About the author: Dan Cannon is the Lead Web Applications Developer for Nicasio Design and Development. Nicasio provides web based solutions for both individuals and businesses. Nicasio owns and operates the E-Commerce solution NicE-Comm.
E-Commerce (short for electronic commerce) is one of the fastest growing areas of the web today. With the economy performing below par and gas prices on the rise many people are turning to E-Commerce solutions.
Compared with a traditional brick and mortar storefront, an E-Commerce store has a relatively small startup cost, maintenance cost, and can be up and running in a fraction of the time it would take to launch a physical store. This allows sellers to pass these savings directly to their customers. It’s no wonder that E-Commerce is accounting for more and more retail sales nowadays!
Despite this rich market, many people don’t know how to get started with E-Commerce and often get lost and frustrated among a sea of options. There are almost an infinite number of solutions that allow you to sell items online.
So what should you look for in an E-Commerce solution?
Here is an outline of the most important features any E-Commerce solution should have, and why they are important:
1.) Search Engine Optimization – In today’s world Google is both a noun and a verb and search engines drive almost all of the web’s traffic. It is inevitable that if you want people to find information you put on the web, you will need Google’s help. So, if you want people to be able to find the products you are listing in your store, it is imperative that you find an E-Commerce solution that takes Search Engine Optimization into account. For a truly successful solution you will need a system that was built with Search Engine Optimization in mind through each stage of the development process.
2.) Design Customization – As a business you have spent time, energy, and money to create a brand, a look, a feel, something that your customers find familiar and recognizable. This needs to be present in your E-Commerce storefront. So many E-Commerce solutions force you into a particular site layout, template, or theme, and your uniqueness is lost. Your brand becomes just another cookie-cutter, faceless, online store. Make sure your E-Commerce captures your brand and personality and reflects that in your storefront. If your customers cannot remember and identify you, they are unlikely to come back anytime soon.
3.) Business Objectives – The best programmers, web developers, and project managers in the world will tell you that it doesn’t matter how good, how secure, and how usable a system is if it doesn’t help to attain your business objectives. Partnering with an E-Commerce provider that specializes in identifying your online business goals and objectives is absolutely essential in succeeding in the world of E-Commerce. If you need custom business logic built into your storefront do not let someone tell you it can’t be done. If it is important to your business it needs to be present in your E-Commerce solution.
4.) Allow People to Give You Money – Many E-Commerce solutions make your customers register for an account before purchasing. Some even make your customers leave your site to read an account activation email! Forcing your customers to leave your site when they are ready to give you money is not a smart business practice. Make sure that your E-Commerce solution keeps your customers on YOUR website until their transaction is completed.
5.) Scalability – You are going to want a solution that does not limit how many products you can sell, how many images you can upload, or how much traffic you can have. Studies have shown that products with more images outsell products with fewer or no images many times over. People are far more likely to buy a product they can thoroughly view before buying. It is for this reason that you never want to be limited to the number of products or images you can have. Make sure your solution allows your store to remain scalable.
It is with these objectives in mind that Nicasio Design & Development has created NicE-Comm. NicE-Comm is the next generation of E-Commerce. This solution allows for completely customizable storefronts, custom business logic, and a simple to use interface that gets you, the business owner, the information you need, when you need it. With features like unlimited products, unlimited images, unlimited bandwidth, content management options, SMS Text message notifications for new orders, and the ability to manage YOUR store YOURSELF.
Contact Us today for a demo and more information.