The Key Elements Of An Ecommerce Strategy
For those starting out with Ecommerce, the number of considerations can be quite daunting. In this article we’ll look at the four key elements you need to consider when putting together your ecommerce strategy.
So you’ve decided to launch into the world of ecommerce. While it’s now a mature industry, it can still be quite a scare thing to get started in especially if the bulk of your experience is offline. While it might seem like there’s a million and one considerations you need to make when building your ecommerce strategy, it’s actually not that complicated. The key is breaking it down into the most important elements, which happen to be quite similar to those involved with an offline operation. Below are the four most critical areas to consider when developing your ecommerce strategy.
Front end (store front)
The front end is your online place of business. This is where customers will get their first impression of your online store and navigate there way around your product/service offering. To ensure you have an effective front end, you need to put yourself in your customers shoes: what would make you want to buy? Consider things like:
- product display; images, descriptions, videos etc
- layout; is your store easy to navigate
- testimonials; are you featuring feedback from previous/current customers
Ordering process (shopping cart)
While the front end is critical for building initial interest and convincing the user to make a purchase, the shopping cart is a critical element in successfully converting the user into a paying customer. While it might seem like a simple thing that can be tacked on, it’s actually a part of the purchasing process where many online stores lose a lot of their business. Given this, it’s extremely important to be mindful of the shopping cart you use when developing ecommerce strategy. Be sure to do extensive research and read as many reviews as possible on the system you intend to implement. Most good providers also give you the option to trial there systems, which allows you to gauge the ease of use from the user end as well as check out the back end functionality.
Payment process (merchant gateway)
The merchant gateway is the next step after the shopping cart, this is where funds change hands and you get paid. It’s important to choose your merchant gateway before settling on a shopping cart provider, as not all shopping carts merchant gateways are compatible. When choosing your merchant facility, ensure that it features a full host of security features for user protection, and also watch out for hidden fees.
Follow up (order fulfillment)
Okay, so the customer has selected a product via the front end, placed it in the shopping cart, and paid via the merchant gateway. Now you need to get it to them. Order fulfillment is a critical consideration in your ecommerce strategy, and is often the largest source of complaint from customers. Once customers transfer their hard earned dollars for an item, they expect to see it within the quoted delivery time, so it’s important that you can deliver it. Ensure that you’ve conducted testing on you order fulfillment system and that there are no holes for orders to go missing in.
If you can get these four elements of your ecommerce strategy right, you’ll already be along way toward a successful online store.
Are you setting up an ecommerce store? What are the main challenges?