What is an eCommerce website?
eCommerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of electronically buying or selling products over the Internet. An eCommerce website differs from a physical store in that its purpose is to sell all sorts of goods or services online, regardless of the method of delivery or payment.
The number of people using the Internet to search for a product or solve a problem is constantly growing exponentially around the world year on year. The Internet has become the new marketplace where you can reach large numbers of people and identify small but very dense market niches.
This makes eCommerce a very competitive sector, yet one which provides you with additional revenue streams if done right. It is said that eCommerce websites in Europe will account for 717 billion Euro by the end of 2020.
Why has eCommerce become so popular?
Nowadays we trust the web more and more and every product or service is searched online before being purchased. eCommerce is without doubt the new frontier of commerce, but why is it so?
First and foremost, because of convenience. An eCommerce website allows us to shop any product from anywhere in the world and get it delivered to our doorstep, with just a few clicks and without having to leave the comfort of our homes.
Besides convenience, eCommerce is driven by emerging technologies that make previously unthinkable things possible. Not to mention today’s ever-changing trends, regularly served on social media, directly connected and immediately available through an eCommerce website.
Another important factor is added security. In the early 2000s, many were sceptical of giving their credit card details to an online retailer. Today we have a completely different scenario. SSL certificates, cryptography and reliable external payment systems such as PayPal, Revolut, Worldpay and Skrill have helped to improve people’s trust in eCommerce.
What makes a good eCommerce website in UX/UI terms
While CX (customer experience) in web stores is associated with the overall experience, delivery, and support after the very act of shopping; UX (user experience) is what will make it easier and encourage a person to make the purchase in the first place.
If we look at the “kings” of eCommerce (eBay, Amazon, AliExpress), we will quickly notice that it is not just the nice web shop that sells, but the one that is easy to use.
Here are a few tips for good user experience within the site:
- A simple and intuitive structure with particular attention to the positioning of the call-to-action elements (cart, wish list, newsletter…);
- A clear design and structure, without pop-ups, unnecessary spam, or excessive advertising;
- The use of breadcrumbs on all pages to better guide the customer through the site at all times;
- The possibility of browsing and filtering through special tools positioned so that they are easily visible;
- A correct internal link structure to lead the user to view similar products or suggest related products;
- As simple a checkout process as possible, without unnecessary data requests, in as few clicks as possible, even without registration;
- Create an FAQ page with answers to general questions the website visitors might ask before registering and making a purchase. The answers should be simple, short, and to the point;
- Provide a chat service – it allows a personalised approach that customers love because it’s reassuring to communicate with real people and quickly.
Building an eCommerce website is, in theory, the same as creating any other website, but in practice, it is a process where good UX demands much more importance, especially in industries where competition is high. How many times have you left a web shop without buying anything because it has confused or frustrated you?
In order to have a successful eCommerce website that drives conversions, it is imperative to make the online store as fluid and intuitive as possible.
WooCommerce advantages & possibilities
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress that allows you to sell anything. Built to seamlessly integrate into WordPress, WooCommerce is the world’s favourite eCommerce solution that gives store owners and developers complete control.
Used on more than 3.3 million eCommerce websites around the world, a WooCommerce plug-in combines ease of use with incredible power, flexibility, speed, security and stunningly brilliant features which can be tailored to your business needs.
It is also quickly and easily integrated on existing WordPress websites and presents a convenient and quality solution for new online merchants.
There are hundreds of different themes as well as the ability to integrate in custom themes tailored to the user.
The WooCommerce plugin comes with some pretty powerful options, such as:
- Independent product entry with a short and long description, gallery, regular and special price and code;
- 56 languages;
- Add and edit categories;
- View orders and mark status;
- Editing and manual entry of orders.
In terms of search engine optimisation, WooCommerce is also supported by the basic search engine tools in WordPress. This means that it automatically creates titles and metadata for search engine results. WooCommerce doesn’t have SEO features per se, but you can add plugins like Yoast to improve your keyword strategy.
Malta WooCommerce success stories
At NIU, we are ambassadors for WooCommerce selling platforms and we’re proud of it. Our eCommerce solutions are well-designed, SEO optimised, mobile-friendly, optimised to convert, and lightning-fast.
But don’t only take our word for it. The success of our clients speaks much louder. Well-known brands like Mgarr Farms, Marsovin, Azzopardi Fisheries, Junior’s, Health Club, and Road to Belle are just some of our recently launched client websites that decided to put their online business in our hands.
Each one of these stories started with a consultation. In fact, the most important step towards a thriving online business is sharing industry knowledge. During our one-on-one meetings, we will:
- Share NIU’s award-winning eCommerce websites strategies;
- Give you crucial industry insight to keep you on track;
- Help you devise a plan to create develop, grow and maintain online success;
- Tell you all about funding schemes which will give you the opportunity to get up to 50% cashback on your investment.
Designing an eCommerce website is not as simple as creating any site – in addition to programming, you need to know the user at heart.
If there is one thing we’ve learnt in the past years, it is the importance of being present online. If you have an eCommerce website, you can automate the selling process whilst you focus on running your business.
However, creating successful eCommerce websites and promoting them is not an easy task, and requires strategic planning and careful implementation. We’ll be sure to manage your expectations from the very beginning. Book a consultation with our experts and make an informed decision. Should you then decide to take your business online, we will support you in wooing your customers with our enhanced eCommerce and WooCommerce solutions.