E commerce Strategy, Website Choices

The right E Commerce system for me?

There is no such thing as a best Ecommerce system but there is a “best for you”

Your choice of system depends on a number of questions:

  1. Is this “proof of concept” or is this going to be your long-term living?
  2. How much money do you have initially (Or are you prepared to risk)
  3. Are you prepared to exchange capital outlay for long-term savings OR do you want to pay in a drip feed fashion?
  4. How much design flexibility do you require?
  5. Are you going to want to optimize the site going forward with loads of ecommerce functionality and add-on’s?
  6. How dirty are you prepared to get your hands?

The overriding question is how serious you are and how long term you are thinking.

So bearing in mind the above there is one core choice that needs to be made, do you:

  1. Use someone else’s tools and systems to create your site on their server (Called a “Hosted Solution’)

OR

  1. Create your own website in your own serverVisual---E-Commerce
    (Called a “Self Hosted Solution’)

 

An explanation of what this means:

Using someone else’s tools and systems.

  1. You create a site on their server by using drag and drop functionality or using standard themes.
  2. Relatively easy to implement
  3. Design is relatively flexible
  4. Seemingly cheap in that you only pay a small monthly fee and/or PLUS a transaction cost

Be aware:

  1. It will require significant time on your part (do not underestimate this)
  2. You have to get your hands dirty and learn the tools
  3. The site will never be “exactly as you want” – you are using standard tools and systems
  4. If the site becomes successful you are going to have to start again as:
    1. The “on” costs will become significant.
    2. The site is unmovable, it resides on their server.
  5. You are not able to use 3rd party tools to truly optimize the site for search engines or for user experience in order to maximize traffic and sales.

Create your own website in your Server.

Using someone else’s tools and systems.ecommerce4

  1. You create a site on their server by using drag and drop functionality or using standard themes.
  2. Relatively easy to implement
  3. Design is relatively flexible
  4. Seemingly cheap in that you only pay a small monthly fee and/or PLUS a transaction cost

Be aware:

  1. It will require significant time on your part (do not underestimate this)
  2. You have to get your hands dirty and learn the tools
  3. The site will never be “exactly as you want” – you are using standard tools and systems
  4. If the site becomes successful you are going to have to start again as:
    1. The “on” costs will become significant.
    2. The site is unmovable, it resides on their server.
  5. You are not able to use 3rd party tools to truly optimize the site for search engines or for user experience in order to maximize traffic and sales.

Create your own website in your Server.

  1. This requires you to install a theme or template in your server, alternatively you can recruit a web company to set this up for you
  2. If you do this yourself you need an element of technical knowledge and awareness of what you are doing.
  3. Design is completely flexible BUT either you need coding knowledge or you need to use a web developer.
  4. Generally this requires a lump sum to setup your own site with hosting costs, a theme and perhaps a developer.
  5. NO on costs or transaction charges

Be aware:

  1. Even utilizing a theme is not really for the complete amateur, it is often better to pay the $350-$500 for a developer to install and setup a theme
  2. You will need to get your hands dirty and learn the tools
  3. The design can be exactly as you want (BUT you pay)

For an explanation of what this means and some example situations: http://www.imarketingonly.com/ecommerce-strategy-website-choices/

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Website Content Management – How do you make it easy to read?

contentWe all know when you read information on the web you tend to skim read. The Nielsen Norman Group have carried out some recent research on how much users read on the web and the results are frightening.

If users have time to read, at the most they will read, 28% of the words during an average visit. It means whatever content you’re putting in has to work.

Content Formatting

Everyone knows content should be carefully formatted but so many people don’t do it! Content must be readable or legible and quick to read or scannable.

Legibility

This is an area people still get wrong on the web. Make sure your font is large enough to be read and the background contrast makes the text easy to read. Black text on a white background is the most common because it is the most easy to read.

Scannability

Make sure there is a clear hierarchy to your content. Headings, sub-headings, bullet points are a good start, but you can also use imagery and color to differentiate sections. Use your imagination to ensure visitors can quickly identify whether a section is relevant.

Content Architecture

And now for the content.

Organization

People read from top to bottom and from left to right so bear this in mind when you position your content on the page. Put your key messages at the top and any calls to action close by.

Readability and comprehension

Think of who you are targeting and then write appropriately. If you’re not sure what to do, write any copy almost as if you are writing for a child and you won’t go too far wrong. If your content is for a very specific target audience then you can insert jargon.

Page Layout

shutterstock_219333295When you’re structuring your page think about where you want visitors to look. Naturally, people will look at large imagery before small and irregular shapes before regular shapes.

So, if you want to bring attention to something then make it larger and at the top of the page. It also helps if you keep the design simple. Keeping your key message with plenty of white space around it will help make it stand out. Just like print advertising, less is more!

It’s worth remembering that even after you’ve done all this there is still no guarantees visitors will read everything……..

Read More: http://www.imarketingonly.com/how-do-you-keep-your-content-user-friendly-2/

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