It is now easier than ever to sell your products or services online
There are hundreds of shopping platforms to suit every requirement and budget.
Technical or design experience is not required to run your online shop – you can even do it from your phone!
The major benefit of selling online is that your business is open 24 hours per day 365 days of the year – sell while you are sleeping!
This article outlines the options we recommend for ecommerce.
Starting out in Ecommerce?
For those starting out in Ecommerce, we can help you:-
- Choose the right ecommerce platform for your products and services – and budget.
- Build your online store or teach you how to do it.
- Choose a payment provider to help you accept all credit and debit card types.
- Sell to mobile customers.
- Ensure security and legal compliance.
- Advise on delivery options.
- Train your staff how to run an online store – how to make it successful!
- Develop and grow your online sales with web marketing, email marketing, SEO and Social Media.
Already selling online?
If you are already selling online we can help you:-
- Increase sales.
- Enter new markets.
- Improve your marketing.
- Setup online promotions.
- Setup Email Marketing and integrate it into your website.
- Cross-promote and up-sell your products and services.
- Improve shopping basket abandonment rates – a great way to increase sales.
- Set up Multi-channel selling (e.g. Your website plus Amazon, eBay, Facebook)
- Business Development / Lead Generation – your website generating leads for your sales team to close.
- Set up Affiliate Marketing.
- Improve your ratio of website visitors to paying customers and how to improve it.
- …and much much more.
Ecommerce features – so many to choose from
There are many great features available with ecommerce software today.
The list is almost endless.
We can help you decide which features to incorporate into your website that are proven to help increase sales.
When considering a new a new or existing online shop it is a good idea to list what features and options you would like to incorporate and we can help plan and organise them for you
Here are some considerations when reviewing ecommerce software to help decide which ones are important to your product and service.
Marketing and Promotion
- Social Media integration is a must for any e-commerce shop – integrating your shop with Facebook makes it easy for your customers on Facebook to place an order.
- Coupon Codes, Voucher Codes and Special Offers.
- Package deals and bundles.
- Upselling and Cross-Selling.
- Target Abandoned Shopping Baskets.
- Wish lists.
- Email Marketing
- ‘Buy now Pay Later’.
- Allow Product Comparisons.
- Enable Product Reviews.
- Top Ten Sellers Lists.
- Recently Added Products
- Product filtering by style, type, price.
- Product Search Analysis discovers the products and services that your website visitors are searching for and enables you to direct them to your product.
Encourage Buying Behaviours
- Display when someone ordered a product to encourage others.
- Display ‘People who bought this also bought this’.
- Implement discount pop-ups when a website visitor is about to leave without buying.
Managing your customers
- Allow customers to create accounts or purchase as a guest.
- Provide Trade Accounts with different prices for different customers.
- Provide different languages and currencies.
- With covid restrictions we can help advise and setup ‘click and collect’ and ‘booking slots’ or ‘delivery slots’ to help your business, whilst keep your staff and customers safe.
All ecommerce websites that Scoosh build are ‘mobile friendly’.
This means that any customer can buy from your shop on their desktop PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet.
Track your store
It’s easy to see at a glance which products are performing best.
Check your overall revenue, and view order and visitor data by day, week, month and year.
Manage your orders
Scroll through, filter, or look up specific orders.
Tap to view order information including product(s), value, customer data, shipping details, and notes.
Real-time order alerts
Get notifications about store activity, including new orders and product reviews.
You can even have an optional cha-ching sound!
Ecommerce Platform Recommendations
We can advise on the pros and cons on any ecommerce platform.
In particular we recommend WooCommerce, which runs on any WordPress website and Shopify.
Why use WordPress as an ecommerce solution?
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world.
More websites run on WordPress than any other website platform.
It, therefore, makes sense that a lot of businesses will use WordPress for ecommerce too.
One of the great benefits of WordPress has always been its flexibility by the ability to use plugins to extend its capabilities.
The most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce and one we definitely recommend.
Benefits of WordPress as an ecommerce solution
Being so popular it has been tested on millions of websites of all different types.
The community around it is huge and this provides peace of mind that you have made the right choice.
WordPress maintains a security team to respond to threats.
They issue updates quickly.
As part of our managed website hosting, we update your website continually to ensure that you have the most up to date running versions and your site is secure.
From humble beginnings WordPress has grown to become a very scalable platform and is used by startups and small businesses to large organisations.
As your business grows your website can grow with it.
This is a ‘future-proof choice’ – no need to build another website when you outgrow your existing one.
Easy of use
WordPress has grown for many reasons but one of them is undoubtedly it’s ease of use.
You don’t need coding knowledge and if you can type you can edit your own website. Many other platforms require web development skills and have much steeper learning curves
A great feature of WordPress is its expandability. Whatever you need your website to do there is probably a plugin for it.
You can change any aspect of WordPress to suit your requirements.
WordPress and WooCommerce is a great choice for ecommerce
The list of features of WooCommerce is huge from selling physical goods, to digital products, online courses and other services.
It is not just a ‘front-end’ it has great features for inventory management, order processing to help you with the management and fulfilment of your orders.
You can also add the app to your mobile phone and get alerts when an order is received
Marketing your online shop
WordPress and WooCommerce can be integrated to your Social Media, it is easy to run ads, integrate MailChimp and other marketing platforms.
Is it all good news with WordPress and WooCommerce or are there downsides?
WordPress is open-source software.
This means that you are free to use it and modify it.
This does mean that you have more responsibility to ensure that it is maintained and that all the different aspects of running a site (e.g. hosting, security, updates, backups plugin conflicts) are looked after to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
(Did we mention that we can take care of all this!)
One of the downsides of being so popular is that WordPress is more likely to be a target for hackers.
Hackers use a variety of techniques including brute force attacks and spam.
For this reason, we recommend that only high-quality website hosting and management is used for your online shop that includes secure servers, regular backups, and vulnerability scans to ensure that your site and your business reputation remains intact.
Scoosh partners with the world best WordPress hosting company to ensure peace of mind
WordPress can be hungry
WordPress has what is known as ‘technical debt’.
Technical debt means that the software code requires that it has backwards compatibility – which means more code and therefore more demands on hosting hardware.
If your site gets busy then it can slow down – which will lose sales – beware of cheap hosting, your website will be running slow on an old server.
The Scoosh hosting platform runs the latest hardware and software technology optimised for WordPress.
We also advise on best practices for product images, spring cleaning, and great tips on speeding up your website and keeping it fast.
Read more about why speed is important for google ranking here.
WordPress is not a pure e-commerce solution in that it is a CMS and has the e-commerce capability added on. If your website is purely e-commerce we also recommend using Shopify as a great e-commerce platform
Shopify as an e-commerce choice
Shopify offers an elegant solution for those looking to set up their first online shop or for those looking to grow their existing e-commerce offering.
With over 1,000,000 shop owners using Shopify – it is a tried and tested system.
It is really only second to WordPress / WooCommerce and has an almost 20% market share.
Shopify is the perfect home for your brand and allows you to create a beautiful online shop with a secure checkout that re-assures your customers.
Customise your Shop
With Shopify, you will have complete control over the look and feel of your website, from choosing your domain name to your websites? layout, colours, features and content.
No design skills required
Shopify uses a theme-based system which means that you can get your shop up and running very quickly.
They have 100s of themes to choose from or we can help you customise one to your own unique style, brand, or requirements.
There are no limits to the amounts of products you can sell – even start with just one!
The quick setup and ease of use of Shopify is one of the reasons why it has grown so fast
Easy Sales Management
Accept orders in seconds and get notified by email or mobile when a new sale comes in. Fulfil one or multiple orders with just one click, making your order management a breeze.
Delivery is made easy with Shopify
Easily integrate delivery with every major carrier and provide your customers with tracking info for their orders.
Access everything from your mobile phone
Your business doesn’t stop when you are away.
Instantly access your store analytics, update your store, fulfil orders, or contact a customer all from your smartphone
Shopify is secure
All Credit Cards and transactional information is protected by the same level of security used by major banks: a 256-bit SSL certificate.
The Which Guide to Shopping Safely Online highlights concerns for customers. Shopify meets the standard for secure shopping.
Accept all major credit cards
You can accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express the minute you launch your shop.
You’ll get a low credit card rate and no hidden fees.
Post Office studies have shown that one of the most common reasons that people abandon their shopping baskets on websites is that they are hit with hidden charges upon checking out.
With Shopify, you can offer free delivery or choose a price point where delivery is free (e.g. Orders above £50.00 are free).
By making this clear to potential customers you will have fewer abandoned baskets and an increase in sales.
Examples of best practice for your ecommerce checkout process
One of the most common questions we are asked is how to decrease the number of times that visitors to a website put something in their basket but never checkout.
These are often called ‘abandoned baskets’ and if you are not measuring this metric – now is a good time to start.
Why do people abandon shopping baskets?
It is important that you review your checkout process and ensure that the experience is the best that it can be for the visitor.
Always follow up on all abandoned carts and ask why – this will improve your website and increase your sales.
We can show you how to view customers interactions with your shopping basket.
You can improve your abandonment rate by considering all the reasons why.
Here are some things to consider:-
Keep it clean
Remove all fuss, unnecessary items, unnecessary content or links.
This ensures that the potential customer only has one task or one call to action to focus on – and that is completing the purchase.
Look after your guests
Many ecommerce platforms and websites encourage visitors to open or create an account.
There are good reasons for this, as the more that you know about a customer the better you can market to them.
But people are busy and the more steps on a website that a visitor has to complete the higher the likelihood that they will not complete the transaction and abandon the shopping basket.
So have a guest checkout option and encourage guests to sign up for an account after they have completed a purchase.
The easier it is to make a purchase on your website the more likely a visitor will complete a purchase.
Many clients chose a payment provider that they have an existing relationship with or that they use themselves.
The key to understanding payments is to think like a customer and offer payment options geared towards them.
For example payment providers like Stripe and Paypal offer very slick methods of taking payments that make the transaction seamless.
Providers like Klarna offer buy now and pay later options.
Some providers offer credit facilities and Amazon offer options for customers to use their Amazon account to buy on your website.
The key is convenience – if your website offers the payment solution that a client wants you will complete more sales.
Be transparent and don’t hide things from customers
Buying online is all about building trust.
Studies have shown that potential customers hate hidden charges or extras that don’t appear until they are just about to pay.
Keep all costs clearly visible at all times during the checkout process.
Make your terms and conditions, returns policy and guaranteed clearly visible on product pages and on your home page.
Ensure delivery options are clear.
Improve the quality of your images
A high abandonment rate is a good indicator of customer uncertainty and hesitancy to place an order.
Images are a great way to showcase your products.
Higher quality images and more of them (from different angles, inside and out) are a great way to reassure a customer and give them the confidence to make that purchase.
Ecommerce and Video
Did you know that adding video to your e-commerce website can improve conversions by up to 80%? We can help you integrate video into your e-commerce website to showcase your products.
Questions about ecommerce?
We are happy to answer any questions that you have about e-commerce, your website and your business online.
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