eCommerce Website Design - 4 Building Blocks
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I'm going to show you the 4 building blocks that are the foundation of any highly successful online store.
Great technology by itself, does not make a great business.
But you certainly need a world class shopping cart to have a successful online store, and that's your first building block.
Your shopping cart needs to have amazing local support. It must be easy for you to add products, easy for your customers to place orders and it must support all the New Zealand credit card processing providers.
It should have time saving features such as fast set up, out of the box, and attractive designs that can be installed instantly and customised easily.
It should be search engine and social media friendly, with pricing plan that suit you, flexible inventory AND shipping options and allow you to offer coupons, gift certificates and related products.
The bottom line? Your shopping cart has to make buying from you repeatedly completely effortless.
But most of all, your shopping cart provider must be constantly pushing the envelope, finding new ways for you to sell more and SHOVING that infomation down your throat to give YOU the best chance of success.
And this is why I chose BigCommerce. No other shopping cart does all these things.
In the rest of this video series I'll show you how these things work and how you can easily apply them to your store.
But your online store is dead in the water if you can't compell your prospective customers to join your mailing list so that you can promote to them over and over again.
Most business owners show their stuff to passers by, cross their fingers and hope they buy.
Most don't buy, but they do leave, never to be seen again.
What if you could get those passers buy to happily give you their permission to contact them as often as you like?
Isn't that better than hoping they buy the first time they meet you and then never seeing them again?
That's why your irresistible offer is building block 2.
And later in this video series I'll show you how to develop your irresistible offer. An offer than is too good for your prospects to refuse.
Once you have your prospects permission, you need a simple way to communicate with them regularly.
You need a system that automatically subscribes your prospects, and makes it easy for them to unsubscribe, without wasting any of your precious time. It must be easy to send an email, see how many people received and opened your email or who clicked on links to your web site in your emails.
When you know these things you know what's working, what's not and how to make each email more successful than the last.
Your email system should make it easy to send as many emails as you want, whenever you want, and it should minimise the risk of your emails getting blocked as spam and maximise the number of emails that make it through to your customers inboxes.
So building block 3 is a simple, easy to use email marketing system.
Your normal email program can't do all these things, and there's no desktop software that can either.
I recommend iContact.com because it does these things well and it integrates brilliantly with BigCommerce.
I'll tell you more about it later in this series. I'll show you how to use coupons, gift certificates and other offers your customers can't refuse to increase repeat orders, tell friends and promote you with social media.
How cool is it, when your customers do your marketing for you?
Once you have the first 3 building blocks in place, you're online store will convert well, have a growing customer database and fans who actively spread your message.
Now it's time to turn up the volume by increasing your traffic. This is building block 4.
My personal favourite method is improve your Google rankings because this type of marketing returns your investment over and over again for a very long time. We do this with video and social media and I'll show you how that works later in this series.
You can also run joint ventures, offer coupons to customers of complimentary businesses and there's a host of other ways to build your traffic and I'll show you how these work later in this series.
But of all this needs to start with the first step. And that step is to take the BigCommerce free trial, and find out if it's right for you.
Now BigCommerce is not for everybody.
Some people just can't help themselves from trying an open source cart because the initial price tag is free. They think somehow the hidden costs will apply to everyone except them.
Some think anyone who tries to get them to pay for a shopping cart must have some evil hidden agenda, to overthrow the pure and wholesome open source community.
They have to experience for themelves the limited features, lack of support and impossible to use admin functions and the horrendous effect that has on their business before they are willing to use even a reasonably priced commercial product.
I've personally been there and tried the open source products and without exception, it has cost me far more than a commercial product, that did what it said it would do, out of the box.
Others prefer to go with a canned commerce product because that's what everybody else does, and following the herd seems like the safest option. Even if the herd is running through a minefield, towards the edge of a cliff.
Some do battle with complex and impossible to maintain systems, eventually giving in and paying their developer to apply basic product updates.
Some learn after they've spend their budget that the missing features would have taken their sales up the extra notch they needed.
While others trade for years in not so blissful ignorance. After all, what canned commerce company would tell you about features they don't have?
But if you're serious about having the most advanced features in your online store, features that will help you tweak, tune and multiply your sales, then I've yet to find a more complete and easy to use shopping cart than BigCommerce.
BigCommerce has a free trial which gives you access to all the features. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to use and how much you can do yourself, and if you do get stuck you can get great free support from BigCommerce themselves. And as a backup, you have access to even better paid support from your local web marketing company (that's Anyware, obviously).
Once you've grabbed your free trial from www.BigCommerce.net.nz, I'll walk you through a bunch of amazing features most people don't even know are possible, that will ninjatise your marketing.