Sunday, April 8, 2012

Considerations for Designing An Effective E-Commerce Website

U.S. online sales are projected to reach $209 billion dollars in 2012, according to research by eMarketer. Businesses can tap into online retail by incorporating e-commerce features like inventory management, credit card transaction support, and shopping carts into their websites. Organizations planning to support e-commerce in the future should consider these four factors below:

1. Security

The most important part of processing your customer?s credit card and financial information is security. When customers purchase from you online, they are placing their trust in your company. Work with your web designer to find shopping cart software that meets the latest security standards. Indicate trust throughout the online shopping process by showing security certifications or even a link to your written security policy.

2. Customer Usability

If a customer becomes frustrated by a lengthy or difficult ordering or payment process, they can easily drop out of the process by closing a window or navigating to a competitor?s site. An intuitive and quick ordering and payment process will prevent customers from backing out of a purchase. Look for a solution that offers a complete fulfillment system to track orders, provide reporting, and keep customers updated on order status.

3. Inventory Management

Leading e-commerce software will offer businesses web-based administration tools for managing their inventory. ?The business owner should be able to efficiently manage available stock, product descriptions, product images, shipping costs, and pricing. With the right e-commerce tools, your business can avoid the reputation damage of showcasing a product that is not in stock or offering a product at the wrong price.

4. Marketing Features

When a customer of a pet store is purchasing a dog leash online, what if the shopping cart automatically featured related products for sale, such as dog treats, toys, or harnesses?? A shopping cart with built-in cross-selling capabilities can open up new revenue streams for your business. Look for a shopping cart solution that supports cross-selling, referrals, reviews, ratings, coupons, wish lists, and even loyalty ?rewards? programs.

Are you interested in e-commerce best practices and building a shopping cart feature into your website? Get in touch with Anchor Wave, Tucson?s web design and internet marketing experts. We can help your business improve its online presence and strategy. Visit us online or call us at (520) 622-3731.

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