Selling online is a great subject to write about as it is constantly changing and evolving. Each month new start-up businesses bring in new ideas. There are lots of opportunities to improve your online business for B2B or B2C.
If you have any questions about eCommerce try our FAQs and Ideas Center or just send us a comment or email.
Web design and user experience can play a significant part in the success and growth of your online business. You need a design that reflects your brand and one that works across a range of platforms, browsers and devices. You might not know it but eCorner has an in-house design team that can work with you to create the ultimate design!
We’ve seen online sales grow significantly over the last 12-18 months as people shift more towards contact-less trading. The largest growth area that we’ve seen is in mobile sales – that is online purchases made by mobile phones and tablets.
The way in which your website displays and functions on mobile devices is extremely important. It should be “responsive” meaning that it will automatically adapt or respond to the type of device (laptop, tablet, mobile phone etc) that is accessing the site and display the appropriate design.
eCorner has some outstanding new design themes that we can tailor to your needs or we can create a custom theme just for your website and online store. You can get a new responsive theme installed from just $1,400.00 or a customised theme from just $2,000.00. eCorner will provide a quote for you based on your initial brief.
Once the new design is installed eCorner will assist to optimise the website and look at key settings and search engines factors. Contact us now for a free consultation and quote.
We’re including some recent design projects to give you an idea of what can be achieved for a very modest investment.
"We have been very happy with our new website. It looks professional and very easy to navigate. Our experience with the customer service at eCorner has been great. They handle things very efficiently and are available for any questions we have. We will be pursuing future web projects with them and highly recommend them to anyone in the market for a professional website."
Anthony Kotarac, Xchange
“eCorner were so easy to deal with. We gave them a brief and their design team did the rest. We’re thrilled with the final result”
Elena Vvedenskaia, Engineers Australia
Over 70% of ecommerce sales now come from mobile devices. But many online store operators still see the desktop as the main view of their website.
Mobile responsiveness refers to how well a website runs on a mobile device with a smaller screen, such as a smartphone. Mobile responsiveness is important for online retail and ecommerce websites as more consumers are searching and buying using their mobile phones. What makes mobile responsiveness possible is the design used on the website.
Design for mobile devices needs to take into account important features to improve usability:
The design and layout of your website will change when viewed on mobile devices and the design elements will be simplified. But the full functionality of the online store needs to be retained.
The website menu allows the consumer visiting the website to browse and find the products that they want to view and buy. So you need to make the process as easy as possible. But the reality is that over 80% of visitors coming to a website on smart phones will use search and not category browse to find what they need. So when transitioning from desktop and tablet view to mobile phone view the category menu will take less landscpe and the search bar should be more focused for visitors.
But with large websites with thousands or categories, browse just may not be practical and so the search capabilities need to be intuitive and fast. Predictive and filtered search results are essential on mobile devices.
Getting a new design for your website and online shop is a easy process but does need your input. eCorner will provide example designs and recommendations based on what best fits your business. Designs mockups are created on a testing version of the website so that it can be reviewed without impacting the production website. When the design is approved we schedule, and agree, a time to update the production website. This typically is a fast process and does not impact the website operation.
eCorner deliver a number of new assets as part of the update and provide additional training and documentation to assist in understanding any custom areas.
Every week we have new customers come to eCorner, some have never had a website or online business before and for them it's the beginning of a long and challenging journey.
For those that have a website and an online business and are re-platforming, we often find that they are not prepared for the change that is coming to their business and have made a snap decision to change without fully considering the implications.
Of course we never like to turn away a new customer but we always ask these questions to ensure they are making the right decision and will get maximum value from their move to our platform.
Sometime the answer is vague and this can often mean that the change has not been fully thought out.
"Change is as good as a holiday? Not always…"
A good parallel to draw is a home owner that needs to up-size (or down-size). Families outgrow the family home and need more space, comfort or a different location, or maybe it is retirement time and you are down-sizing.
When this happens it is a huge decision and impacts all the family. It can be time consuming and expensive. Mistakes in the process or bad decisions can often be life changing or cause ongoing problems for the whole family.
On the other side of the coin it is also very exciting. Moving to a new neighbourhood, suburb or city can open up new opportunities. Moving in to that sparkling new house with all the new space and fittings can be a buzz.
It is a decision that takes analysis and planning and not one that it undertaken lightly - do you move, renovate your current home, or is it better to just stay put. The choice often depends on a number of factors like availability, time, cost and life-style impact.
Moving also invariably comes with a long list of things to do like change of address, change phone, internet, digital services, power, water and the list goes on.
Bottom line: it’s a major decision that needs careful consideration. Moving your online businesses home should be considered just as carefully.
Consider that your website is just like the digital home of your business. When it comes to a decision to change, the impact can be as lasting as changing your family home. You need to look at the options and ask the right questions to ensure you aren’t making the wrong decision or missing some critical factor in your decision making process.
Once you feel you have all the information then build a plan that will help you transition through the change. You may find once you’ve done your diligence that a move isn’t the right option and you should simply renovate your online home or leave it as it is and focus your efforts elsewhere.
If the decision is to move (i.e. build a new website), then your plan becomes the core of the process with all your key information, including all the necessary requirements that can be provided to the companies that can build your website.
This is really an important question to ask as change is not always your friend.
If you are a business owner or manager then you invariably get pounded with emails and calls from SEO and Digital Agencies telling you how bad your website is and how “easy” it would be to rebuild. This should never be the reason why you change websites, building a new site is never “easy” (or cheap) and there are a range of flow on issues that should be considered in formulating your plan.
The key reasons to change are in general a need for new features or some failure in your current site.
Main reasons for change:
The downsides of changing should also be considered.
There is a risk with any site change that your search rankings will be lost or reduced, content may be lost or not be able to be migrated to the new site and there will likely be a huge investment of your time both as part of the build process but also to learn the new system and change your business process to adopt the functionality of the new platform.
The first consideration that you need to make is to build a simple plan to cover the change process. This way nothing will be missed and your decision to renovate, move or do nothing will be much easier.
There are some key questions that you can ask and you should consider all stake holders involved in the process.
Who are your stakeholders:
Once you establish the list of people that can impact (and will be impacted by) the change then you can get their input which will help make the process (project) simpler.
"If it’s not broken then don't fix it..."
Don't laugh! The first and most important thing to consider is do you need to change at all.
If your website or online store is delivering results then changing it may negatively impact the business. You can use your website analytics to determine how your website is performing.
Website performance is often thought of as how many people find your website but in reality that is generally more about marketing and search engine optimisation. The website's performance is really about what people do once they find your website, how many become buyers or customers and are the business results meeting expectations.
For example, if you're concerned you aren’t selling enough but your statistics show that a large percentage of users on your site buy products (i.e. high conversion rates). Then problem to fix isn’t likely to be the site itself, but the way customers are find or are driven to your site. Then your time and money may be better spent reconsidering your marketing strategy or on a new pay-per-click campaign (like Google AdWords).
If you know what is being achieved then you can set targets for improvement in your plan, and that can be communicated to your stakeholders, to ensure that any changes you make are for a purpose which is measurable.
My advice is to start by talking to your existing web developer or web service provider.
You've likely already committed time and money on your current site, and making your existing website more modern or improving user experience may be much more simple and less expensive than a full rebuild. Just like renovating a bathroom or adding a bedroom versus moving house it will come with a far shorter list of things to do and also have less risk of failure.
There are situations where the previous web developer has disappeared or gone out of business, or maybe the existing website has been a catastrophic failure. So the only real alternative is to start from scratch.
What questions do you need to answer?
Consider seeking feedback from your customers as part of this process, that will allow you to ensure it isn’t just your potentially ‘bias’ view of the site that is incorporated but also the needs/desires of your customers become the core of the build process.
Once you have developed your plan for the future of your website, there will likely be an obvious answer to whether you should move, renovate or do nothing.
If not, having conversations with your existing provider and other similar providers in the industry will help you analyse your plan and determine your next steps.
We, as a provider, will never advise someone considering a change to their online store that it will be a "quick, easy process", nor that it will be risk free. Unfortunately, not all providers and agencies in the industry are as unscrupulous. So ensure you take all advice with a grain of salt, and are comfortable with your decision before you move forward.
By having a plan and a clear view on the objectives, costs (both money and time) and risks of the change, it will ensure you make the decision for the right reasons not because the grass is greener on the other side of the digital fence.
If you are planning a change and want some help or don't know where to start then the eCorner Assist team has services available that will help you review your existing website.