Back in 1979, British inventor and entrepreneur created an online payment processing system, and the ecommerce business has been growing ever since. Buying and selling online is called ecommerce, and as internet reach grows worldwide, so do ecommerce sales; they are expected to reach 17.5% of all retail sales worldwide, up from just 7.4% in 2015.
An ecommerce website is an online platform that allows a user to browse different products and buy them, but this could apply to multiple industries and multiple product types.
What are the different types of ecommerce?
Ecommerce can take many forms. Well-known companies like TopShop or Mountain Warehouse have B2C (Business to consumer) websites, which means the company sells their product directly to the buyer who will then use it themselves, but there are other ecommerce models.
B2B ecommerce sites are where businesses sell to other businesses, like Polygon, which sells video conferencing and content sharing solutions to other companies. Ebay is an example of C2C ecommerce, where an individual sells something to another individual. C2B is rising in popularity with the growth of freelancing and the digital nomad lifestyle, where an individual supplies products or services (like blog writing or stock photography) to a business for them to use.
There are also different ways to carry out your ecommerce business. Do you sell physical products, like books, or digital products, like music, video or graphic design? This will impact whether you have to deal with postage and packaging and possible returns. You will also have to decide whether to sell B2C retail (individual items) or B2B wholesale, where items can only be purchased in large quantities, as this will affect your pricing and marketing strategy.
How to build an ecommerce website
When designing your ecommerce website, or using a website builder to design it, there are some elements you want to make sure you include. The first is to choose a layout that represents your brand and the product or services you are trying to sell. When in doubt, remember to err on the side of simplicity; we know from experience that customising each level of your website can be time consuming and frustrating, so it’s a good idea to find a website builder that offers ecommerce templates. Then you can just drag and drop the information you need into the website without wasting unnecessary time.
Before choosing a website builder, be aware that many providers have a base price for a website, but then charge extra if you want to use their ecommerce platform or if you want to sell over a certain number of products. At Go Sitebuilder, our monthly fee includes all our services, including an unlimited ecommerce platform, voucher and discount codes and automated warnings when you start running out of stock; and it’s so simple you can upload a product in a matter of moments!
What features should my ecommerce website have for shopping?
Let’s start with the basics: You need to get paid! Choose a payment gateway, like PayPal or Stripe that will allow your customers to easily purchase your products through your website; check out our blog on payment gateways for more information.
The problem with ecommerce is that your potential customers can’t hold your product in their hands before they buy it. This is why high-quality product photos are so important; make sure you have more than one for each product and that the images are well-lit and show off all the product features. Detailed product descriptions also allow your potential customers to decide if your product has everything they need; aim for 150-250 words per product.
Transparency is essential for an ecommerce website, so make sure your postage and packaging and returns policy are easily accessible. If a visitor arrives on your site and can easily find all the information they need without having to search for it, they are much more likely to order a product from your website rather than somebody else’s.
What features should my ecommerce website have to improve user experience?
Think about arriving at your site from a visitor’s perspective. If they know exactly what they want to buy, then having a product search bar will allow them to find it quickly and easily. If they’re just browsing, though, why not have your most popular products on the first page to give them an idea of what you sell, and persuade them to buy something.
Most importantly, you need to make sure your ecommerce website is responsive – meaning it works equally well on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. According to Statista, in the US nearly 50% of ecommerce sales took place on a mobile in 2019 and you don’t want to miss out on this market.
If you’re still looking for a website builder for an ecommerce business, then Go Sitebuilder is a great choice! We offer unlimited products, an integrated super-simple ecommerce platform, full responsive design and more! Try our 14-day free trial today to see what we can offer you and your ecommerce business.