So far in this series we’ve discussed two great platforms to build your website on – Brochure websites and Content Managed Systems. However, in the last part to the series, I want to look into the most comprehensive and powerful web tool a business can have.
An online shop or e-Commerce website can give your company a leading edge and a gateway for your clients to interact and use. Depending on what you are selling this type of website can require very little maintenance and can be like having another side to your business. Things like payments and products can be automated, plus you can set up the site to work with any systems you may already use, leaving you to get on with other things and deal with new orders when they come in or when products change.
However, this type of system is not perfect for every business. Even though most companies sell something it does depend on volume and how you sell your product. Before deciding on an online shop there are some important things to consider.
Firstly, consider the size of your business. Although it is not essential to be a big company to have an online shop its important to realise that an e-commerce site can be a big financial strain on the company and for start up businesses. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s like having a whole other side to the business.
Secondly, what are you selling? If your a hairdresser then this platform may not be for you! However that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t use a system to create an online appointment service. So there can always be a use for an online system that may make it more enjoyable and useful for your clients.
Thirdly, does your site require payments online? If so, then it’s also useful to be aware that there can be additional costs to make your website secure. SSL Ceritificates protect users by making sensitive data such as credit card details, names and addresses unreadable to hackers, but they can cost extra money depending on the level of security you need.
Finally, get a reliable website provider with good support. Having a genius bedroom designer create your e-commerce site for you on the cheap might seem like a great idea but if something goes wrong or you need to change a fundamental aspect, the last thing you want is for your developer to be unavailable especially when a sale is on the line.
Online shops are becoming increasingly popular due to their flexibility and low maintenance. Some businesses nowadays have even resorted to ditching the store front and operating purely online meaning that the internet store is there only communication to the public.
If you are still not sure which type of website is for you, or you just need help in this area feel free to contact me on 0116 232 5931.