It has been the season of ecommerce!
Whether it was launching an ebook, a new soccer academy in the Greater Vancouver area, a drop shipping venture, or an extremely extravagant Christmas event, it seems that a lot of my time has been managing e-commerce development projects over the past few months. Businesses are learning that they need to be able to sell their products and services online, and entrepreneurs are realizing the potential of being able to enter sectors like never before with intrusive digital advertising and SEO.
I’ve been a part of ecomm solution implementations for over a decade in some form or another. From being a part of a large Grocery Company’s first-to-market online shopping service launch team, or adding retainer payment processing to a Lawyer’s website, in some form or another processing credit cards and providing products and services online has become more and more of a necessity for businesses in North America. Every time I’ve worked on an ecommerce development project there have always been things that have come up! It’s an ongoing learning experience and embracing the problem-solving required has become something I’m passionate about.
I’ve compiled a list of tips for those of you who are looking to enter the ecommerce space!
- Usability First! Before you spend too much time (and money) on making sure your ecommerce website looks better than any other project you’ve worked on before, make sure you are prioritizing usability higher than design. Yes, your site needs to look great and represent your brand, but if a customer can’t easily find the information they need and make a purchase quickly, the likelihood of it happening is slim to none.
- If you are launching a new site, before you hop on to Shopify, investigate a WordPress + woocommerce solution. I’ve found that if you have the ability to utilize a developer on an ongoing basis or someone who can build you a custom solution, projects have been more affordable when built on WP and Woocommerce. I am of course always advocating for WordPress, this doesn’t mean that Shopify doesn’t provide a great experience. They are in the business of ecommerce so they know the best way to get a customer into the cart and to check out.
- Make sure you implement tracking pixels (for both social media and google) to ensure that any of your advertising dollars spent can be tracked properly and that you know exactly what paid channels are converting to sales.
- Absolutely, without a doubt, make sure that you have a SSL certificate installed on your website. It needs to be running on HTTPS for potential customers to trust it.
- Realize that you will need to review your analytics and conversion reporting on a monthly basis. With any ecommerce project, it’s critical that you understand where and why people are visiting your site and what could possibly be deterring them from purchasing from you.