Design & Build Your eCommerce Website
E-Commerce means trade through the internet. It could be direct buying and selling, market aggregation which means providing a market space for the buyers and sellers to meet, or sales of objects involving Intellectual property rights like music tracks.
Modern E-Commerce players involve the internet at least in one aspect. With many countries legalizing trade through internet and providing legal validity for documents and transactions arising and taking place in the World Wide Web, E-Commerce has seen an upward trajectory.
It is a saturated space right now with many players competing neck and neck with each other to win over customers by providing them heavy discounts and offers. They conduct sale every other day and poach customers from each other. The discount margin provided by the e commerce players is also successful in pulling people from the traditional brick and mortar stores to E-commerce sites.
For any E-commerce company, their primary asset is the website. Some companies will also have a dedicated mobile app for themselves since data networks over mobile phones are growing by the day. With 3G and 4G packs coming at reduced rates, the relevance of E-Commerce has only increased.
Some major functionalities expected out of an E-commerce website/application are :
- The website must support high traffic during peak hours. E-Commerce pages are prone to crashes when a sale is on or when popular products are sold at heavy discounts. Preventing the website from crashing is important to enhance the shopping experience for the customer and retain them.
- E-Commerce websites and applications must be fluid and flexible enough to cater to the needs of the user. The site must support functionalities like sorting, filtering, zooming in of images and simulation to get an idea of the size of the product. This will in turn increase the trust of the customer on the site.
- Effective order tracking and customer grievance redressal mechanism. The customer must not be made to run from pillar to post in search of a customer care number or docket number of the shipped item. All these details must be made available to the user at the touch of a button.
- SEO options and the ability to lead the customer to what he requires based on his search history and trends.
- Effective inventory management at the back-end to facilitate reordering and displaying the ‘out of stock’ information to the customer.
- Efficient shopping carts which is clutter free.
- Frill items like gift wrapping and wish list which can be made public.
There are some prominent players in the market who provide integrated solutions to e-commerce companies.
- OS Commerce enjoys the support of a large developer base and low installation costs. It also provides a front end in an easy-to-use catalog model and a back-end that eases administrative processes. It also supports invoicing and printing from the screen reducing the transition time from one window to another.
- Magento provides multiple payment models integration and multiple shipping addresses for a single order. It also helps the company accept payment through money orders and cheques, thereby providing options for the customer to decide on how to pay.
- Among others, Opencart provides tools for customers to review and rate the product.
All of the above players provide Search Engine Optimization with Google, increasing the traffic to the shopping site.
From the perspective of a business owner, each website must have the following features :
- Easy navigation for the customer.
- Fulfill the requirements of the customer and leading the user to the right product that suits his need.
- Hassle-free payment mechanisms
- Careful watch over the inventory levels must be possible with the existing software.
- Smooth integration with different vendors, in case of a market aggregation company.
- A dedicated window for addressing customer grievance.
- Order tracking window, with the docket number, status and the contact details in case of specific requirements for delivery.
E-Commerce sites are supposed to be user-friendly thus empowering even the most ignorant person to log in and use. A smooth site without operational glitches and low downtime is the best asset any E-Commerce company can have.