Ecommerce website design
When it comes to ecommerce website design things are slightly different to a traditional website.
The main aim of ecommerce websites is to drive people to your online store or shop, buy something, hit the checkout button and make a payment.
Everything else in that process is backend and up to you, the company to get right, but essential for a smooth transaction and a happy customer that will come back another day to buy something else.
One of the most important elements of a great ecommerce website is the checkout process.
If you can attract customers to your website with great content, products and offers then you really don’t want them to drop off before they pay you and checkout.
Yes you can have a list of additional options and products to upsell / cross-sell, but keep these till after the initial checkout process so as not to confuse your potential customer.
Will ecommerce suit my business?
In short yes.
If you sell anything and let’s face it you are in business so must be selling something, then an eCommerce website can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Some examples of where we can help:
Ecommerce website design is a must here. If you are not selling online then you better start.
It depends on your products and processes. Take food retail as an example. Tesco sells online, as do some of the other multiples. You pick your products, pay online and they are delivered fresh to your door.
RETAIL OR TRADE
Ecommerce is perfect for this type of transactional business but you must get the website design right. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you online – remember great content attracts organic traffic from Google. Then make it easy for the customers to add whatever they need to a cart, pay, and checkout. The only real complexity here is with the delivery process, but then the likes of DPD have services designed to make this easy.
We have a number of consulting type companies in Ireland that use eCommerce to drive additional revenues for their business. Their website would have been your typical brochure setup, but we have added additional functionality such as a shopping cart and checkout process so they can now take secure payments online.
Training is another industry that is well suited to eCommerce. In reality, a training companies goal is to fill training courses and having a website that makes booking and payments easy to manage is key. We can provide examples of training companies that we have worked with in Ireland if required.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Again this is an ideal market for an online store. We have utilised eCommerce website design for multiple clients in Ireland. One example would be a physiotherapy clinic that wanted to take online payments for pilates classes. The main pain point before this was implemented was collecting the money every week. Once we put eCommerce in place all payments were taken online either prior to the class or by block booking multiple classes. – problem solved.
New site or retrofit?
There are a couple of things to look at when you want to move toward ecommerce for your business online?
Do you have an existing site and what platform was it created on? WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) used today and is probably the easiest route to building you online store.
There are plugins that can be installed as part of WordPress that work straight out of the box and integrate with the major payment processors like Stripe and Paypal (more on that later)
If you site is static HTML or some other bespoke CMS then we normally advise a rebuild of the overall site.
Yes this may seem a bit drastic, but in the long run its the most cost effective way to get trading online.
That leads on to our next point – which website builder is best for eCommerce?
The majority of the sites we build today are based on the WordPress platform, and for our ecommerce websites we use a plugin called WooCommerce.
There are a few good reasons for this.
- Once the site is finished and we hand it over to the company, or business we built it for, they can make changes, add products or update images by simply following along with the PDF guide we provide as part of the service. This step by step guide means you do not require development expertise to manage and maintain your ecommerce site.
- Integration into payment processors is seamless.
- Security and GDPR – With some additional work we can secure your site from malicious hackers and make sure you tick all the boxes and are GDPR compliant
Ecommerce v’s traditional sales
We have a range of clients in Ireland covering many different industries that utilise eCommerce online stores to sell products and services.
You don’t have to have physical products that you sell to clients or customers. You could be a business that provides services and want to improve your payment processing and collection of fees.
We have business customers like consulting companies that provide advisory and training services. They utilise ecommerce website design as part of their company website to collect fees online.
The courses and services are listed as products and their clients just pick the one they want, add it to the cart, checkout and pay online. This generates an email order which is then processed then came way as a traditional request but you have the payment secured up front.
Traditionally selling this service could have involved a phone call, several emails, a cheque posted in and maybe a company PO raised before any money changes hands.
eCommerce Sales – Selling on Auto-pilot
With an online store you can generate sales when your normal sales team are offline. Get the content right on your website and you will attract leads and customers via Google search all day long.
Give those leads the right direction on your website and make it as easy as possible for them to pay for whatever you are selling. Ecommerce sites can really make a different if you get it right.
In Ireland we are slow moving with online ecommerce marketing strategies but need to up the pace a bit or risk getting left behind.
It used to be the case that a potential client would pick up the phone and call your business, now they pick up the phone and research your business online before they do anything else.
Get the products right, hone your messaging, and give them the ability to transact as quickly and smoothly as possible and you will win.
How do payments work?
Unlike traditional payments there is no cash or cheques changing hands. Every online transaction is processed by an approved provider like Stripe or Paypal. In Ireland these would be the most popular providers and most people are comfortable using them.
We use these providers because you can offload the payment management process to their secure payment systems – no need to worry about PCI compliance (which is a minefield)
Yes there is an associated fee for using these services paid as a small percentage of the transaction amount or set fee if volume is high enough but this is offset by not having to pay for complex payment process design and functionality or PCI compliance implementation on your site.
We integrate these cloud based platforms right into your website and they take care of the rest.
Where do you start?
The first place to start is to speak to somebody who understands the online eCommerce market. That’s where we come in.
With experience in building eCommerce websites across a broad range of industries, we have the expertise to help you get your site up to speed and generating revenues via online sales.
Did you know there is also a ‘Trading Online Voucher grant available from your local LEO office that will pay up to 50% of the cost of your website work if you meet the qualifying criteria.