Important Things to Consider When Planning an E-Commerce Site

By Christopher Moore

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E-commerce sales are expected to top $4 trillion by 2020, according to an eMarketer report. Furthermore, statistics show that 71% of consumers shop online.

Whether it’s for convenience, lower prices, a bigger selection, or a combination thereof, most consumers prefer to buy online. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of this trend by launching an e-commerce store. But if you’re planning to create an online store, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

1. Niche

Unless you want to compete with established, world-renowned brands like Amazon and (hint: you don’t), you should build your e-commerce store around a particular niche.

When used in the context of marketing, a niche is a small and specific market of similar products or services. Instead of selling all types of consumer goods on your site, for instance, a niche-based site focuses on a single segment of products, such as paintball guns, birdhouses, personalized jewelry, etc.

Niche-based sites are easier to promote because they have less competition and are more targeted than their generalized counterparts.

So, what niche should you choose for your e-commerce store? Look for a niche with a fair amount of search volume and easily accessible products as well as low competition and high profit margins. Choosing a niche based on this criteria will significantly increase your chance of success.

2. Content Management System

While it’s possible to build an e-commerce store using nothing more than Notepad or your preferred word processing program, doing so isn’t practical. Whenever you need to make a change, such as adding a new product, editing an existing product, or publishing articles, you’ll have to edit the respective document and upload back to your server, all while ensuring you don’t break any features or functionality in the process.

A content management solution (CMS) streamlines the process of creating and managing websites. To edit a page on your e-commerce store, you simply access your CMS admin portal or control panel, at which point you can make the change while preserving all features and functionality. Additionally, most CMS platforms support third-party software, allowing you to integrate new features into your store easily.

Some of the top CMS platforms for e-commerce include:

3. Security

Because you’ll be handling customers’ financial and personal information, you’ll need to implement appropriate cyber security measures on your site. According to Hackmageddon, e-commerce sites were targeted by hackers more frequently than any other industry in 2015. Hackers view small e-commerce sites as a low-hanging fruit due to their lax security measures, choosing to focus on them rather than their larger counterparts.

To protect your site from cyber threats, you should use Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Unlike HTTP, HTTPS encrypts data so that hackers, thieves, and other nefarious individuals cannot decipher it. Furthermore, nearly all payment processors require Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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