It’s no news that Ecommerce websites otherwise called online shops have gradually begun to replace the traditional brick-and-mortar shops, and for good reasons at that. We could talk about the ease of doing business to reach more customers online, and the reduced costs of owning a physical store. Literally, the benefits are endless and the world is going digital whether you like it or not. As a business owner, your priority should be on jumping on that train, hence the question – what is the best eCommerce website for my business.
What is the best e-commerce website for my business is arguably the most valid question to ask, as it is important that you get it right from start. Some business owners make this mistake and spend thousands of dollars trying to fix it in the future – you would too if you make a mistake. For example, a shoe store would not use the same layout as a grocery store e-commerce business, would it?
If you think it would, then you really need to read on. However, if you don’t think it would, you need to read on non the less. We have spent tons of hours putting this together to help you make the right choice and get it from the start.
If you need the answer right away, be sure to use the table of content for easy navigation.
Table of Contents
- Why do you need an eCommerce website?
- Why and when does an old online store need to be redesigned?
- What are the best features an Ecommerce website must have?
- What is the best loading speed of an eCommerce website?
- How can I build my business websites? DIY, Web builders.
- What is the best web design platform to use?
- WordPress or
- When to go for word press
- The pros and cons of choosing word press
- When to go for Shopify
- The pros and cons of choosing Shopify
- WordPress or
- Why we recommend word press
- Why DIY could be costlier (low quality, lose great leads, etc.)
- How much should I spend on my business website?
- Get a professional!
Why do you need an Ecommerce Website?
The fast-rising fame of the internet and technology has made buying and selling on the online market faster and easier than ever. In today’s world, people prefer the comfort of shopping from their homes on eCommerce websites on their laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. In this digital age, any business that is serious and wants to be taken seriously should have nothing less than the best online shop platform, which is why you should answer the question – what is the best eCommerce website for my business.
Businesses with the best e-commerce platforms generate significantly more revenue than their rivals, who do not have an e-commerce platform. As a result, having the best eCommerce platform to advertise and sell your product is critical. Ecommerce websites not only increase traffic but also significantly help to expand the brand’s reach.
Even as a seller, with the best eCommerce website, you can tell clients and prospective clients about your company and even take online payments.
Now, if you are wondering why you need an eCommerce website then look no further as the important reasons why your business should own the best eCommerce website are discussed below.
a. Improved Customer Service and Flexibility
The ease of searching and placing an order online can far supersede the additional shipping costs when your eCommerce store is properly established and designed. This can especially be the case if you include a live chat that’s set up to answer your customer’s questions. Ultimately, shopping at an eCommerce website is a much more pleasant and comfortable experience.
b. The advantage of running your business from any location in the world
The best eCommerce website will give you a distinct advantage over the many businesses because it can be operated from any location. This is precisely why so many business owners make use of gadgets like a laptop, tablets, and even mobile phones. You can manage your business from wherever you are as long as you have access to the internet on any of these gadgets.
c. Minimal startup and operating costs
When making comparisons between the expenditures of an online e-commerce website to a physical store, there is a significant difference. An offline physical store is more expensive to maintain due to costs such as rent, electricity, and maintenance. Meanwhile, you can set up the best eCommerce website for a fraction of the cost, with little or no maintenance, no rent, and no electric utility bills to pay.
d. Sales Opportunities Are Always Available
Offline markets typically open at a specific time in the morning and close at a specific time at night. It means that customers can only buy from those locations within those times. Meanwhile, time is never an issue with the best online shop platform. Ecommerce websites are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that customers can make purchases at any time of day and night. When it comes to eCommerce websites, there are no limitations.
Why and when an old online store does need to be redesigned
A new design of your best eCommerce website will help increase sales and performance. Many businesses benefit from the great financial return that online shops provide; however, their effectiveness is dependent on how well they are usable. An online website redesign could also help your brand gain a stronger market position by garnering more leads, closing more purchases, and enhancing your store’s public image.
You must know why and when your eCommerce website should be redesigned and gain knowledge on what signs you should take note of before you consider upgrading your eCommerce website, as this will help your brand and save you unnecessary stress. As a business owner, you should often restructure your website to increase your chances of traffic and conversions.
Below are a few reasons why even the best online shop platform needs to be redesigned.
1. Consistency of the brand
A site redesign allows you to ensure that your branding aspects, such as your logo, tagline, and corporate color, are consistent across all your online and offline marketing materials.
2. Increase in leads and sales
A redesign of your eCommerce website can match your digital marketing efforts, bringing in more customers and generating more purchases.
3. High conversion rates
Revamping your best eCommerce website to accommodate changing tastes encourages leads to purchase, resulting in a large rise in conversions.
4. Increase in Consumers’ Trust
Consumer confidence has risen. Spending on redesigning your eCommerce platform demonstrates to clients that you know the market and are committed to addressing their expectations.
5. A Different Approach to Business
A new appearance can often inspire you to consider and see your brand differently, motivating you to add new products and services or modify your business strategy.
The signs to look out for to be able to identify when your best online shop platform needs to be redesigned are;
i. Your webpage takes a long to load
If a webpage takes longer than 3 seconds to load, users will lose interest even though 3 seconds is a fairly short period. On the other hand, consumers want their browsers to respond practically instantly. The longer a website, product, or image takes to display, the more irritated and unhappy a user becomes. They lose interest in your items and faith in your brand as a result.
ii. Sales are diminishing
This is also a warning if your sales are declining, you’re not drawing new customers or subscribers, and there’s little activity on your website. This symbol denotes a website redesign with an improved user experience (user experience). Before redesigning, consider why sales are down, what factors other than the website contribute to the decline, and whether the design is appealing enough.
iii. The Design Is No Longer Current
Customers will know if your store is out of date if developments in eCommerce shift quickly. To build and strengthen your web profile, you need a modern style. Innovative features such as 3-D product displays, customer support chatbots, and AI personalization can help your company stand out.
iv. The interface isn’t very user-friendly
Can potential customers quickly locate information on where you deliver your merchandise and how much delivery costs on your eCommerce website? What is your refund policy like? Is it simple to make a transaction using one of the safe payment methods available? Your prospects want a simple purchasing experience similar to what they’ve experienced at other online retailers. Revamping your website can help you meet those requirements.
v. The Design is not optimized for Marketing
Digital marketing can be extremely beneficial to an eCommerce website, but only if the design allows it. Your website should contain SEO-friendly language and product reviews, appealing photographs that can be posted on social media, a simple and eye-catching manner to organize promotions, and much more to enhance the effectiveness of your marketing.
What are the best features an eCommerce website must have?
When redesigning your website, you must ensure that you address all the issues arising that would further promote your eCommerce website. In case you are wondering, what are the best features an eCommerce website must have? Read on to find your answer.
1. User-friendly navigation
It’s critical to make your navigation as user-friendly as possible to assist your visitors in getting where they need to go quickly and easily—whether it’s making a purchase, seeking extra information, or contacting customer care. According to eye-tracking studies, individuals spend 80% of their viewing time on the left side of your website and just 20% on the right side; therefore, devote the most attention to the left-side area of your site to optimize your audience’s attention. Making your menu vertical is another piece of advice for improving your eCommerce website. This makes it easy to switch to a mobile-responsive design and makes it easier for new and returning users to navigate your website.
2. Product Evaluations or Reviews
When you go to a website, the first thing you do is read the reviews. Product reviews are among the most important components of the best eCommerce websites. We also suggest you rethink the value of negative evaluations since they can boost your credibility just as much as positive ones. You should also engage your current and potential clients if you want to acquire traction. Product reviews help you gain trust, make better decisions, and increase sales. A user-friendly interface for leaving reviews is a critical eCommerce feature for your brand’s success.
3. Site Search:
As insignificant as a site search may sound, it is one of the important features an eCommerce website must-have. First, a site search is a feature that allows customers or visitors to search for what they want. It is commonly found at a website’s top right or left. If you want to convert a visitor to a customer, start by attending to the little details on your website. A site search allows your customers to search for what they want by passing the navigations. It is exactly useful if you own a big eCommerce store that sells numerous products.
A site search can help a visitor identify your eCommerce website as one of the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses against your competitors. Moreover, it is part of offering your customers-to-be a good user experience. Popular brands like Nordstrom and Jumia have a site search feature.
4. Product Video/ Image:
Having the image and/or video of your products is not a feature of an eCommerce platform you should negotiate. Talk of credibility and trust; you have it when you show your prospective customers what you are selling. Statistics show that more than 50% of people have decided what brand to buy a product from by watching videos of what they want to purchase.
Including the videos of your products not only help you build your brand’s credibility but also help your customers build their confidence. Using your product becomes easier when you make a how-to video for your product too. So, when next you are thinking of the question – what is the best eCommerce website for my business or what are the best features an eCommerce website must have, think of videos. Big brands like Apple uses these feature.
5. Special Offers/ Discounts/ Promotional Offers:
There is no such word that drives sales and increases brand awareness as the word –‘Free’. Do you want to try it? Of course, you should. Offering discounts will not only bring your old customers back to your website, but it will also attract new customers.
6. Responsive website
A responsive website is one of the must-have features of the best eCommerce website for your small business. Since the emergence of the pandemic, consumers use their smartphones more than their laptops or desktops to shop online. A report shows that within the last six months, 79% of smartphone owners have purchased products online using their mobile devices. Making your eCommerce website mobile responsive will help you get more customers willing to pay at a click when surfing the net with their phone.
Moreover, more traffic is generated from smartphones and tablets than from laptops and desktops. You can choose to get a professional to help you ensure that your website is responsive to any device.
7. Footer Navigation
What is the best eCommerce website for my business if your visitors find it difficult to locate your products? What have you been using your website footer for? Try having a list of links to all your top products and services in your footer. If your website footer does not already have the link to your social media pages, you should fix them after reading this.
8. Live Chat Feature:
The live chat feature is your answer to what are the best features an eCommerce website must-have. A live chat feature is likened to a receptionist you walk up to, to get instant answers to the service being provided at a hotel. The best eCommerce platform in 2022 should incorporate live chat features to their websites as it promotes instant communication with your visitors who need instant help. A customer on the verge of making a purchase may need answers before clicking the “pay” button. You don’t want to them leaving for your competitor who is ever ready to give an instant response with the live chat feature.
Rather than making your customers wait for answers, choose to incorporate the live chat feature into your website.
9. Payment Options:
What is an eCommerce website without sales and what is a sale without payment? Payment is equal to sales anyways. The best eCommerce platform for small businesses and large businesses should have various payment methods or options. Your customer already went through the two stages of the customer journey: awareness and consideration. In the last stage-the decision stage, they have decided to part away with their money with you and not your competitor. Don’t deny them this by restricting their payment option. Ensure your eCommerce website has payment methods that are common among your customer demographics.
10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) is another way to communicate with your customers when you are offline. The answer to the question: “what are the best features an eCommerce website must have” is not complete without this feature, hence the best eCommerce website for small businesses and large businesses don’t hesitate to have this feature. Clearing prospective customers’ doubts about your product will help them make decisions faster. Make a list of frequently asked questions common around your products and services and answer them, so your customers don’t have to call or wait for a response to their emails. Commonly asked questions you can adopt are:
- How do I operate this product?
- How to assemble this product?
- How can I change my shipping address?
- How to track my orders
- How to cancel my order(s)
- What are the available payment options?
- What do I do if I receive a product damaged from shipping?
What is the Best Loading Speed of an E-commerce Website
How fast should the best eCommerce platform load?
The ideal load time of the best eCommerce website is two seconds. Any website should take no more than two to three seconds to load. Beyond two to three seconds is where the bounce rate comes in. Bounce rate, expressed in percentage, is the number of people who left your website after viewing a page without taking action.
Website visitors don’t want to wait more than two to three seconds for your website to load. Statistics show visitors abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load. You have a split second to determine what opinion a user forms on your website. Moreover, the speed of a website is an important factor in Google search engine rankings.
If your website load time is slow, then it is time you do a website redesign. Here are other reasons to let you know when it is time for a website redesign. Want to know how to check the speed of your website? Check this free tool on Google.
How can I Build my Business Websites? DIY, Web builders.
You may ask, “how can I build my business website”? The answer is simple. You can build your business website in two options:
a. Using DIY- Do-It-Yourself:
This involves building your website from scratch. This usually requires the knowledge of coding and programming languages such as Node.js, Vue js, and HTML before integrating it into a Content Management System so you can make changes on the website. This process may not be the best way to build the best eCommerce website for your business if you are a newbie
b. Using a Web Builder:
Before now, you wouldn’t be able to build the best eCommerce platform for small businesses or any website at all if you had no knowledge of coding. However, with the emergence of web builders like WordPress, just about anyone can build a website.
The website builder allows you to build a website without any knowledge of coding. All you do is drag and drop until your website is formed from start to finish. We recommend you use a website builder if you are a novice in website building. Website builders allow you to build the best eCommerce website with ease.
The best eCommerce website builders for small businesses include Wix, and GoDaddy while the best website builders for large businesses include Shopify. That being said, there are different website builders for different needs. There are several website builders you can start using in 2022 to build your website from scratch, including GoDaddy, Shopify, Weebly/Square, WordPress, HostGator, Squarespace, and lots more.
Check out our honest reviews on the best small business website builders in 2022, their features, pros, and cons.
What is the best Web Design Platform to use?
Some of the best web design platforms to use for e-commerce include:
WordPress is among the best free eCommerce website builders. It is also in the category of the best eCommerce website builder for small businesses and large businesses. Many bloggers use this website builder as it is also a CMS (Customer Management System) tool. If you are looking for the best eCommerce platform in 2022 to use for your business, don’t look too far.
- When to go for WordPress?
Go for WordPress as your best eCommerce free website builder:
- If you do not know coding
- Use WordPress if you want to start a blog
- WordPress is one of the best eCommerce website builders for small business
- If you want to sell online courses.
- If you want to build a membership website
- The Pros and Cons of Choosing WordPress
- This eCommerce website builder has many page builder plugins
- The plugins are easy to implement
- It is free
- WordPress is easy to use
- It is customizable
- WordPress is safe and secure
- WordPress is SEO friendly
- WordPress is available in over 53 languages.
- WordPress has come to stay.
- WordPress offers all its users a strong support system
- It is very flexible
- WordPress can be used for all types of projects.
- With WordPress, scaling your eCommerce business is easy
- You have full control over your plugins and themes when you use WordPress
There are several benefits of using a CMS website builder, such as WordPress, for eCommerce businesses. See our post on the benefits of using SMS for eCommerce.
Just as you have reasons why you can use WordPress to build the best eCommerce website for your business, we will also share the disadvantages of using WordPress as a web builder for your eCommerce website.
- WordPress requires lots of plugins that must be installed, managed, and updated.
- Although it is one of the best eCommerce website builders, the themes and plugins need frequent updating.
- WordPress is a slow website because of the installed plugins.
- WordPress websites stand the chance of getting hacked due to their popularity
- It offers a limited SEO ranking.
Shopify is one of the best eCommerce website builders you will find today. It is specifically for building online stores. The Shopify website has all you need to manage your eCommerce website. It allows you to categorize all your products and services into a unit called “collections”. For example, you can categorize your dresses, trousers, and t-shirts into a “clothing collection”.
- When to go for Shopify
If you are thinking of owning a large online store, Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms we recommend you consider for your business website.
- The Pros and Cons of Choosing Shopify
- You don’t need tech skills to grow your business with this eCommerce platform.
- It is easy and quick to set up.
- It has SEO features that help you rank high in search engines
- It features an abandoned cart recovery service that emails potential customers to continue purchasing from where they left off.
- Shopify is best for larger online stores.
- It has several payment options you can choose from, including its gateway- the Shopify Payments
- You can sell on Shopify across several platforms, including Facebook, eBay, Amazon
- It has many free and paid templates to choose from.
- Shopify offers an all-year-round customer support for its users.
- Shopify needs apps to boost the functionality of the store.
- The editor takes a bit of a learning curve; however, if you stick around, you will soon get used to it.
- Shopify comes with high transaction fees, except if you use the Shopify payment option.
- It is more expensive than it appears.
Why we Recommend WordPress
Shopify is a great eCommerce website for your business; however, WordPress is better. Here are the reasons why we recommend WordPress.
Content Management systems (CMS) are more cost-effective when compared to a WordPress eCommerce website. There are numerous free themes that any small business owner can afford and maintain over the years.
ii. Website Responsiveness:
Website responsiveness implies that your website performs great on any mobile device. The best eCommerce website for your business has plugins that can be installed to enhance its responsiveness on a device and that is what WordPress offers its users.
iii. Theme and design Upgrade:
WordPress is a very flexible CMS and the best eCommerce website for your business. You can find a theme that easily represents your type of business, and you can also choose to upgrade and extend your website functionality by using plugins as your business grows.
iv. Ease of Implementation:
Just like we mentioned earlier, the best eCommerce website for your website should be easy to use and implement wherever you are a professional at it or not. In addition, with WordPress, you can immediately start customizing your layouts and creating content, images, and new pages.
How Much Should I spend on my Business Website?
Ideally, to build the best eCommerce website for your business, you should expect to spend anything between $1000 to $5000 or more. However, there are several factors to consider in answering the question- “how much should I spend on my business website”. Factors influencing the cost of an eCommerce website may include:
- The complexity of the website you want to build
- The eCommerce platform
- Size of your business
- Marketing and SEO-plan
- Add-ons and extensions
- Cost of the overall design
- Shipping and payment gateways
- Web hosting and domain name
Get a Professional!
Building a functional eCommerce website with all conditions met implies you are ready for business. Although DIY may seem a cheap option, there are risks surrounding an unprofessional website, such as your site crashing down without you knowing.
Except you are testing the waters, we recommend getting a professional website designer who will ensure that you get the best with SEO, designs, branding, security, and all you can think of.
Iconic Digital World is known for its years of experience with website development, maintenance, design, and redesign services. Check out their portfolio for their masterpieces.