No matter whether you are considering a hosted or self hosted platform, there are a few things you should watch for when selecting and setting up your eCommerce site:
- Plan what you want now in your platform, and what you may want in the future - do the research!
- Be clear about your user experience: shop online and take note of other eCommerce sites you like - think about how you might adapt their user experience.
- Time: think carefully about when you want your eCommerce site to be available - is there a best time of year to launch your site? For example, if you are offering winter products you may want to launch a few months prior to winter
- Marketing: how will you get your site to be known by the search results page applying search engine optimisation (SEO); how will it apply to your products within the eCommerce environment?
- Costs: determine a budget and keep a close eye on the costs of building your eCommerce site. Self hosted sites will cost more and take time to build. While hosted sites will bring your site online quickly, the costs of the service provider can be high.
- Network bandwidth: not all countries have the same bandwidth and therefore this can cause issues in positive and efficient user experiences. Some things to consider are the size of your images, number pages on the site, navigation and how many clicks you are asking your customer to do before arriving at an item.
- Hosting: only use reputable host platforms.
- Web development providers: seek out web developers who have experience in creating eCommerce sites. Ask for references and portfolios to previous eCommerce sites as proof of their expertise. Ask them how they would approach testing of the best user experience.
- If constructing your own site, ensure you check the compatibility of your website with the eCommerce site with which you want to integrate. There can sometimes be incompatibility between systems and software. Don’t forget if you are building your site yourself, that you design the best user experience. You can test the best experience by undertaking what is known as A/B testing (testing of the site’s design to provide the best experience for the user). If you are using a web developer who specialises in eCommerce, they should be able to provide you with advice as to the best eCommerce solutions for your platform.
Visit some of your favourite eCommerce websites.
In the Comments section, share a link of one eCommerce website that you think provides a good user experience to the visitor, and comment what you believe the website does to provide that good user experience.
© RMIT University 2016