- Oct 08, 2018
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How to Build an E-Commerce Website for your Business
Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) websites are online ventures that facilitate online transactions of goods and of course services through means of transfer of information and funds through the internet. To wit, it will enable you accept electronic payments from your customers. Clients will be able to pay for your goods and services directly on your business website through the use of e-payment methods like credit/debit cards, instant payment, and mobile money directly on your website.
Today, we will share with you tips on how to build an e-commerce website for your business.
BEFORE YOU START AN E-COMMERCE BUSINESS
#1 BE TRUSTWORTHY
You should know that fulfilling the orders which the customers paid for builds your integrity and online presence. Customers will refer more people to you and even come back for more if you are trustworthy. So do not take money for orders without sending the ordered goods expected for delivery. Not delivering for paid products or services or unnecessary delay is a bad customer service.
#2 CHOOSE THE MOST SUITABLE DELIVERY METHOD
It is however very important you ensure that there is an organized structure in place to fulfill orders in reasonable time before you start an e-commerce business. You should think of the delivery methods you want to adopt. Try to find answers to these questions:
- Will goods be delivered via courier or standard mail, or perhaps both?
- How much will it cost and how much will you charge your customers for delivery?
- How long on the average will it take to process and deliver orders?
You should also have a return policy. Before customers order for your products, let them know how long it will take them to receive an ordered product and how they can return it if not satisfied or received damaged.
#3 DECIDE YOUR TARGET MARKET.
You need to also consider your target market especially if you want to run your business in Nigeria as e-payment is just getting its stand in Nigeria. So, before you invest in building an e-commerce website, ensure your target audience makes use of it or at least consider it a medium to long term investment.
SETTING UP AN E-COMMERCE SITE
Accepting Payment on The Internet
An e-commerce website allows you to accept payments online. There will be an online store on your website that will enable customers select and pay for products and services directly on your website. It makes buying your goods and services easy and more convenient as customers can buy your products and services from the comfort of their homes and offices.
To successfully create an e-commerce website, you need the following:
#1 Secure Server
You need a secure server to build an e-commerce website which will encrypt the information between your server and the clients’ devices used by your customers, preventing it from being intercepted by malicious people. The information given by customers is encrypted using a technology called a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). You need to acquire an SSL certificate, which would be used for encrypting your data and providing a more secure shopping environment for your customers.
You also need to register your e-commerce website with a digital authentication service. This services verifies your SSL certificate and ensures that whatever information entered by your customers will only be received by your website alone, providing more security for shoppers.
Buying SSL certificates is now easier than ever before. In fact, some of the best hosting companies now offer free SSL certificate as part of their hosting plans.
A seal of approval from a top digital authentication service like Comodo or VeriSign will make online shoppers more confident about the security on your website and increases the chances that they will buy your products and services online. This could increase your online sales. Your domain name registration, web hosting service, or web design service can help you with getting an SSL certificate online.
#2 e-Commerce Software
You need to incorporate a e-Commerce Software with a shopping cart to your website. Shopping carts are essential on your business website if you sell more than one product or service. Customers can easily add a product they want in the shopping cart with the quantity they need while still looking for more products and services to purchase. After adding all the products they want they can then checkout of the cart and add their payment details to complete the order.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) for building websites while WooCommerce is the most popular plugin used for converting a WordPress website to an Online Store. BigCommerce, Shopify, Volution, and Magento can also be used to create the ecommerce site. The eCommerce software also needs to be integrated with a payment gateway which will usually come as a plugin or addon to the eCommerce software to enable customers make payment for your goods and services via the integrated Payment Gateway.
#3 Electronic Payment Processor.
When customers pay for your products and services online, there is need for you to verify if their payment is authentic. This can be achieved through an electronic payment processor (payment gateway). This payment processing service like PayPal will verify that the payment information entered by your buyers is valid. Paystack is good and efficient in Nigeria. Paystack even has a free WooCommerce plugin, which makes setting up your eCommerce website on WordPress very easy. You can as well process payments using your bank or a local payment processor like InterSwitch.
Once you set up an e-commerce website for business, there is need to get customers. And the major challenge is getting customers to trust you at first. Through the use of international standard for your e-commerce website like SSL and having good customer service through the social media will help you build trust with consumers online.