Archive for November, 2015

Webshops – Changing Online Shopping Experiences

Ecommerce is taking the world of business by a storm. The way we conduct business, market and shop is all changing and going online. Reduced supply chains and value chains are adding to business’s bottom line and top line, giving businesses the much-needed money for growth and expansion. World economies and customers are shopping online to save money and get a whole range of products and services at highly affordable prices. While, the whole concept of online shopping is still finding new and new admirers each day, this whole economy is greatly influenced, supported and promoted by the webshops.

When customers are shopping online, they have to be able to see product designs and lines to choose from, add to their list of liking and finally make a payment to complete the order. Webshops are nothing but a virtual shopping place for the users, where they can search for products, add them to their wish list or shopping carts, and proceed to make bill payments through secure billing desks. Webshops or shopping carts account for the customer’s feedback and expectations and satisfaction when it comes to online shopping.

There are experts who dedicate their time, energy, resources and expertise to gather information on the various aspects to make webshops more user-friendly. They also give inputs on what should an enterprise add to the layout and design of webshops and what they should avoid.

With the changing market scenario and the need to reduce the supply chain, ecommerce is coming of age. Webshops are the front runner of the new age of online business. Webshops are a smart business solution that reduces the dependence of middle men, bringing businesses close to the customers and reducing time spent in fulfilling customer demands. Webshops integrate a lot of different technologies to bring comfort to the customers and ease of shopping, making choices and browse over a wide range of products before they settle for one they like.

Webshops are adding value to sales processes, making customer experiences more positive with more avenues for feedback, reducing the intermediary and hence costs, adding value to supply chain and bring to customers what they in time, like they need it and where they need it. Webshops are smarter and they are bringing in more customer interaction and increased sales and revenue for business with minimal cost of development and maintenance. In the changing times, weshops are giving value to business and to customers and making life much more easier It amounts to saving costs and resource expense and ensures successful and skillful implementation of business strategies.

Changing shopping experiences

There are whole ranges of highly successful and famous online brands who have built entire business by leveraging the power of online shopping and put webshop to good use to deliver customer value, brand and garner loyalty.

A great webshop is one that allows a user or customer to

1) Browse through a whole range of products

2) Easy to use and navigate

3) Secure payment gateways

4) Have safe and secure browsing options

5) Allows user to compare and add products to the comparisons

6) Retain customer information in case page is refreshed half way through

7) User friendly interface and browsing with external links opening in new tabs, rather than on same page or new windows

8) Easy checkout process for the user

Given the ever changing online market dynamics and increasing customer expectations, everything matters from the look of the webshop to its navigation, layout and design and the ease with which the user can proceed. Hence, for a customer to enjoy shopping with any brand online, due attention has to be paid and detailing should always be taken into account when designing the webshop.

How To Build A Successful Webshop From Scratch?

First thing which platform should I choose? I think the easiest way to build a webshop is to use a CMS system. Because the CMS systems are very popular and well-tested systems. And these systems are easy to use and easy to customize. I advise you to choose WordPress. Why? I’m a software developer, so I can use any CMS system easily, but my customers can’t use most of the CMS systems. My experience is my customers can learn WordPress in a short period and they can use it easily without my help. And you will see at the end of this article WordPress is very user friendly.

Second thing how can you setup a shop? After you install WordPress to your host (I recommend to use Fantastico installation, this is the easiest way) you should install a webshop plugin. But which plugin? I always use “WP e-Commerce”. It’s free and easy to use. Int he past few month the developers have made big changes int he plugin. I think the plugin now very comfortable and easy to use. So I recommend to install this plugin. After the installation you can upload your products. This plugin will automatically save your products from thefts. The plugin will rename your uploaded products, so nobody will find the products on your host by name. And every customer will get a time limited download link. You can setup the time limit.

You can extend the plugin features with premium plugins like: Amazon S3 plugin, Members only plugin, DropShop etc. So I think this plugin is a good choice and you can use it for free.

Third thing how can you customize your site? WordPress is a very flexible CMS system. You can easily change your theme (the appearance of your website) and install plugins. You can choose from many free themes. And I recommend you to extend your WordPress with a few very useful plugin:

  • All In One SEO plugin – setup easily your SEO settings
  • All In One Webmaster plugin – setup easily Google analytics or Google webmaster and other statistic softwares
  • WP Security Scan – checks your WordPress website/blog for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions
  • Secure WordPress – beefs up the security of your WordPress installation by removing error information on login pages, adds index.html to plugin directories, hides the WordPress version and much more.
  • Bulettproof Security – protects your website from XSS, RFI, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection hacking attempts. One-click.htaccess WordPress security protection. Protects wp-config.php, bb-config.php, php.ini, php5.ini, install.php and readme.html with.htaccess security protection. One-click Website Maintenance Mode (HTTP 503). Additional website security checks: DB errors off, file and folder permissions check… System Info: PHP, MySQL, OS, Memory Usage, IP, Max file sizes… Built-in.htaccess file editing, uploading and downloading.
  • Exclude pages – This plugin adds a checkbox, “include this page in menus”, which is checked by default. If you uncheck it, the page will not appear in any listings of pages (which includes, and is usually limited to, your page navigation menus).

Of course you can install more plugins to make your shop more user-friendly like share buttons or automatic backup plugin. That’s all. Your shop is now up and running!