We can’t stress enough how important it is for your business to have a professional looking and user-friendly website. After all, people increasingly conduct their research about products or services online. If they can’t find you online, they may not even know you exist.
However, even if they know about your business, if you don’t have a website where they can learn more about your products or services, they are likely to keep on searching.
A website is necessary today—but is an eCommerce website? Keep reading to learn more.
First things first, what is an eCommerce website?
An eCommerce website is essentially a virtual storefront that enables customers to shop and pay for products or services online. Customers can search the website, add products to a cart, and then securely enter credit card information to complete the transaction.
eCommerce sites range from complex customized sites built specifically for a business to templates with plug-and-play shopping cart functionality. They require capabilities, such as payment processors and payment gateways, and of critical importance is security. They will require SSL/TLS certificates that apply encryption to sensitive data, for example credit card information, to protect it against hackers.
Do you need an eCommerce website?
That depends on what you’re selling. The most important consideration is how much you want to expand. If you want to reach customers outside your local area—without adding significant sales staff—an ecommerce website is the way to go. It can offer you global reach with little upfront costs. Or if you want to start selling products but can’t yet establish a brick-and-mortar storefront, an eCommerce website can enable you to start your business and begin making money right away.
Just note that increasingly customers want the opportunity to purchase both products and services online. Look to the success of Amazon for proof. The convenience of being able to shop from anywhere or even from a mobile phone is a big benefit.
Ultimately, if selling online makes sense for your products or services, offering customers the option can be good for business.
What other benefits do eCommerce websites offer?
Beyond just meeting customer demands for online shopping, eCommerce sites serve promotional and sales value.
They store massive amounts of data about your products and services. If set up properly, as visitors navigate the website, they can easily find products and receive recommendations for similar products or add-ons.
eCommerce websites can also automatically update customers via emails when an order goes through, is shipped and when it is scheduled to arrive. Plus, it keeps a record of the entire transaction, so it makes troubleshooting issues and returns much simpler.