutting down on the potential back-and-forth in case of any issues.
Before you decide on a website builder, and if it should be hosted or self-hosted, you need to consider all of your business needs and compare them with the software’s available features. For example, if you’re running an apparel business with a wide variety of clothing, you’ll want to go with the option that allows for unlimited categorization.
2. Design your website’s look
Now that you’ve chosen your website builder, it’s time to start building. Above all, your website needs to be easy to use for your customers – or else it will fail at converting them. To do this, make sure that you have the following features on your site:
- Clear Navigation Menu: This is usually near the top of the page, clearly showing visitors your categories. A drop-down menu is ideal for navigation because it allows for nested categories.
- Search Bar: For more precise searches, a search bar near the top of the page is preferred. The search bar should be easy to find and functional.
- Featured Products: Showcase your best products, your sale items, or any other products you’d like customers to see as soon as they visit your website.
Aside from features, your website needs to meet aesthetic standards. In fact, according to Kinesis Inc., 75% of customers trust a business based on their website’s design. Make sure that your website isn’t too cluttered or distracting, stays in line with your brand’s colors and fonts, clearly showcases your logo, and is responsive (which means that it works on both mobile and desktop devices).
You’ll also want to add any necessary content pages to your website. The most important ones include:
- About Us page
- Contact Us page
- FAQ page
- Returns Policy page