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eCommerce Website Strategies for Today

By Mike Kostrey - Last Updated on 05/26/2020
Covid-19 accelerated the demand for business websites. Now, many business owners need to rethink how they operate. In many cases, brick-and-mortar establishments may need to open their doors to a virtual world.

A full-featured, performant, attractive eCommerce site is now necessary for our shifting market. Better yet, a custom eCommerce website can help you shift your stock to meet market demands.

eCommerce website designs also offer other advantages over traditional sites. We've outlined the most important differences below.

Why You Need an eCommerce Website

More customers are shopping online than ever before. An online store or service can help you offer your customers exactly what they need at any time.

According to Statista, an estimated 1.8 billion people purchased goods online in 2018. In the same year, global eCommerce sales amounted to $2.8 trillion. Projections show that global eCommerce sales are forecast to grow up to $4.8 trillion by 2021.

Economic and social trends all point to eCommerce being a critical future tool. In fact, an online store is often a great compliment, or replacement, for a physical location. eCommerce gives you the chance to better reach and serve customers anywhere.

What are the benefits of eCommerce: (Advantages to Organizations, Customers and Society)

Other specific benefits of eCommerce include:

  • Dynamic options and marketing benefits to help business owners convert dedicated customers
  • eCommerce websites create a channel to expand sales
  • An improved customer experience
  • A reduction in business costs by digitizing your information
  • An improvement in the brand image of your company
  • Improved customer service tools & shopping - 24x7 from any location
  • Conveniet discounts for holidays and promotions
  • A simplified business process that makes your team more efficient
  • Features that build credibility and brand identity
  • Collection tools for online user data & site analytics

Retail customer demands and expectations for online shopping are growing every day. Businesses that can meet those demands have a competitive advantage. We recommend a flexible eCommerce strategy and an effective shopping and delivery system.

What Should You Have in an eCommerce Website 

We've built eCommerce websites for businesses large and small. This includes both small retail businesses and multi-store retail chains. We've also worked with traditional retail businesses and service-based businesses. Shipton's Big R, Gem Gallery and Montana Yellowstone Tours are some of our favorites.

You can build your eCommerce site in several ways. You can use a canned solution from a service like WordPress or SquareSpace, or you can use a custom solution.

If you choose a canned solution, your branding and marketing efforts must fit into a pre-built system. This won't work for many businesses.

If your goals don’t fit into a template, we recommend a custom-developed website from a business like ours. We tailor our custom eCommerce sites to your business. This allows you to design a website that can grow with your business over time.

An online store from our website design team also includes a secure checkout system. This includes tools that enable robust POS and inventory management.

When you are planning to develop an eCommerce website, keep these key features in mind:

  • web design optimized for a satisfying customer experience
  • Website design optimized with mobile layouts in mind
  • Robust content management capabilities
  • Promotion and discount code tools
  • An easy-to-use checkout process
  • User data reporting tools
  • Integrated blog or articles section
  • High-quality product images
  • Customer reviews and testimonials
  • Search-optimized code and site architecture
  • Ongoing digital marketing programs for success

It’s vital to work with a proven eCommerce web development partner to do it right. This means a flexible eCommerce website design. Make sure your eCommerce system includes the following capabilities:

  • Responsive web design to drive sales across all devices
  • Fast simple checkout, payment gateway integration and credit card processing
  • Full eCommerce functionality based on a secure platform
  • Custom content management that is easy to use and non-technical
  • ERP, CRM, POS, payment gateway and 3rd party integrations
  • Product and data imports
  • SEO friendly development
  • Full digital marketing capabilities and customized SEO strategies

Why else may an eCommerce site be the best option for your business?

  • You have specialized business needs that don’t fit a canned solution
  • You need integration with other systems and back-end software
  • You have security concerns and need to meet PCI DSS requirements
  • You need to meet specific vendor requirements
  • You need unique features for your shoppers
  • You've outgrown your out-of-the-box pre-built eCommerce solution
  • You want to connect your inventory or vendors' systems
  • You want to scale your store along with the growth of your business
  • You have specialized marketing efforts that need support from an adaptable site

You can change and configure your online shop any way that you want with a custom solution. This makes custom website designs the best option for a business that needs a flexible site.

Why an eCommerce Website Needs Digital Marketing and SEO

eCommerce websites operate in an online shopping landscape that's often competitive. So, you need powerful Digital Marketing and SEO strategies to compete.

Digital marketing strategies are multi-faceted and custom designed for your business. SEO services can help an eCommerce store's visibility. All told, effective SEO can drive significant organic traffic to your store.

Our digital marketing team can create a plan to help you achieve your eCommerce website development goals. A full digital marketing service will look at every option. Available options to promote your store include:

  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • PPC Advertising
  • Reputation Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing

SEO for eCommerce requires unique considerations. We bring a deep understanding of those considerations to every client project.

We've gathered the key reasons we've found that our eCommerce customers hire us for SEO below:

  • SEO is the single best way to drive organic traffic to your online store
  • Effective SEO drives traffic from qualified leads for your products
  • Search is a key element to the modern consumer buying decision journey
  • SEO is a cost-effective way to bring customers to your proverbial door
  • Higher visibility on the search engine results page (SERP) builds trust and credibility

eCommerce SEO uses core product keywords drawn from broad and specific product categories. Additionally, product details should be specific to model, features and sizes.

Each customer is at a different point in their buying journey. So your keyword research must identify keywords that match each step. Once you've identified all your keywords, decide on several 'hero keywords.' Optimize your website with your hero keywords first.

Finally, we recommend setting up detailed user data tracking with Google Analytics. The more data you have, the better you're set up for future success.

An effective eCommerce SEO campaign includes the following elements:

  • On-page optimization for eCommerce
  • Technical SEO for eCommerce
  • Structured data for eCommerce websites
  • Link building
  • Reputation management
  • Competitor research
  • Site architecture
  • Site structure
  • Navigation and internal linking
  • Site usability

Start Your eCommerce Website Today

A flexible, custom eCommerce website design offers many benefits to your business. Having a partner, like us, with eCommerce design experience can help you succeed.

We can help your business to thrive with our eCommerce website design. Give us a call 406-586-7100 or request a consultation to learn more.
Mike Kostrey:

About Mike Kostrey

Mike Kostrey has 34+ years of experience in web design, digital marketing, eCommerce, and domain management. Mike served as a search marketing specialist on JTech’s team for 19 years before retiring in 2020. Mike is now enjoying his retirement in the mountains of Montana with his Wife. 

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