Do I need an ecommerce website?
We specialise in ecommerce websites here at Designer Websites, and so we often receive enquiries from business owners who are wondering whether or not ecommerce is the right choice for their company.
More often than not, the answer is a resounding 'yes' - ecommerce is a fantastic way to grow your business, reach new customers, and increase your profits. However, we do occasionally come across clients for whom an ecommerce website simply wouldn't make sense; sometimes, it's better to have a simple brochure website that drives lots of enquiries than to have an awkward ecommerce website that makes life difficult for potential customers.
So which side of that line does your business fall on? Read on to find out whether or not an ecommerce website is the right choice for you...

An ecommerce website is ideal if:

  • You sell a wide range of products. Websites are capable of showcasing far more products than a bricks-and-mortar shop, and if you have a lot of different items on offer, an ecommerce site will probably be the single most efficient way for you to sell.

  • You wish to market to a wider audience. If you're only selling from a physical location at present, you're only reaching a tiny percentage of the market (i.e. those within travelling distance of your shop). Even if you have multiple locations, that's still nothing compared to the reach of an ecommerce website - imagine what could happen if you made your products available to the entire country, or even the entire world!

  • You already have a non-ecommerce website that gets a lot of traffic. If you have a website that doesn't allow people to buy your products, chances are you're missing out on a lot of sales. Many internet users now expect the option to purchase online, and if your website doesn't offer this, you'll lose your customers to a website that does. The solution, of course, is to upgrade your site with ecommerce functionality - you'll be improving user experience, and since your website already has some history with the search engines, it will likely rank much higher than a brand new website would.

An ecommerce website probably isn't right for you if:

  • You aren't equipped to deal with a large volume of orders. Opening up your business to the whole country (and possibly beyond) will almost certainly result in a lot more orders. This is great news if you can handle the demand, but if you can't, things will very quickly turn sour, especially if customers aren't receiving the goods they've paid for. In the age of the internet, disgruntled consumers can ruin a company's reputation astonishingly quickly!

  • You only want to target a small area. Want to keep your business local? If so, ecommerce may be the wrong choice for you, particularly if you don't have the means to fulfil orders from outside your chosen territory. That said, we have produced ecommerce websites for a few region-specific businesses, and they've done very well indeed - just make sure that visitors know right from the outset that your site only caters to one location!

  • Your products are too complicated for ecommerce. Some things simply can't be sold directly over the internet. This is often the case for companies who specialise in bespoke items; it is possible to integrate some customisable features into an ecommerce website (for example, we have built sites that sell things like personalised clothing and customised labels), but after a certain point, it just becomes too complicated for the end user. Alternatively, perhaps you'd rather get people on the telephone instead of selling to them online - giving your customers a phone number instead of an online checkout allows you to speak to them personally, provide a better solution for their requirements, and perhaps even upsell your products and make more money!
Click here to get a quote for your own ecommerce website, or - if you're still not sure - feel free to email for more information.