The computer age is all about learning how to take advantage of advances in technology, whether it is in our personal or professional lives.
Business owners who choose to set up shop during this time have two avenues with which to do so. The first is the traditional brick and mortar location. The second is through eCommerce. There are some similarities in both business models and some differences.
One of the biggest differences is the amount of technology that you will need to run an eCommerce venture successfully as compared to a traditional one. When looking into low cost business ideas, you will need to keep a few technology based elements in mind.
One of the most important elements to a successful eCommerce venture is how well you manage your website content. Your website is your store front; you want it to be as inviting to the online shopper as a physical store is to a traditional shopper. In order to do so, you will need a content management system that acts as your online arms and legs. These systems can carry out multiple functions while running silently in the background, unseen by your guests.
Content management begins as soon as you decide to start populating your site with information and images. It is important to keep your website organized, but allow it to convey the feeling you are hoping to achieve.
Delivering the content is another piece to the eCommerce puzzle that is extremely important. After all, it is through the delivery that your website visitors may become your online customers.
Creating and managing your website’s content is only one piece to the eCommerce formula. The next and most important is to deliver it in a fashion that appeals to and attracts Internet users. You want a system that will invite customers in and entice them to complete a transaction with your company.
Look into to creating a mobile version of your store. This way, no matter where the consumer is, you have the ability to reach out to them. Mobile apps can even be created on a budget.
Consider interactive features such as giving the customer the ability to personalize their experience. If they feel more like a customer and less like a number, there is a good chance they will return in the future.
Security in eCommerce is even more important than in a traditional commerce model. This is because you lose one layer of extra security that a physical location may provide: the human eye. You cannot watch your website every moment of every day. Instead it is important to find software that protects your low cost business ideas and gives you the peace of mind you need to sleep at night.
Creating a secure environment is also an extremely important element when attempting to attract and retain a customer base. Online shopping, while easy, leaves consumers open to possible dangers, so give them a safe haven they can rely on, according to CIO. There is a variety of elements you can implement to ensure the safety of all who visit your location, these include:
- Choosing a secure Web host
- Not storing data
- Provide security training to all of your employees
The only way your website can make you money is if a customer chooses to initiate and complete a transaction. Unlike a physical location, customers who shop online have the option of filling their basket and then abandoning it. This practice cannot only tie up some of your inventory; it can ultimately cost you a significant amount of sales. In order to avoid cart abandonment, consider purchasing software that makes it easy for customers to complete their transactions, safely.
Look for safety features such as a credit card verification system when purchasing the software. By requiring items such as the security code off of the card or limiting the number of failed transactions, you can help maintain the safety of your website and your customer’s experience, according to Small Business Trends. Make sure the shopping cart you choose is easy to navigate and loads quickly, as these two factors can also influence whether or not a transaction is completed.
Technology can lend a hand in creating your dream eCommerce location. Ensure that your customers will feel safe and is able to complete their transactions with no problems. Interact with your customer as much as possible, build a personalized relationship with them, and make them think they are the most important visitors your site has had all day. The most important thing to remember is that all of these elements can be implemented for a small sum of money, but their benefits are priceless.
[Image credit: Tim Reckmann, Flickr]