While some business owners get lucky on their first try, most of us have found difficulty in building an online store without any preparation.
As the digital world has exceled over the last year, almost anyone can start an online business however, just having an idea isn’t enough; you need a strong development and design team behind you.
I will share with you some key points you need to address before even thinking about designing your online store.
1. Simple Content Management System
The key to an easy to use website is a simple but effective CMS. A lot of business owners spend a lot of money overcomplicating their management system when something as simple as WordPress would work fine as a starting point.
2. User-Friendly Interface
“In their attempts to add on all the bells and whistles, business owners can lose sight of a good user experience. Simple navigation, uncluttered design, and quick load time are key.” –Steph Auteri from Word Nerd Pro.
Steph is right in suggesting an uncluttered design. Simplicity is underrated in Business – everyone thinks it’s ‘all about the gear’ but as we all know, it turns out that really, they have no idea.
3. Style + Simplicity = Near Impossible
As said above, more is not better. Your development team should aim to marry style and simplicity to avoid stirring feelings of overwhelm or distraction. This, in itself, its near impossible as we get carried away with the excitement of something new. Spend some time looking at your brand and making sure the design element of your business is in touch with your brands identity.
4. Who’s Accountable for Mistakes?
As it is your business, are you willing to take the blame for your team’s mistakes? Without tight accountability to deadlines and deliverables, you may end up with a site and design that does not meet expectations. Make sure this does NOT happen by holding a weekly meeting with your team where you can discuss any issues and by keeping a document of who is in charge of each sector in your business – don’t take the fall for someone else’s error.
5. Mobile Compatibility
Offering your consumers a Multi-Channel experience is vital for your business’s success. By 2015 it is expected that around 50% of companies will generate web sales via social network presence and mobile applications. Start the move to mobile now before most of your competitors follow suit – have the upper hand in your business sector by turning your store mobile.
6. Critical Response
You will need to be able to provide proof of the digital journey you take your customer on when they buy on your website. By this I mean how a lead will be captured, what happens to that lead and, ultimately, how a sale is made (ideally automatically without direct team involvement). This allows you to scale your marketing and customer acquisition method.
7. Social Is Necessary
Social Commerce, along with Mobile is the future of Online Shopping. Every website should have a Social plug-in of some kind, whether it’s just a button or actually embedded into your store. You will also need to build an online presence in Social Media to see any improvement in traffic to your site.
8. Copywriting and Ownership of Assets
Having a business is not all about fun and games; you do have to get serious – especially when it involves any legal documentation. If you don’t specify outright that any logos or creative designs made are completely yours in an initial agreement, you could end up in a legal battle over which party actually owns the materials on your website. That is just one of a hundred examples of how you could face a serious backlash if you do not have the right legal documentation.
You should start a business website with a clear plan, just as you would a business. Don’t be caught out or afraid of taking action, remember, actions speak louder than words.
Are you ready to start your online business?