The great news is that anyone can create an ecommerce website and start selling products within a very short time. There are amazing platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce out there today that make it easy to set up, even if you are a complete novice.
Wanting to start an ecommerce store and building a successful one, however, are two separate things. That’s why it makes sense to work closely with a professional team when you are first setting up. As a leading web design company, we’ve worked with a range of ecommerce startups across the South Wales area.
Here, our Cardiff web design team look at what you need to consider when creating an ecommerce site and the platforms available, with some top tips on succeeding with your online store.
Build From Scratch vs Ecommerce Platform
Just a decade or so ago, if you wanted to create an ecommerce store, you would need to hire the services of a developer to build it from the ground up at a pretty high cost.
Since then, we’ve seen the growth of dedicated ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce which give you access to a whole range of shop templates, ecommerce building tools and plugins, all with high levels of security and at a much lower cost than we’ve ever seen before.
You can still build from scratch and there are some advantages to this if you have the money. But why re-invent the wheel when you can access all the tools you need easily and at a much cheaper cost?
With any Cardiff web development, choosing the right platform is critical. Shopify is probably the market leader today and the most well-known. It provides several different options for new and existing businesses who want to set up ecommerce stores. It also provides a wide range of different themes or website designs, some great plugins and a bunch of different selling options.
Shopify, like most ecommerce providers, charges a monthly fee depending on the number of products you sell.
WordPress with WooCommerce
Another option is to use WordPress. While it’s not an ecommerce site per se, you can include a WooCommerce plugin that allows you to build an online store similar to Shopify. The benefit of WordPress is that it offers a lot more variation and flexibility.
WordPress is an open-source content management system that is free to use. You need to pay for your domain name and hosting to send your website live, however. If you download the WooCommerce plugin you will also need to pay for your store theme (though there are free ones available) and additional tools. Depending on the size of your website and the number of plugins the price will vary
WooCommerce is a great option if you own a brick and mortar store but also want to sell online as you can carefully control the plugins and the cost. But it can also be used to create much bigger ecommerce stores.
The great news is that our Cardiff website designers can help you put together a WooCommerce or Shopify store.
Whatever platform you choose, it’s important to get the hosting package right for your needs. If you are only expecting a few hundred visitors a month or less, standard hosting can be relatively inexpensive.
If you are expecting to attract large volumes then it is worth looking at individual hosting which offers a great deal more protection and guarantees higher speeds.
Tips for Building Your Site
The user experience, or UX, is everything when it comes to web design. The key is to make everything as accessible and easy to use as possible.
The problem is, the more products you have, the more difficult this becomes. Our advice is to look at similar sites in your product area and see how they organise their pages.
1. Look at Things From Your Customer’s POV
You are not creating the ecommerce site for yourself. You are building it for your customers. Look at everything (and we mean everything) from your customer’s point of view. That includes creating menus and subgroups, the wording you use in product descriptions and the images you use.
Ask yourself one question: Will my customer like this?
2. Keep Your Site Simple
Or at least as simple as possible. The key here is not to make your customer click 5 times to reach a particular product and buy it. Ideally, you want them to click once onto the page and then one more time to buy.
The more hurdles you put in the way the more likely they are to look elsewhere and try your competitor.
3. Be Mobile Ready
While it might not be the first thing on your mind, check that your Cardiff web design looks good on a mobile phone. More than half your customers will be accessing your site from their phone and that’s set to increase over the next few years. Most themes are intended to be used on mobile nowadays but some are better than others.
4. Use High-Quality Images
However wonderful your products are, visitors will judge you on the quality of your images. Make sure they are professional and have the right resolution. There’s nothing that guarantees a no-sale more than a pixelated image or one that looks like it was taken on a smartphone.
5. Scannable Content
You might spend a lot of time writing product pages and other forms of content but here’s the bad news – most of your customers will scan what you have written looking for certain words that match their expectations.
Ensure that the content is a) easy to read and b) contains those words your customer is searching for.
Training for Your Cardiff Ecommerce Website Design
Organising your ecommerce site can, at first glance, look pretty complicated. That’s why at our Cardiff website design studio we provide clients with personal tutoring on how to use all the assets at their disposal. That includes quickly uploading product pages and descriptions and how to organise menus.
Once your site has gone live, it’s relatively easy to learn the basics so that you can upload new products and edit your site when you need to.
Why Choose Cardiff Web Design
- Creative website design, Cardiff based, specialising in ecommerce set up.
- We work with local entrepreneurs and make sure they have the right tools at their disposal.
- We’ll create a branded ecommerce site that stands out from the crowd.
If you’re looking for a Cardiff web development company that can help you get your ecommerce site up and running, contact Nick Walsh Studios today.