Advances in website technology has meant electronic commerce (e-commerce) is now being used by a large majority of Australians. From performing banking functions such as checking account balances, transferring funds and paying bills to shopping; it’s now all being done online and often from our smart phones. The average customer is more Internet aware, realising the increasing number of options available to shop online and with little time spare in our busy lifestyle, shopping online is fast and convenient.
Are you making it possible and easy for customers to pay for your goods or services on your website?
E-commerce websites and online shops have become the accepted norm. Secure e-commerce systems are available for website owners with the banks offering a range of online payment options, combined with Paypal®, it all adds up to allowing your customers the convenience of shopping at your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, increasing your sales and giving you a competitive advantage over your competitors who do not have e-commerce websites.
It’s a fact that 83% of Internet users, in Australia are searching for products and services online! With this in mind it is important to enable customers to purchase when and how they wish to, and most importantly, allowing them to purchase when they have made a decision they want to purchase. Many of us live in the now; we look for businesses that provide e-commerce and online purchasing, so we can get what we want now!
Benefits of an Ecommerce Website?
There are times when your business is closed, or customers are unable to travel to your location. Virtual shops, or online shops are always open for business and allow customers to browse your store in the comfort of their home when it is convenient for them. There are no sales people pressing for a decision before they are ready to make one; customers are free to complete their decision-making process at their own pace and in their own way.
Automated online applications; ordering, purchasing and payment systems, enable your business to streamline procedures and process payments at the time of ordering. These automated shopping systems should also enable your customer to follow a shopping procedure suited to them, as well as automate the order process for you, even update your inventory stock levels. All this means reducing your overhead costs.
Setting up an e-commerce website offers the opportunity for your business to present a unique client experience with a customised style, that will encourage visitors to purchase with confidence and help create customers for life as they come back time after time; especially if linked to an effective email newsletter marketing campaign allowing you to announce new products to your existing customer base or perhaps a limited time special!
What Customers Look For
Convenience is what customers of today value above all else. Your website must be an extension of your business in every way. Customers should be able to conduct business with you as if they were standing in your store; but instead are doing it from the convenience and comfort of their home or office; with no checkout queues to stand in and car parking hassles to contend with.
Ease of navigation to allow the visitor to find what they are after with enough information so they can make an informed decision with benefit-oriented calls-to-action buttons guiding the shopping process will greatly increase your click through rate.
What are the E-Commerce Website components needed?
Your e-commerce website can have many components, and varied functionality depending on your business requirements and objectives. It is important that the components and functionality fit within your business processes and your desired customer buying experience.
Below is a list of the most common components and functionality that Thinking IT are asked to include in e-commerce websites:
- Ordering system
- Security certificates
- Shopping cart system
- Booking system
- Freight/postage/handling calculators
- Customer login
- Pricing discount tables
- Product database update
- Accounting system integration
- Credit card processing (via your bank or others such as Paypal®)
- Stock level / inventory control
- Detailed product information — Features, advantages and benefits
- Supplier ordering
- Loyalty systems
- Promotional discounts
- SMS or online sales chat
- Multiple browse and search methods
What ever you are looking for in an e-commerce website, Thinking IT can customise a solution for your business, large or small, simple or complex.
If you have questions about making your online business a success…