Important Components An Online Store Should Have






     A large chunk of shoppers today have left the hustle and bustle of physical stores to turn to online shopping that can be done from anywhere at any time. Those who love the rush of shopping will say that online stores take the fun out of the experience but it's a fact that they carry products from more vendors and offer tempting discounts.

Online shopping is a huge deal now and even so-called remote regions are reachable. Tie-ups with courier services have made this possible as has internet banking and credit cards. The most important aid, however, are websites without which online shopping would be impossible.

Designing a retail website is no more difficult than other sites but there are key components that must be included to allow visitors to shop.

Web developers should understand that the demand for online stores is rising and so is competition. Businesses that have established themselves have no problem attracting visitors. New companies, on the other hand, have to work to earn trust. This trust is not the prerogative of only the designer but the vendors and courier services as well.

Design

Design should be easy on the eye and focus put on categories, products and offers. Written content is important but unlike non-e-commerce sites, rambling text is not required. Most of the pages will be taken up by products which will have small descriptions.

Navigation should be made very simple. Once a visitors clicks on a product the link should take him directly to the landing page. Information should be presented in an easy-to-read manner while buttons for 'add to cart' and 'similar products' must be present. A drop down menu for categories and pricing and filters are also essential.

Content

Content should be to the point and simple. An 'about us' section is necessary to help visitors connect with the store. Information like customer care helpline, email address for both complaints and enquiries and permanent (physical) address are required.

There should be clear-cut info about shipping policies, order system, registration fees if any, payment options, terms and conditions and other legalities.

Shopping cart

A shopping cart contains products ordered by customers before making payments. The cart allows them to remove items and add more.

Payment gateway

Payment gateways are the middlemen in connecting online store users to banking sites and processing credit and debit cards. They're expensive but trusted gateways attract more site traffic because customers relate an online store's reputation with that of a known payment processing brand name.

Domain name and hosting

Domain names can be expensive but try not to settle for one that doesn't contain the company name. Small businesses can do this and later purchase an exclusive name but established companies that haven't set up an online store should not compromise.

Web hosting refers to buying space on a server to allow a site to go online. It goes hand-in-hand with domain names and one cannot live without the other.

Dedicated IP address

Dedicated IP addresses encrypt data sent over the internet using SSL certificates. Since customers will have to enter confidential data like contact information as well as be directed to banking sites, these two factors are crucial.

Maintenance

Maintenance is the key to a good website. Shop reports display information on how many internet users visit a site, who placed what order, total number of orders, which customers buy more etc. Site visitors, meanwhile, appreciate efforts to keep information up-to-date.






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Posted on 2013-06-12, By: *

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