Planning for e-commerce
Running an e-commerce website
Even in the planning stages of an e-commerce project, it is important to understand how you will maintain the website on a day-to-day basis. There are also various marketing and security issues that need to be taken into account.
You will need to maintain the following information on your website:
- changes in product details
- product ranges
- special offers
- up-to-date advertisements
- sales information
You may publish news and blog articles on your website as part of your content marketing strategy. This will also need updated.
You should consider redesigning the site every few years in order to improve it in line with technology changes and design trends.
It is important that the site evolves to meet the needs of your customers. There are a number of actions you can take to encourage customer feedback. This could include carrying out surveys and putting feedback forms on the site.
No matter how well designed your e-commerce site is and how competitive your products and prices are, if the customers are unaware of its existence then you will fail to exploit its potential.
Popular methods of promoting a website include:
- email marketing campaigns
- search engine optimisation (SEO) - improving visibility of your site in search engine results pages
- pay-per-click and paid search advertising - online advertising to drive visitors to your site
- Using social media, such as blogs and online communities
- Digital coupons offering discounts
- Online directories
Using the internet for business purposes is fraught with risks to security. Hackers can attack systems at any time. Whatever your business, there's a real risk that your system may become the target of an attack.
You should recognise the need for effective security controls to prevent your site from falling victim to hackers or fraudsters.
The more successful your e-commerce service becomes, the more reliant you will become upon it. You should consider what risks and threats your e-commerce site might be open to and have contingency plans to ensure that you can continue trading should anything go wrong.