If a business decides that they need to reach a larger market and begin trading online, e-commerce functionality can be incorporated onto their web site. For the web designer, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.
1. Platform: Will it be easy for the user to add new products? Is there an interface to do so. There are many platforms to choose from including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Shopify and so on. WordPress is very popular and has a simple interface to do all the updating required.
2. Products: The number of products that a business is going to sell will directly relate to the cost the web designer charges. Each product needs to be entered manually, each product might have variations of colour, size, material etc. Is the content for each product already written and optimised for SEO? If you have hundreds of products, it will take time to populate each and every one. Eg. If it takes 15 minutes to populate one product into a site, images, text, titles, pricing, variations, numbering, SEO etc. If you have 200 products, that is 50 hours or over six working days to organise and upload all of them.
3. Content: Writing good content for the products is critical. The e-commerce market is very competitive and focus must be on SEO. Is the content ready to go or does it need to be written by the web designer?
4. Imagery: Are there images for each product. Do you need to get product photography done or do you have permission to use photos from a manufacturer perhaps. Are they ready, resized for the web?
5. Payment: Do you want to set up a credit card system on the site or would Paypal be sufficient. Is the site have an SSL cert and is it secure? Credit card information should be treated very sensitively for obvious reasons, other peoples credit card information can be dangerous to possess.
6. Shipping Policy: What are they? How much are you going to charge and to where? Has this been researched?
7. SEO: Depending on the products, it may take a lot of effort on this part to get any return. Paid advertising might be a solution to get things rolling quickly. Google Adwords can be used to do this.
In all, this is a very short overview of what a web designer needs to think about when designing an e-commerce site. Depending on the product range it does take significant effort to get even one product organised and ready to for input. If you want a ready to go e-commerce website that is 100% created by your web designer with all the products in, do not expect to get a good job done for any less than €1,500 based on a nominal amount of products in-store.
Ask yourself these questions;
How much would you pay for a shop store to rent in a busy high street if you were to include rent, fitting, key money, insurance, bills, staff etc?
How many potential customers would you expect to get in that busy town as opposed to the INTERNET? You know, the WORLD WIDE WEB. Slightly larger market.
Think about it …
Check out our next blog next week. How much does a website cost? Mobile Responsiveness