Things You Need to Know Before You Create Your e-commerce Website


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Things You Need to Know Before You Create Your e-commerce Website

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Plan your content sources

Good content will help your website visitors in making informed decisions which can eventually turn them into customers. It is therefore important to establish credible sources where you can extract your quality content way before your site is ready.

For example, if you sell electronics, your content source can be the manufacturers website. Most manufacturers will provide detailed product descriptions on their website which you can use as your source.

In cases where you are the manufacturer or there aren’t sources that describe your product adequately online, the best product description would be one that answers your customers questions. If you have a dressmaking business, your descriptions could answer questions like : what material is it made of? On what occasions can I wear it? Is it machine wash or hand wash? Does the fabric stretch? And so on.

A good product description should give all relevant details, convince the buyer of its benefits, and pack an emotional punch.

You won’t get it right the first time

Alot of testing and research is needed for your website to perform optimally. When deploying a new website, you should focus on creating the minimum viable product instead of building a website with alot of complicated features. 

A common phrase within developer circles is “You aren't gonna need it (YAGNI)”. This means you should not add functionality until deemed necessary. So when building your website, implement things when you actually need them, never when you just foresee that you need them.

That said, don’t be disappointed when you launch your website and you fail to get your desired results. Use that as a data collection opportunity. The data will guide you to the perfect build

Your developer is a key part of your success

Your website’s source code is the pillar of your eCommerce business. Maintaining your source code is like paying your taxes: if you don't do it, one day it will catch up with you and it's going to be expensive.

Once in a while, your website might throw a silent error that may go unnoticed. These types of errors will usually affect the quality of data that your website collects or may suddenly disrupt business without notice.

During routine maintenance your developer will probably check on the following aspects of your website :

  1. Server error logs
  2. Any outdated code
  3. Necessary updates for SEO
  4. Website load speed
  5. Average time users spend on the website
  6. Security

It is therefore important to have your developer perform routine maintenance on your website to ensure that your keeps running smoothly

What payment methods do you accept?

Picking a payment method is the most important aspect of your eCommerce business. This is how all your efforts are converted to an actual reward - money. Here are some factors you should consider when picking a payment method : 

  • How easy is it to contact support? I would say this is by far the most important aspect of picking a payment method. Pick a payment gateway that is easy to reach out to and responds to your concerns promptly.
  • Is their API well documented? Check with your developer to confirm if they can be able to connect your website to the payment gateway seamlessly. If not, are you able to reach the service provider’s technical support team for assistance?
  • Do they support your currency/currencies? This one is simple, if they can’t receive payment in your currency, they are not a good fit for you.
  • Are their services available in your country? If not, then it is of no use integrating to their service.
  • Ease of use? Pick a gateway that is easy to use for your site visitors. It is a common practice for business owners to pick a payment method that is popular within their region of operation or internationally recognized payment brands like Stripe or PayPal.

If you don’t have time, don’t start

It takes time to build quality content that will keep your website visitors hooked and coming back for more. A mistake I see a lot of new website owners make is abandoning their website as soon as the developer finishes their job, and guess what… they expect sales! 

The more you update your website’s content, the more google bot and other search engine bots will crawl your website and the more visibility your products will get. Website content that is well developed and detailed helps search engines understand what your business is about and send the right traffic to your shop.

The rule of thumb is simple, if you can't post new content regularly and update existing content, do not expect to get a ton of calls, messages or sales… it simply won't happen

Your website won’t run it self

Running an eCommerce website is a responsibility and that means you need to take time to make sure it runs right. Don’t make the rookie mistake of assuming that your website is running fine. Always visit your website to make sure it is still accessible, make test orders from a customer's view occasionally to confirm that the process is working as expected and visit random product pages to see if anything breaks.

Sitting back and assuming that your website is ok will have you waiting for orders for days or even months while your site visitors keep getting errors at a certain point and bouncing off.

Every good website gets a share

There are a lot of online vendors selling similar products to what you offer but don’t be scared. When it comes to selling online, everyone gets an equal chance, the only differentiating factors are the quality of content on your website, and the user experience on your website. If you Ace these two factors, search engines will keep sending more and more visitors to your website.

Patience is key

Don’t expect sales immediately after you launch your new website. It takes time for search engines to go through your website, understand the type of products you offer and the search terms that are relevant to your website in order to send you quality traffic.

Your best bet in order to start generating traffic is to Keep posting new content, share your website on other platforms and  fix any issues that you see on your search console page.

Lets Recap

  1. If you don’t have time to post, don't start
  2. Find credible content sources
  3. You wont get it right the first time
  4. Your developer is a key part of your success
  5. Think payments, how will your customers check out
  6. Every good website gets a share
  7. Patience is key