Are you planning to plunge into the deep waters of e-commerce and exploit the Internet’s immense commercial potential? If you do, your dream is invalid and void without one essential thing—an effective e-commerce website. The reason is that your success as an online retailer largely depends on the quality of the e-commerce website you build. But what do you need before launching your website? In this discussion, I will reveal the seven essential you need in place before going live with your e-commerce website. So, remain, my guest, as I walk you through these fundamentals that will guarantee your online store’s success.
How to Start an E-Commerce Website
Set Up a Payment System
E-commerce is just that: commerce on the Internet. Therefore, your website will not facilitate your success without setting up a payment system because commerce is incomplete without payment. Therefore, you will need a payment processor and gateway. Your processor will take care of data transfer between your customers’ banks and yours. The gateway, on the other hand, will authorize the commercial transactions. When choosing your payment processors and gateways, you should factor in their different features, charges, and ease of use by your customers.
Get an SSL Certificate
The Net is a jungle infested with all types of crooks. Therefore, take care of your website and users’ safety before going live. One way of ensuring your customers operate safely on your e-commerce website is installing an SSL certificate. With this certificate in place, it will be easy for your users to transact with peace of mind. The reason is that a good SSL certificate encrypts all the information between your users’ browsers and servers. This way, it becomes impossible for hackers to intercept and decode their sensitive credit card and steal their money. Moreover, such a certificate boosts your clients’ trust in your online platform, thus promoting sales.
Establish a Live Chat Service
Establishing a live chat service is another essential you need before launching your e-commerce website. It is necessary to have such a service in place because it makes it easy for your customers to contact you quickly and confidentially in real-time. With such a measure in place, you will be sending a message to your readers that you are there for them to address their needs, whenever they need you. Moreover, such a service is cheaper than traditional helplines because one agent can manage several chats simultaneously.
Set Your Success Goals and Metrics
Nobody sets up an e-commerce website intending to fail. Instead, we all want to succeed. But how do you intend to measure your success along the way? How will you know you are succeeding or failing in your e-commerce enterprise? You can only do this by setting feasible and realistic goals and metrics against which you can measure your success progressively. This means you need to establish long-term and short-term goals for your website’s success.
Also, set metrics and goal for all areas of your website’s performance. For example, you need financial goals to measure how much you are gaining. You can also set traffic goals and metrics to measure how many people you expect to visit your website in a given period. Otherwise, trying to plunge into e-commerce without measurable goals is like a man boxing the air. To avoid catastrophe and frustration, it is prudent to deal with these issues before launch
Test Your Checkout Process
It is frustrating to trap your customers in a web of a faulty checkout system. Nothing is more frustrating to your business than a customer initiating a buying process only to discover they cannot complete the buying process. Therefore, it is necessary to test your checkout process before launching your website. Testing this process will enable you to discover and remove all bugs that could frustrate your buyers. You can do this by making test orders to see how smoothly they complete.
Set Up Your Social Media Account and Fan Page
It is no longer secret that the social media is here to stay. In fact, it is no longer the social media it was initially. The modern social media has become a big commercial platform. That is why the founder of Facebook has risen from a university dropout to become the fourth richest man on earth before hitting age 34 years. Therefore, it is clear that every successful e-commerce website needs a social media account and fan page to complement it. This way, you will have a stable way of creating awareness for your products and services before your potential and existing customers can purchase them. When doing this, it is necessary to use a standard name for all your social media accounts across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
However, it is not a must to have a social media account on all the social platforms. You can choose to go with the main ones I have mentioned here and build up from there. It is also needful to customize your cover and profile pictures to make them have a striking effect on your followers.
Establish an Effective Shipping System
If you are selling physical products, it is mandatory to pay attention to set up an effective shipping system. The reason is that a lack of an effective shipping process can betray all your efforts. Therefore, establish a secure and hassle-free shipping system. For instance, if your system is quick but delivers your customers goods in a broken or marred condition, it will backfire on you. Likewise, if you have a shipping system that delivers safely but late, it will also have a detrimental effect. So, use a shipping system that delivers customer orders promptly and safely.
For your e-commerce website launch to succeed, you should make several essential preparations. In this post, I revealed the seven essentials that you need in place before launching your ecommerce site. I hope the ones I discussed will assist you in making those preparations because success happens only when opportunity meets preparation.