While many of us will be glad to visit our favourite shops again and have some face time with those outside our households, online shopping is still on the rise and continues to be the future.
During the past year, the retailers who have continued to be successful are those with a good-quality online shop. While stuck indoors, we’ve been browsing the internet and treating ourselves to parcels even more than we used to!
Some retailers who previously had no e-commerce offering have had to adapt to survive and have seen the benefit of being able to take orders online. Just because shops are opening their doors again, it doesn’t mean that ecommerce should now be put on the back burner!
If you’re new to ecommerce, or you haven’t got an online offering yet, then here’s our take on the best routes for 2021.
Why do you need an ecommerce site?
Whilst you may have managed through lockdown taking orders by email and social media, or even as a third-party seller on eBay, Amazon or Etsy, none of these methods is comparable to having your own site with ecommerce functionality.
Having your own ecommerce site gives you full control over your branding, payment methods, and allows you to design a more attractive storefront that is easier for your customers to navigate. It also makes your brand appear much more professional, which will generate customer confidence. Not to mention the SEO opportunities for your brand from pushing your website ever-higher up the list in Google’s rankings.
Illicit success stories: Coda Watersports and Roastworks
Coda Watersports are passionate kitesurfers from Devon who sell world-class kitesurfing equipment and tutoring, and they needed a website with ecommerce functionality so that they could reach their audience online.
We created a clean and bright ecommerce site for Coda that demonstrated their ethos of specialist expertise, community and sustainability, as well as ensuring a smooth shopping experience for their customers. They are now enjoying taking orders across the UK and Europe. You can read more here.
Similarly, Roastworks, a kick-ass coffee roasting business and now a staple product in most big supermarkets, needed a site revamp to push their e-comm offering to the next level. We did this by fine-tuning the customer journey through to conversion to create the most streamlined purchase process, and ultimately a super-enjoyable shopping experience.
This was complemented by a carefully crafted, bold aesthetic that would foreground the modern and artisanal quality of the company’s roasting processes. You can read more here.
How to create a custom ecommerce website
There are a few ecommerce platforms out there that you can use to create your online store, such as WooCommerce on WordPress sites, Shopify and Wix. Each of these can be used by beginners, but you will be limited with what you can do with your online store unless you have a bespoke site built for you that allows the customisation to really capture your brand.
Related article: WooCommerce vs. Shopify: The Ultimate Battle
If you decide to have a professional bespoke website built on WordPress or Shopify, the sky is the limit with what you can do with your site, especially when you start making use of the huge number of available plug-ins.
What this all translates to is a better branded website, and one where the UX is tailored to your customers and their needs, even down to the type of payment methods that are accepted.
Should you get the pros involved?
In short, yes. If you don’t have any web development experience and want to get something up and running straight away with minimal branding, you can do a lot worse than a simple online store using an existing template.
However, getting a custom ecommerce website built for your business by a professional web design company allows you maximum flexibility to create functionality and design that is geared specifically towards your customers, and not simply pulled out of a generic template box. The design will inevitably be sleeker, and the user experience will be smoother and literally fit for purpose.
There are some good ‘off the shelf’ templates out there, but nothing beats a bespoke, professionally developed website in look and feel. With a bespoke pro site, your customers will experience something completely unique to your brand and a high-end, professional feel will translate to a secure and happy shopping experience, and therefore a higher conversion rate and more sales.
If you need a bespoke site building that will maximise your ecommerce success, have a chat with us and see how we can help.