Having an E-commerce website is a key to increasing holiday sales. Shop.org predicts 2013 online holiday sales will hit $82 billion during the months of November and December alone. If you are not offering e-commerce on your website you are missing out, and that money will be spent with your technology-conscious competitors.
Website E-commerce Statistics*
- In 2012, U.S. e-commerce sales amounted to 289 billion U.S. dollars, up from 256 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.
- A 2012 e-commerce market forecast projects online retail revenue in the United States reaching 361.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.
- The number of U.S. digital shoppers is expected to grow from 137 million in 2010 to 175 million in 2016, according to eMarketer estimates.
- In 2012, U.S. online shoppers spent 1.47 billion U.S. dollars on Cyber Monday, making it the biggest online spending day of all time.
- In 2012, mobile commerce revenue in the United States amounted to approximately 10 billion U.S. dollars.
- Currently, more than 37.6 million people in the United States are mobile buyers, using their tablets, smartphones and other devices to shop.
What does that mean to you
Your potential customers are shopping online and they have money to spend. You need to have an effective website with an easy to use e-commerce system if you want to get a piece of that $300 billion in online sales. Since holiday sales and Cyber Monday sales accounting for almost 100 billion of that there is no better time than the present to get your product online. With e-commerce you can sell tangible products, digital goods, and even gift cards for products or services.
What you will need
To start offering e-commerce on your website you will need the following things:
1. A great web designer: E-commerce has a lot of moving parts and security issues. It is not something you want to trust to an amateur. You want your customers to have a great experience using your website, and a professional web designer will know how to structure the process to accomplish this. They will help you secure your clients’ private information. They will also help set up shipping options to ensure the rates charged are accurate.
2. A way to process payments: The most professional way to take payments is through a merchant account. Many different credit card processing companies offer accounts that can be tied into your website. Some work well with online systems and some do not. It is best to talk with your web designer to make sure the company you are considering offers a web-compatible product. You can also use services such as PayPal, though many online shoppers prefer their vendors offer a more professional solution.
3. Security: An SSL certificate must be purchased to encrypt payments and ensure your customers’ online transactions are safe. These have a small annual fee and can typically be purchased through your web designer. You also need a dedicated IP address for your web hosting account to uniquely identify your business as an online merchant. Your web developer can help you obtain that as well.
4. Product information: In order to get your e-commerce set up you will need to provide your web designer with product information for each product. This should includes a photo, description, price, available add-ons and inventory numbers. If you will be shipping your product you will need to provide product dimensions and weights as well.
If you are ready to get started adding e-commerce to your website we are here to help. Contact us today.
Wishing you great business success!
Jade Stanley – VP Oasis Interactive
The Boise WordPress Website Experts
*Statistics from Statista.com