You’re probably here today because you’re thinking of setting up an online store and selling products and services on the Internet. But, you want to make sure that you get started on the right footing and avoid making mistakes that could result in a short-lived venture.
Starting a successful e-commerce business isn’t as hard as you might think. Sure, you’ll need to put a lot of time and effort into getting it started. But, once it’s operational, you’ll soon reap the rewards of your labor.
Without any further ado, the following e-commerce essentials will help you end up with a successful online store:
You probably already know that you can’t set up a new website without a domain name, and you’ve either got one in mind, or you’ve already purchased one. The thing is, you should ensure you put some thought into selecting the right domain name choice for your site.
Firstly, it makes sense to consider a domain name that incorporates your brand name. It should also be a memorable domain and one that’s relatively quick and easy to enter into a browser’s address bar.
Secondly, ensure that the domain extension is relevant to your geographic location. For example, an American e-commerce site is best suited to a .com or .us domain, while a UK-based one will work well with a .com or a .co.uk domain.
Lastly, when purchasing a domain name for your e-commerce website, choose a reputable domain registrar that offers excellent customer support. Don’t get fooled into buying a cheap domain from a reseller that boasts no support!
The first thing you need to do is ensure that you use a stable, secure, and reliable e-commerce platform. There are several options you can consider, ranging from OpenCart to Magento, that you can host on your web server.
It’s also possible to use a hosted e-commerce platform like Shopify or Wix, so you don’t need to deal with the technical aspects of managing an e-commerce website. The platform you choose should meet your needs and is easy to use and administer.
If nothing quite fits the bill, you might wish to consider getting a tailored solution from a provider like WEBX360. Of course, if you’re adept at HTML and PHP programming, you could always create a custom solution from scratch yourself!
Next, if you’re planning to self-host your e-commerce platform, you’ll need a reliable hosting solution. It must offer the resources necessary for your website to operate efficiently and boast excellent load times with few delays.
As you can imagine, there are thousands of hosting companies out there. It makes sense to choose one with excellent online reviews, web servers that are physically near your location, and they must provide 24/7 support.
Are you planning to sell your products and services to a global audience? If so, it makes sense to consider using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) with your hosting solution. CDNs help speed up website access for international users.
CDNs essentially cache a copy of your static web pages and assets like images and videos so they can get served to local visitors. You can keep dynamic content on your local web host, such as checkout and payment pages, and serve everything else through CDNs.
Let’s face it: the last thing you want is for your website to get hacked, with cybercriminals potentially stealing your customer data and offering it on the black market to the highest bidder.
You can easily prevent “man in the middle” attacks on your e-commerce website by installing a TLS certificate (also known as an SSL certificate). Your hosting provider will probably offer you free TLS certificates for any websites you host with them.
However, you can also purchase ones from vendors like Comodo, GlobalSign, and TrustWave Holdings, to name but a few. Installation of a new TLS certificate is a fairly straightforward process; your web host can help you with any installation issues.
Lastly, you’ve got the technical aspects of your e-commerce website sorted out, but now it’s time to look at the aesthetics of it. As you can appreciate, an e-commerce site should function correctly and look great.
It should be easy to use and navigate, and all checkout instructions should be clear and simple to follow. Another consideration is a responsive design; your site should adapt to smaller screens, such as smartphones and tablets, without sacrificing the user experience.