Our Top Picks for Building an eCommerce Website

Today, online shopping has reached an all time high as shoppers around the world are prioritizing convenience, distance, and customization over in-person brick-and-mortar customer service. 

It is true; the right eCommerce website can make all the difference in driving your customer satisfaction, UPT’s and sales. If you can generate a delightful eCommerce experience for your eCommerce store visitors by following simple eCommerce guidelines and using one of the platforms we have suggested below, you will have dedicated shoppers from your target audience coming back time and time again.

The most important things to remember when building your eCommerce store are:

  1. Search Engine Optimization
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Customization and On-Demand Service
  4. On Brand Content

Let’s do a quick rundown: 

  1. You want to complete as much SEO as possible so that your site ranks high on the SERP (search engine results page). The more complete your SEO, the higher your business/ eCommerce page will rank in the SERP, sending more traffic to your website and thus generating you more purchases and ROI. 
  2. Think of it this way: are you more likely to purchase from an online store that provides you exactly what you want within two clicks on their website, or are you going to stay there digging for information until your mouse hand cramps from overuse? Keep your eCommerce store just like you would keep your brick-and-mortar store; clean, on brand, and to the point. 
  3. We know that the path to purchase has changed, and there are an average of 56 touchpoints before the customer comes to have your product in front of them and are willing to buy. If you are leading them down the sales funnel, customization is uber important so they don’t get lost in translation. Give your lead everything they want and more, and tailor the journey to their needs so you can provide a seamless experience. 
  4. The most common error we see is an eCommerce storefront which is not on brand. Your ideal client knows who you are, what your brand is about, and they are familiar with your branding and could pick it out in a crowd. Don’t get overzealous with colours and design. Keep your content on brand and authentic, and help build that brand identity you’ve worked hard to bring this far.

  1. Shopify
  2. SquareSpace
  3. WooCommerce

 

Shopify is one of the most-commonly used eCommerce website builders, and is the eCommerce website builder we most often recommend to our clients. There are so many tools to help you design and build your online store, and it can all be accessed from a single dashboard. What’s more is that the price is right. Pricing for a Shopify site begins at just $29 per month and increases based on your account package up to $299 per month. Pricing is all based on your needs, and the good news is that you can always scale up in the future. 

We’ve got to hand it to Squarespace; they sure do make it easy to get your online store up and running in next to no time. All you need to do is choose a template, begin your free trial, and you can start building right away. As far as customization goes, there are plenty of colours, themes, stock photos, and fonts to choose from to create the online store of your dreams. Personal plans are on the cheap side at $12 per month, and plans can go all the way up to $40 per month for an advanced eCommerce plan with tons of integrated tools to help you get the most out of your site and the data behind it’s performance.

If you’re already running a WordPress site and don’t love the thought of starting over, WooCommerce is our choice to get your eCommerce website up and running, pronto! This excellent eCommerce plugin with WordPress allows you to design and integrate useful themes and templates. What’s more is WooCommerce offers a bunch of uber useful extensions such as PayPal, MailChimp, and Google Analytics so you can boost your site’s overall impact. The great news is that WooCommerce is absolutely free!

There is no doubt in our minds– in addition to those of the experts– that there was a huge shift in online shopping since the beginning of the novel COVID-19 outbreak. It has been cited that more than 40% of the American population did their grocery shopping online in March, which is double the number of online grocery shoppers in 2018. The surge in online shopping between March and May 2020 has pushed many brick-and-mortar stores into the digital space, scrambling to get their eCommerce website/online store up and running to provide their customers with the products they need. In fact, Shopify merchants now run over 1,000,000 businesses in 175 different countries (Shopify). There is no doubt in our minds that the boom in online shopping will slowly return to a normal state, but when? How many of us will continue to be loyal online shoppers once COVID-19 is just a distant memory? It is hard to say, but our bets are that most will continue to shop online for things they cannot source locally, instead of travelling to metropolitan areas and malls to do their shopping. Some sources are saying that by 2021 there will be almost a 400% increase in eCommerce sales (Hubspot), but I suppose we will just continue to take this one day at a time, and see what emerges in the days to come.

Always a pleasure to collaborate with Stephanie and her Carmella Crew.
They are Creative, Productive, and Value-driven in their approach to delivering high quality work for their clients.

Brian McClure
Looking to take your brick and mortar store into the digital space? Let's build your eCommerce store, together!
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