The recent decline of the High Street is a clear example of how shopping trends have changed in recent years, moving away from the world of brick and mortar shops into the more convenient surrounding of online stores. Today, there is nothing that can be bought in a physical store that cannot be found online, and the vast range of internet enabled gadgets that are available today have made it all the more easier to get online and find exactly what you need.
As a business owner, it is only sensible that you follow the crowds and promote your products and services where they are most likely to have success. To do this, you need to start selling online, and e-commerce website development will be essential in your progression.
The benefits of an e-commerce website
Any business that has something to sell online will benefit tremendously from an e-commerce website; let’s take a look at some of the benefits in closer detail.
Having an e-commerce website allows you to showcase your products to a much wider audience than you could expect to attract in a shop on the High Street. Rather than having visitors solely from the local and surrounding areas, a website will make your products available to internet users across the world, thus increasing your visitor numbers and, ultimately, your sales.
Have you ever noticed that e-commerce websites tend to sell items at much lower prices than brick and mortar stores? This is because running a business online is much more cost-effective than maintaining a physical shop. The internet does not come with the overheads and administration costs that are associated with owning a shop and this allows websites to pass these savings on to customers without making any less of a profit.
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Promoting and marketing your store is also more cost-friendly online and does not require the use of television/radio ads and the printed press to draw an audience.
24 hour operation
E-commerce is a worldwide industry and having a website allows customers to access your store at any time of the day, from all corners of the globe. This means that even when you are sleeping, you could be making money from sales of your products.
An e-commerce website also offers great convenience, for both you and your customers. With products images and details online, customers have all the information they need about an item they wish to buy. Once they have selected the product the transaction can be completed in a matter of minutes with no fuss and no sales hassle. On your part, there will be no need to detail each and every product to new visitors and the hard work of closing a transaction is eliminated.
Using a e-commerce web development company
In recent years, content management systems such as WordPress have made it easier for people with little experience of web design or development to create a functional website for their business, and with a little knowhow, it is perfectly possible to create a functional and professional looking site. However, creating an e-commerce website is much more advanced than creating a blog or a static webpage and if it isn’t done correctly, it can actually damage your business rather than benefit it. For this reason, it is always recommended that you hire an e-commerce web development company to produce your website.
Some of the services that you can expect to receive from a web development company include:
- The designing, construction, and development of a site that is customised to the needs and goals of your business.
- Shopping carts and checkouts that are designed to make the purchasing process as smooth as possible for customers.
- The installation of safe and secure payment portals using various payment options.
- A simple to use content management system that makes publishing, updating, and modifying content quick and easy.
- On-going technical support throughout the developmental phase of the e-commerce site and beyond.
Professional web developers are skilled at creating e-commerce websites that are aesthetically pleasing and functional for customers. When it comes to selling online, it is important that your website is able to stand out from the competition and, once those visitors are on the site, provide a service that keeps them there.
A website that is badly designed, hard to navigate, or loads slowly, will only serve to increase your bounce rate as visitors quickly leave your site and move on to another. What’s more, an unprofessional site can cause visitors to question the integrity of your business, and in a world of social media, negative reviews can spread like wild fire.
Finding an e-commerce web development company
Your business deserves the best website possible and there is certainly no lack of web development companies out there to help you achieve this. A simple search on Google will return dozens of results, but is important to find a company that is reputable. When searching for web development services online, there are several points you should keep in mind:
- You will need to know that a company is legitimate, so do a bit of research to see if you can find examples of previous work and client experiences. If a company isn’t who they say they are then you’ll soon be able to find out online.
- Look for a telephone number; this will verify that the company physically exists.
- Find out if the company offers a free consultation. This will help the company understand your business, goals and objectives, and will provide you will an opportunity to relay any ideas that you have.
Whether you succeed or fail in online business will depend on the strength of your website; do not leave anything to chance, hire a web development company to take care of your e-commerce.