Every business who currently has an eCommerce website or is looking to start one should have at least some knowledge about eCommerce web design basics. To be successful in eCommerce world a business owner needs to know whats behind the eCommerce engine.
First eCommerce requirement is hiring an experienced eCommerce developer not just newbie whos just starting out. Experience with eCommerce website development is very important if you are looking to take your business to the next level.
Second, find a decent VPS or dedicated server so you will not have any speed, loading issues since eCommerce websites are very dynamic and require quite a bit of resources to run smoothly.
Third, eCommerce website structure needs to be logical and offer easy categorization of products, brands, tags, descriptions, meta info etc. Also, a key part of this should be URL structure and what I mean by that is that you should be able to create custom urls for example: website.com/blue-shoes. This will not only make it easy to read but can also help your website rankings.
Fourth, payment gateways & merchant accounts. Yes you will need third party to process your financial transactions. This one is tricky as you need to find one that will be compatible with your shopping cart system and suprisingly there are many out there to choose from. The most popular ones are PayPal, Authorize.net, WorldPay, 2Checkout, Google Checkout, LinkPoint etc. However, check the monthly pricing as well as transaction percentage per sale as it varies per company. More on payment gateways.
Fifth, SSL certificates are a must for any eCommerce website owner who is looking to sell products online thorugh a secure payment system. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) enable eCommerce application date to transmit information back and forth securely. Have you ever see some websites have an extra “s” in the https://www. ? That means the data is being transmitted securely by a third party that verifies websites. Now that you know what a SSL is you will need to purchase one for your domain if you are serious about running an online store. There are many companies that offer SSL certificates ranging from $12 – over $1000 per year so you will have to choose based on your budget.
As you can see starting an eCommerce website is quite a project so its best practice to educate yourself before investing into it. Technicals aside eCommerce is very powerful and profitable business model if you are willing to put the time and resources. If you have any doubts just look at comapnies who are based purely online like Zappos.com, Amazon.com etc. They all started with a very simple online store and gradually became big time brands.
If you have any questions or would like to get advice on how to get started with eCommerce feel free to contact us.