It's difficult to imagine a world without e-commerce. We order food, clothing, and furniture online; we enroll in classes and other online services; we download books, music, and movies; and do so much more. E-commerce has established itself and is here to stay. The sale of goods or services over the internet is called "e-commerce." In its most basic form, E-commerce involves the electronic transfer of funds and data between two or more parties. Since its inception in the 1960s with electronic data interchange and online shopping advent in the 1990s, this type of business has evolved significantly. The rise of smartphones, which allow consumers to shop from almost anywhere, has given e-commerce a massive boost. Indeed, business analysts predicted that mobile e-commerce alone would exceed $284 billion by 2020.
What is eCommerce Website?
Ecommerce is an abbreviation for electronic commerce and refers to a digital platform and business model that allows you to buy and sell products online. Every time you buy something online, you contribute to the eCommerce economy. The term is quite broad and flexible. It encompasses Amazon and eBay and online banking, software services, remote service providers, and online course platforms (basically, any transaction made online). However, depending on the context, the term "eCommerce" is frequently used to refer to the typical online store that sells shirts to end-users.
Ecommerce Website Types
The scope of an e-commerce website is vast, but the sites that host electronic transactions can be classified based on the parties involved.
Business-to-consumer (B2C): Probably the most familiar to the average person, a B2C site allows a business and a consumer to exchange goods or services, such as purchasing a T-shirt from your favorite online shop.
Business-to-business (B2B): A B2B platform enables two companies to conduct electronic transactions. For example, if you own a company that sells T-shirts, you might purchase those shirts from an online wholesaler.
Business-to-administration (B2A): A B2A site, for example, facilitates electronic exchanges between an organization and a public institution, such as the eCommerce website of a company that designed your city's web portal.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): A consumer-to-consumer (C2C) site, also known as a marketplace, facilitates the exchange of goods between two or more consumers. Etsy and eBay are a few of the best eCommerce website examples.
Consumer-to-business (C2B): Individuals sell goods or services to businesses on a C2B website. This could be a freelance SEO expert who works with businesses in a specific industry or an influencer who is compensated to promote a company's products.
Consumer-to-administration (C2A): Similar to B2A, this type of site allows a consumer to provide information, goods, or services to public administration and governmental organizations—for example, paying a parking ticket through your city's web portal.
Developing Your eCommerce Website
Starting an e-commerce website necessitates research, planning, and zeal. You can tap into the market of online shoppers looking for products from the comfort of their own homes if you have the right tools.
When you're ready to move your venture forward, here are the steps.
Before you begin, make sure you have a firm grasp of your niche. Even better, think about what you want to contribute to the market and start with a vision of the products you want to sell. Take your time and research once you've decided on a specific product or service. Begin your eCommerce website creation by researching other companies in your industry. Take note of what they're doing well and where you believe you could improve. Examine their business model, marketing techniques, and website functionality with care. These observations can aid in the development of your own strategy. Consider the potential for market saturation, the ease (or difficulty) of market entry, and what unique needs your product may be able to fill.
Once you've decided what you want to sell, you must identify your target customer. Consider who your ideal buyer is and what characteristics they possess. Creating a customer persona during this stage of the process can be beneficial. A buyer persona is a made-up image of your ideal customer. This persona can assist you in forecasting customer behavior and better understanding your future clients. When creating a persona, age, location, income level, and personal goals or values are all factors to consider. Whether you create detailed personas, remembering these characteristics can help you predict your real customers' online presence and marketing preferences.
3. Test Your Product
Even if you have a clear vision for your product and a clear picture of your target audience, there are some significant obstacles to overcome before launching your eCommerce website. First, you must determine whether your concept will be viable in the real world. Consider both market-based criteria such as market size, competitors, and industry trends and product-based criteria such as price point, markups, sales tactics, and regulations. When validating your product, you should have a good idea of the costs you'll face as a business owner. E-commerce sellers often have more pricing flexibility because they don't have to pay for a storefront or, in the case of digital products, warehouse and manufacturing costs.
As a growing company, you require a distinct and memorable name. Ideally, the name of your website should reflect your brand or the type of products you sell. You can get your own personalized domain name if you have the funds to make your site appear more professional. Strikingly also provides free custom domains until you are ready to pay for your own domain.
5. Select an e-commerce Website Builder
Image is taken from Strikingly
The good news is that you don't need any technical knowledge of web development to create an eCommerce website. Strikingly, the best free eCommerce website builder includes a powerful online store solution called Simple Store. This allows anyone to create and manage their own online store from anywhere. To allow your customers to complete their purchases online, you can add a secure payment gateway to your site using the Simple Store, such as Paypal, Stripe, WeChat Pay, or Alipay. The best part is that, unlike other e-commerce platforms, Strikingly does not levy any additional transaction fees.
6. Make Your Website Unique
Allow your personality to shine through by customizing your website. Begin with one of Strikingly's best eCommerce website templates and add your own personal touch with the help of the intuitive website editor. Create your own color scheme and experiment with the fonts in the font library. Make use of your own logo and web icons. Strikingly has an image and video library built-in, but we recommend using your own custom visuals to make your website stand out even more.
One of the limitations of an e-commerce website is the inability to touch and inspect products in person. It's always a good idea to invest in high-resolution product shots from different angles so that customers can make an informed decision. Action shots will also assist them in visualizing how to use your product correctly. If you can provide video tutorials for additional information, it will greatly improve the user experience on your eCommerce website.
Add a secure payment gateway to your online store to accept credit card payments. With Strikingly, you can easily integrate Paypal, Stripe, WeChat Pay, or Alipay to allow customers to complete online purchases. You only need to enter your email address and you're done!
9. Optimize Your Content
One of the most important aspects of creating an eCommerce website is optimizing your content for search engines. To drive traffic to your website, make sure your page appears when people search for your product or brand. You must use search engine optimization strategies such as keyword research and link building to accomplish this. Your content should include your target keywords, but we advise against keyword stuffing or black hat SEO to rank higher in search results.
10. Construct a Shipping and Storage System
Set up shipping options on your website and determine shipping and storage for your online store. If you're fulfilling orders and shipping the items yourself, you may need to make arrangements with your vendors or find a storage solution. Determine which shipping service you will use and whether you will drop ship. You can also set up flat shipping rates for different countries on Strikingly.
After you've tested everything and ensured that your website looks great and functions properly, it's time to go live. However, your work does not end once you have published your website. You must monitor the performance of your website, continue to market your site and products, and work on your digital marketing campaign. Continue to tweak the design and content of your eCommerce website as it grows in size to meet changing customer needs. Pay attention to feedback and complaints, and make every effort to provide excellent customer service to maintain customer loyalty.
It's critical to understand these core principles whether you build your own eCommerce website selling business to business (B2B e-commerce), consumer to consumer, consumer to business, or business to consumer (B2C). Understanding what is e commerce website and how online selling works at this level will make running your commerce business easier.