The internet has fundamentally changed the way the world does business. No longer are people confined to purchasing needed (or wanted) items locally. Consumers now see a global marketplace and in order for an eCommerce based business to succeed, there are several critical factors their business must have.
1. Variety of Payment Options
One of the frustrations of the consumer is finding an eCommerce site that has what they are looking for, only to check out and find their options very limited in terms of payment. In the past, only larger eCommerce based sites could afford to accept credit card payments. Merchant fees were very high for processing such payments. These days, there are plenty of lower cost options for accepting credit card payments. As such, no eCommerce site should exclude credit cards as a form of payment. PayPal is still a very desirable method of payment and there are still people who also prefer to pay by online checks. Google Checkout is another option that is becoming more popular. If you want to increase your conversion rates, be sure to offer multiple payment options as this will surely boost your online sales.
2. Safety & Security
Users want to know the information they are sending over the Internet is secure. After all, they are going to be entering their address, telephone number(s), credit card information, PayPal information, check details, etc. The best eCommerce solution must ensure the safety and security of the customer information and should state this very clearly to potential customers.
3. Processing Speed
One of the biggest concerns for somebody making an online purchase is the speed of which their order is processed. There’s nothing more unsettling to a consumer than the idea that the order they just made on an eCommerce site has gone off into a black hole somewhere. Processing the payment and generating an order number to be emailed to the customer is a critical factor in building trust between you and your audience. If confirmations are processed slowly or are non-existent and if email communication is spotty, chances are you will not see that customer come back and worse yet, they will relay that bad experience to others.
eCommerce success will always start with the basics. Design, pricing, and offerings are all important, but if you don’t have the basics nailed down first, it won’t matter how beautiful your site is and how well your offerings are priced.