Bandwidth, which is the maximum amount of
data that can travel a communications path in a
given time (usually measured in bits per second)
and the hardware set up, must absorb activity
peaks. There is nothing worse for your clients
than waiting for pages to load, or facing a denial
of service because the server is overloaded as a
result of your recent promotional campaign!
Also, software providing detailed usage statistics
should be installed on the server as it will inform
you of the most visited pages on your site, the
average time spent per session and number of visitors
per day. That is all precious information to
enhance your marketing strategy.
The platform is the site itself. The way your products
are sorted, by categories, sub-categories,
price range and so on, is very important. The
more comfortable the visitor feels while browsing
your site, the higher the chances of a sale.
The navigation has to be kept intuitive and, if
possible, the “3 clicks” golden rule has to be
respected: the user has to reach the product he’s
searching for within three clicks from the home
The way people can navigate from one section to
another and the way products are linked to one
another is very important. You have to keep in
mind that the way you index your products is not
necessarily the way the buyer wants them to be
sorted–his logic is not yours ! The opinion of people
from outside your organisation might be helpful
in that regard.
Your e-commerce platform should allow you to
access the system everywhere a connection is
available. You must have the possibility of adding
new products, new product
categories, changing prices
and managing promotions
without the intervention of
your e-commerce platform
The graphic design is the first
impression you give your potential customers and
it creates prospects for your site. When possible,
always opt for a simple design that favors the
message and not the media. You have to find a
balance between the information you want to
convey on the first page and the “quantity” of
design. Do not let the design erase the message
because a good design is always one that helps to
deliver the message.
Inform!!! You have to provide your clients with
accurate and relevant information about how the
site works, who you are, your product specifications
and, generally speaking, give all the information
that can make a potential customer feel
Be comprehensive and direct. A first-time visitor
to your site is likely to come back to purchase a
product if you managed to inform him during the
first visit. Inform, don’t advertise: avoid sentences
such as “the best…ever”. Explain why your product is good instead. In other words, the visitor to
your site is an intelligent person, treat him
accordingly. Even if he's not.
The very expression “e-commerce” implies a
transaction. Just as you appreciate your butcher
saying ‘hello’ as you enter his shop, the site must
provide the user with the impression that you
deal with him in a personal way, that he is unique.
This can be done by either placing a cookie in the
user’s cookie file or by requiring him to log on to
your website every time he visits. By doing so, the
system can recognize a returning buyer and take
action accordingly (displaying a personalized welcome
message, for example.)
This is the entity that handles transactions
between a merchant and an acquirer. The payment
gateway provider is a company that provides
code and/or software for an e-commerce
site to enable it to transfer information from its
shopping cart to the acquiring bank, and through
the rest of the credit card transaction. You’ll have
to carefully select the payment gateway provider,
since there are significant differences from one to
another in terms of technical reliability, cost, etc..
An e-commerce website is a new shop you are
opening online. It has its entrance door (home
page), its departments (main categories), shelves
(sub categories), the products and the cashier
But to make it successful you have to invent the
salesman, to think about the promotion and to
create an environment that will generate traffic
on the site and boost sales.
Hard to believe, but a French company managed
to sell a Gas Cylinder Bottling Factory to a U.S.
company online! Managers only met to sign the
deal… Of course some products are easier to sell.
This example just goes to show that almost everything
can be sold online. Some products are just
adequate, others less.
To increase sales, most platforms offer a crossselling
feature. This is a feature that will display a
hair dryer with a sentence like “would you be
interested in this product?” if the client already
added a hairbrush to the basket.
Do you know what products or services are so
profitable that you can significantly discount
them and still make a healthy profit? Or products
that are worth selling at a loss in order to attract
a new customer. Do it!
What types of incentives can you use to encourage
prospective customers to make their first purchase?
A gift for new customers? Participation in
a draw to win an around-the-world cruise for 10
A satisfied customer is likely to become a returning
customer. Once you’ve built trust and gained
the person’s confidence, you have also gained
Another interesting application can offer discounts
to people who recommended your site to
their friends or relatives. Each one of your existing
clients has a reference, so if someone buys
and mentions the referral, that person gets a 10%
discount on his next purchase.
By nature, e-commerce is a remote sale. The shipment
cost has to be either included in the price
you display next to the product, or calculated
once the buyer has completed a purchase. For
light shipments, express delivery couriers have
designed special rates for e-commerce, so contact
them to find out what is the most interesting in
term of service and price. Always opt for the best
service if the price difference is not that significant.
You can also work with the courier to offer several
products in packaging that has been optimized
to lower the shipment cost. This can be tempting
for the client if introduced by a phrase like : “save
50% on transport and get two products instead of