5 Things An E-Commerce Start-Up Should Know
Apr 16 2013, 13:58 | By SME Mentor
Here's a mouthwatering fact that potential e-commerce players should know - industry reports claim the domestic market for e-commerce, which stands at $10 billion today, can burgeon to anything between $125 billion and $260 billion by the year 2025.
Yes, the great Indian middle class has taken to online shopping like fish to water, what with Internet access getting cheaper and easier. Already, Tier II cities contribute 57 per cent to the total revenues in this space and market pundits believe there are 75 million households that are likely to take to e-commerce in the near term.
Not surprisingly, e-commerce is touted as a sunshine sector and almost every aspiring entrepreneur today wants a share of this pie.
But while selling online seems easy and exciting, beginners often make some basic mistakes while constructing their e-commerce websites and this may kill business before it takes off! So here are a few tips to remember if you're planning to launch an e-commerce venture.
1. Keep It Simple & Functional
Rafi Sweary, co-founder and president of WalkMe Inc (www.walkme.com), a website guidance tool that helps e-commerce ventures provide better user interface, agrees. "Do not confuse your customer. Once he arrives at your site, he should clearly know what he is in for. So, if you're selling children's books and the consumer is looking for accessories, he should immediately know he's in the wrong place at the very first click"
The bottom line: choose functionality over design. With minimum investment and with platforms such as Wordpress and WalkMe, which provide their services free of cost initially, you can easily construct a rudimentary e-commerce website with an excellent user interface. As your venture grows, you can add more design elements to make it more appealing.
2. Convenience Is Key
Also, make sure there is a clear and visible call-to-action tool that will tell the consumer exactly what to do, adds Sweary of WalkMe. "If you want to a customer to navigate your site the way you want him to, provide a clear call-to-action. This way, he doesn't dawdle and meander and does exactly what you would like him to do."
3. Handling Security Threats
There are several merchants who provide SSL certification in India, and packages range from Rs 20,000-70,000 a year. SSL certification is a declaration that you are serious about your venture and that your customers' credit card information and bank details are safe when he transacts with you.
4. How Credible Are You?
Sweary of WalkMe also recommends displaying customer testimonials on your website. "Credible customer testimonials with information on the clients instill confidence in consumers and they may feel more motivated to purchase goods from your site vis-à-vis your peers," he says.
5. Managing Your Website
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