Anna Bailey of Freeway Projects explores the best options for embarking on an e-commerce strategy.
The UK e-commerce market is one of the biggest in Europe and is still growing rapidly, driven in part by the increase in usage of mobile devices, the convenience and trust in online shopping.
Here are some core factors to consider to put you at a commercial advantage over your competitors, whether you are a start-up, already have an online business or are considering changing platform.
What to consider decides on your platform
There are many e-commerce solutions available and your particular circumstances will dictate which is the most appropriate.
Each platform provides different trade-offs of flexibility, ease of use and total cost of ownership. We can help you choose a platform that meets your needs. If you already have your own website and want to add e-commerce functionality, there are several platforms that can integrate with your existing site or act as their own standalone website.
Future growth, flexibility and integration
Are there limitations to the number of products and product lines? Can you scale up as your business grows and add extra features to the site without a big additional expense? Does the platform integrate with your existing systems and marketing channels?
Website security, maintenance, performance and SEO – It is essential your website is actively maintained, with any updates being applied in a timely manner to mitigate security issues and protect your customers and business. Ensure your site is performing at its best in regards to loading speed and search engine results and that it is mobile friendly.
Customer payment options
What payment services can it integrate with? How do their transaction fees compare and are there fixed costs per transaction?
Look for an e-commerce platform that offers good customer support.
Hosting and backups
Choose an experienced hosting provider that has a comprehensive backup and recovery plan that is regularly tested.
In-depth analytics can provide you with a wealth of information to refine your customer experience. Tools like Google Analytics allow you to gain insight into how your site is used, how changes affect your sales and ultimately generate more revenue over time.
Photography and user experience – Invest in good quality photography to make a strong immediate impression on the buyer. Show multiple angles of your product so buyers can fully understand and visualise the item.
Ensure your site is easy to use, search and navigate, and has an engaging design which presents your business in the best light.
If you would like advice or recommendations on choosing the right platform, please get in touch. Likewise, if you already have an online business and wish to optimise it, better maintain or move to a different platform, we can help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01752 267090 to speak to a member of our team.