The secret art of eCommerece.

The dark art of online shops, everyone has seen them and some people have even used them. But what about running one? As we move from physical stores, and small businesses find it easier to sell online.

But, there isn’t a dark art to an online shop, they’re pretty easy to set up and run. They also give you a good boost and some great social content to promote.

Software

There is a definite growing market for people to provide eCommerce solutions. You can get standalone ones, so you can build your whole website around it, or you can bolt on your eCommerce solution onto your current website.

WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce website technologies you can get, according to BuiltWith, which is an add-on to the WordPress Content Management System. Followed closely by Shopify and Magento.

Most of these, with a bog standard off the shelf theme, take a few seconds to set up on a web hosting server and will do all the things you need them to do.

Payment Gateways

This is where things can get a bit more complex. You don’t to have an eCommerce platform, from the above paragraph, to have an online shop. But you will always need to have what is known as a Payment Gateway. This gives your shop the things it needs to process payments and third parties do this safely and securely.

The two largest gateways that are used are PayPal and WorldPay, but you can also use things that work with your other software. If you use Sage to process payments physically, then you can link that up to Sage Online.

Product pages

This is what really matters. It doesn’t matter what system you are using, or what payment gateway you’re running. Your product pages are what really matter because this is where you hand over partial control to your customers. If they don’t work/look good/sell your products then everything else won’t matter.

To ensure that your product pages are designed to work correctly, and work with your search engine optimisation, you need to plan them out correctly. There are plenty of resources to read up on how to make the perfect product page, but my advice would be to trial and error.

Checkout

You got your payment gateway, eCommerce platform, and your product page got your customer this far. Now it’s won or lost. The checkout is one of the biggest hurdles for your customers to get over, and even the biggest companies still don’t know how to make it work.

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that once people have stuff in their checkout, they will continue and complete the purchase. But this isn’t always the case. If you have a confusing checkout, like a log-in barrier or confusing selections, then you’re less likely to get people to complete the process.

I guess the key takeaway is to make your checkout as seamless as you can. If you need people to register, then make it simple. If you can offer a guest checkout, then do!

eCommerce is all about trial and error though.

You won’t immediately have everything right and checking your analytics, making some minor changes and doing new things will ensure you get onto the road to success.

These are all things we can help you with. From setting up your shop, to helping you find a payment gateway, monitoring your sites performance, and making changes to it for you.

Get in touch.

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The dark art of online shops, everyone has seen them and some people have even used them. But what about running one? As we move from physical stores, and small businesses find it easier to sell online. But, there isn’t a dark art to an online shop, they’re pretty easy to set up and run. […]

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