What is ecommerce?

designmedia response to that:

"Ecommerce simply means Electronic Commerce. Ecommerce gives you the ability to accept payment over the internet, by either credit card or electronic checks. Through Ecommerce, you can sell products or services instantly to anyone in the world without having to constantly monitor your Web Site"
Importance of an ebusiness strategy
From small businesses to major corporations, ecommerce has been the buzz word on everyone’s lips for the last few years. Although it’s been a hot topic whose benefits have been heavily written about and reviewed by a myriad of different resources, there still remains a lot of misconception in the minds of companies who want implement an ecommerce system within their business strategy. Many contemporary businessmen think of ecommerce as merely setting up their website and selling the products online. The truth is that electronic commerce is not simply a website selling online products such as through product search placement or using some form of affiliate marketing services – in fact, ecommerce is a complete drift of your business strategy from conventional to online.

In order to be successful, businesses must realize that ecommerce requires a complete business model – just as you operate your businesses, similarly, you need to form a model for ecommerce business. And since this is different from conventional business, the model also needs to be different. However, although they may be aware of the importance of ecommerce from a business standpoint, most of us need to turn to the experts in order to properly facilitate ecommerce strategies so that our online presence is maximized.

Back Your Model with an Internet Solution

In today’s increasingly competitive online merchandising methodologies, ecommerce-enabled web sites have become a must-have for nearly everyone with an online presence. eCommerce companies specialize in custom enterprise level ecommerce solutions, in other words an ecommerce solution provider that empower some of the country's most recognized brands by giving them the ability to simplify their businesses, manage product offerings and provide their consumers with unparalleled service on the web.

Not sure if you know but roughly 60% of all shopping carts are abandoned before checkout because of confusion, impatience or mistrust?

This all-too-often mishap can be avoided but you'll need a plan laid out. Many people go directly to design and build out their online store without a single thought. As far as they are concerned, the sooner they can get it up, the quicker they can have the money rolling in. But if you look around the Internet ... nearly everybody is going this route. Yet, there's an equally number of failing or struggling ebusinesses.

What's wrong with my business?
As mentioned before, what you need is a holistic view. You first need to evaluate your market. That seems like a bunch of mumbo jumbo but look behind this often repeated phrase.

If you knew there was huge demand for say ... ladies shoes, during the Winter, you would be better able to capitalize on it and not waste resources at other times of the year. You can take this further, as most online shops do nowadays, and have an SEO strategy in place. Imagine having your site being SEO ready from the start. Fortunately, even if you already went through this mistake it is still not too late. You just have to make sure to play smart.

Those looking for a website redesign
Having gone through it the first time around, many online owners know the feeling of having developed their site quickly and seeing only an embarrassment in terms of results. There is a reason why Information Architecture is a growing industry. You need professionals to figure out the best way to organize, label and present your site to your customers. But not only that, you can top it off with usability experts. Is this sounding a bit too much? It can be ... which is why you better be sure to have a good and complete ecommerce solution ... eCommercePartners comes to mind. They handle the whole enchilada so to speak.

But what you need to take out of reading this is ... get a business model and develop a web site strategy. It's all in the planning, planning, planning!

Looking for that custom web site design? Why risk going to a shady provider? Those supposedly "affordable" web design companies are really not a "deal" ... more like a steal if you think about it. You get what their other clients pay for with slight modifications: ... i.e. a reusable template. They're affordable because they make it up by volume and don't have time sit down with you and build something just for you. In other words, in the end you get a product with multiple web design mistakes

But why can't I go with a cheap web design?

As anyone who owns a business knows, having a strong online presence is fundamental to your success. Whether you own a small or mid-size business or manage a large corporation, creating a custom website design to clearly and succinctly represent your company on the web is one of the most important investments you can make! Developing an image, creating a lasting impression, improving your company’s visibility, and implementing a website that will maximize each user’s experience are a few core goals you may want to think about when considering an ecommerce web site design.

Web design checklist

Here are a few tips to get you started when creating a checklist for your new website:

  1. Design a homepage that draws people to your company: Let’s face it – first impressions are everything, and your homepage is the first place your customers will land when they visit your site. Be sure to include your business logo and company name at the top of each page. You will also want to leave room for clearly-labeled menus on the side or top of the page, allowing customers to navigate throughout your site. Use your home page to tell customers what your company offers, but don't crowd the page with too much information – clean and simple layouts are usually the most visually appealing.
  2. Let them know who you are: Be sure to include an "About Us" page, which will give you a chance to identify your business and inform your customers what your company is all about, as well as interesting facts and other relevant information. You will also want to mention your company objective here, including a mission statement. Most importantly, add your history, how you got started and how long you have been in business. You’ll also want to include information about the main employees of your company, who they are and what they do.
  3. Let them know how to reach you: Be sure to include a "Contact Us" page so that customers can reach you via your preferred mode of communication – clearly list your business name, address, phone number and email address.
  4. Make sure each page is easy to use: Although it may seem obvious, it’s important to keep your page layouts clean, concise and to-the-point. We suggest implementing clear fonts, providing useful information (vs. filling up pages with extraneous verbiage), leaving plenty of white space and including links to other pages. Keep your site pages simple yet informative – i.e., easy for people to scan it quickly for information without being bombarded with unnecessary images or content. Keep user experience in mind.
  5. Create a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page: Customers will scan this page to find answers to common concerns. Make sure this page links to your "Contact Us" page in case customers have more questions.

How to choose an interactive web design company?

As you can see, whether you’re building your site from scratch or interested in updating your current website, there are many different options available – and many different website design agencies (or interactive agency ) to choose from, which can make your project seem even more overwhelming!

Good companies, ECommerce Partners for example, take the guesswork out of your projects, big or small – from basic website designs to custom e-commerce websites. You ought to look for a full-service provider of custom website design to web site programming, including:

Ecommerce Solutions
  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • eCommerce Website Development
  • Support & Maintenance
  • Ecommerce Hosting

User Interface Design

  • Information Architecture (IA)
  • User Experience
  • Usability

Internet Marketing

eCommerce consulting

  • Building effective eCommerce strategies
  • Landing Page Optimization

But why a complete eCommerce solution company?

Because what YOU are NOT building a website but a BUSINESS. Stick that to your head!
Building a business is a lot more complicated than designing a website. Perhaps a better analogy is building a house. When you build a house, you work closely with the architect to make sure he knows exactly what you want. You figure out who’s going to use each room, and when, and for what, and how the orientation and design of the room will support its function and its users’ needs. And you know you need a team of specialists - an architect for the vision and the look-and-feel; an engineer for statics; an electrician, a bricklayer and others specialists for the behind-the-scenes installations; an interior designer for the details that make the house a pleasure to spend time in, and so on. And a contractor to oversee the whole project and make sure all the experts work together.

Building an ecommerce business is like that. You don’t need a “website designer” who can do it all; you need to decide what you want (and figure it out with professional help if you aren’t sure), plan everything in advance...
Sure, you can go with quick and cheap but rest assured, you'll be back in the same position in a few months but this time with a lot of baggage and probably with a higher cost. So, while you thought all you needed was just a custom web design, in fact, you must realize now that you need more than just a designer. Your business needs to work from a holistic approach. Think about it. I'll leave it with the following quote by Alan Lakein:

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now

Photo by Hamed Saber