eCommerce, today, is an industry that is flourishing at an incredible pace. On one hand, we have big players like Amazon, Flipkart etc who have a wide range of products; on the other hand, small businesses, with niché offerings, are slowly beginning to use the internet to trade. Small players in this industry need not be like the giants in order to do a profitable business. The number of online shoppers is increasing and this is the right time for businesses to hop onto the eCommerce boat.
In simple terms, eCommerce means to carry out any transaction over the internet. However, it is capable of doing a lot more than that. If you’re a business looking for a space on the internet, space where you can take your products and services to a larger audience, or you simply wish to provide your existing customers with a better experience, then look no further. The internet is here to do exactly that.
Setting up an eCommerce website is often considered a tedious, complex undertaking and sometimes the idea gets trashed even before it is spoken out loud. However, here is what you should know – it is simple. To set up an efficient eCommerce website, all you need is time, energy, and a comfortable budget.
Here is a list of pre-requisites to check before you begin the process –
- Make sure you have your products/services in place and are ready to be sold.
- Do keep a timeline in mind to launch your website
- Have an idea of what your brand looks/will look like
To establish your business’ digital presence, you have to pay attention to the following five components of an eCommerce Website.
1. e-Commerce Platform: The eCommerce platform manages all the products, categories, checkout process, and other aspects involved with an e-commerce website. There are several platforms available, with similar features and functionality. Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce helps put together the basic functions of an eCommerce website together and gets you going. Once you have chosen one, begin by getting comfortable with it, understand how orders are placed, processed and delivered.
2. Content Management: Content is of utmost importance on your website. This is because it carries out three significant functions –
Provides information about your products – The way you lay out your content in terms of text and visuals is called information architecture. Websites work well when they are built to be functional and simple. A well thought-out layout will make sure that your customer is not lost on your website, and instead has a smooth, hassle-free experience.
Here is a checklist that can help you give a detailed product information –
- A specific product name
- Good quality product images
- A well-articulated description
- Other details like choices in sizes colours, length etc.
- Delivery Information
- Display related products
4. Terms and Conditions: It is also important to have terms, conditions, and refund policies need to be clearly written on your website. Written terms and conditions help to minimise legal disputes, avoid mismatched expectations and help you comply with the law.
5. Delivery: One crucial step is to understand how shipping works and arrange for the same with your chosen delivery service provider. Blue Dart, Professional couriers, DTDC are commonly used in India. Understand their shipping charges and accordingly update the same on your website as well.
The last, but probably the most important step is to test the whole process. Carry out a mock drill – order yourself one of your own products and test the entire process. Rectify the issues encountered and once you have made a problem-free order, you are good to go.
A couple of our projects have been e-commerce websites that sell products to a niché audience. We developed their websites, their content. For instance, based in Kodaikanal, a group of women collects batches of honey gathered by adivasi communities and sell them in a local market. Their business, called Hoopoe on a Hill is small and they came to us with a desire to reach a larger audience. They wanted to sell their organic forest products, online. Similarly, Argil Adorn, a homemaker based in Bangalore, handcrafts terracotta jewellery and sells them online. eCommerce has enabled them to operate their business from the comforts of their home and for them, this experience has been empowering.
If you’re a business that is looking for digital solutions, check out our website and feel free to talk to us. We will make sure that screens don’t scare you!