March 19, 2014

Future proofing your e-commerce website

Written By Martin Sandhu
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e-commerce

Business confidence is back on the increase, whether you’re an independent East Midlands company based in Nottingham, Derby or Chesterfield or a brand with a worldwide market. It’s good news, consumers are parting with cash more freely and it gives businesses the opportunity to start focusing on those future plans that have been put on hold through the recent economic troubles.

A recent survey by e-commerce platform provider ‘Create Ecommerce’ shows that business confidence for online selling throughout 2014 is high too, with 82% of online sellers predicting business growth for 2014. <http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11641169.htm>

Expansion can be difficult for e-commerce stores though, as often it’s hard to predict. With a bricks and mortar store you can see exactly who is in your shop and when, whilst shoppers may get a little frustrated in a long queue, they can see who’s in front of them and the human touch and apology when they get to the till serves purpose. Online it’s a little different…

Traffic spikes

It’s not always easy to know when you’ll get a sudden influx of traffic to your site. In the age of social media a tweet that suddenly goes viral or some blog loving can quickly send a stream of new customers to your site. This is great, provided of course your website is up to it.

Ensuring your website is fully tested and you know its upper limit is essential for any e-commerce company. You should know what the load limit is, when things will start to slow down and perhaps even have back-up servers to deal with unpredicted demand, where possible.

Web design

The trusty, loyal customers who know you and your brand will be familiar with your website and happy to continue with its ‘quirks’, new customers may not be so patient though. Mobile internet has led to more and more customers browsing online, which means your website needs to impress within seconds to catch their attention.

User interface and the browsers’ journey through your site should be quick and simple, whilst still creating a brand experience visitors will not forget.

Development

It’s essential that your e-commerce website isn’t ‘locked down’. Granted you’ll be able to add new products to it, but can you quickly add and arrange new pages when you expand your range, link it with your eBay store so that stock levels are correct or upgrade to the latest payment option? All of this is necessary when it comes to moving your site forward; a good marketing agency will use an e-commerce specific platform, like Magento, to build your site. Magento websites are fluid thanks to how easy it is to edit them and add extra plug-ins (like integration with a payment provider), making them perfect for growing online sellers.