Once you have made a decision to start up an eCommerce store, there are several components that you will find essential. In fact, it is wise to find out all about what you need even before the final decision is made. For a start, some things – e.g. the shopping cart – will cost you, so you need to know whether or not you can afford them. That said, there are many ways of reducing costs; one of them is to use free services or a free trial period for when you first start up. That will allow you to have extra to spend on advertising.
So here are 7 necessary elements that your eCommerce store will need to get started:
- Since so many shoppers these days use their iPhones to shop, your website needs a responsive interface. This means that button and other icons that they need to click on must have lots of space around them – enough for their finger to do the clicking rather than a tiny arrow from the cursor. You also need to choose the shopping cart with mobile functionality in mind.
- An easy checkout process. Have you ever tried to buy something only to find yourself going around in circles? The checkout process should be simple and easy for your customer. The ‘checkout’ button should be large and in an obvious place, it should load quickly, provide a place to edit details, show shipping and other costs clearly, have a visual of the shopping cart full or empty, display product images and details and display security logos to build trust.
- Not everyone wants to register before they can buy. Offer an option for customers to buy as a guest so they don’t have to bother with registration if they don’t want to. It’s all about making the user experience easy.
- Crisp, clear images are essential. When people purchase online they depend on images to see what the product looks like. If yours are blurred it will be a real turn-off for customers. You only have to think of your own shopping online experiences to know how important the images are. You may also need the hover to enlarge feature, especially for clothing.
- Product descriptions are important. If yours are not clear and accurate you will find many goods being returned.
- Returns Policy. This must feature on your website in a place that is easy to see. A fair returns policy is essential to all ecommerce, so it needs to use clear and uncomplicated language and explain everything transparently. Be clear about whether the return will be for a cash refund, an exchange or credit. The last two options are best as it means your store still gets a sale.