An e-commerce site is a specialized kind of website with the framework necessary to act as a digital storefront. Whether selling digital or physical product, an e-commerce site can act as your storefront.
What does an e-commerce site do?
E-commerce sites integrate vendor services necessary to process and handle transactions. This allows the website to perform all the functions that a standard physical storefront would have to go through, but with many of the services automated so you spend less time dealing with clients at the counter and more time growing your business.
Why do I want one?
Your site can act as your savvy business partner, running all the calculations and processing payments. While you’re still responsible for paying your taxes and shipping out product, you e-commerce site is a diligent partner through the process. All you have to do is feed it the information so it can handle it for you.
With a site, you’ll still have expenses – hosting, domain, additional e-commerce extensions. But these expenses are far less than rent and utilities for a physical shop space and don’t require additional employees to man a desk.
Around the Clock
Your store can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an e-commerce portal. It’s the shop that never stops, and it’s selling for you, even when your business hours are over.
The Next State Over
E-Commerce sites allow store owners to overcome the geographical limits imposes on physical storefronts. You can sell nationally or internationally.
THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Laying out expectations
What are your expectations for your e-commerce site? An e-commerce site is capable of a great many things and to make sure your site will include the functions needed to fit your vision, we’ll need to determine just what you’re looking for in an online storefront. We’ll provide you options and insight on what services will fit your needs and our own recommendations of what will make management simpler.
Q & A
We’ll answer questions and work to provide you educational material that will help you understand what an online store entails and what parts are necessary for it to function.
So Many Options
There are countless plugins and programs to help your e-commerce store function, but not all of these services are quite so straightforward, or even safe to install. We’ll help you find what suits your needs.
Interactive design prototype
Before we get started building your online storefront, some decisions need made on how you want it to look. What’s your brand and your message? What kind of atmosphere do you want people to engage with when shopping at your store? With our design process, we provide a visual prototype of your website that you can engage with instead of just trying to visualize what the end product might be. Before any site is built or started, you get to sign off and approve the design direction things are going in.
More informed expectations
Making decisions from something you can see
Planning your design before your site is built
Professional suggestions and feedback
Clearly defined expectations of final product
Confidence in what will be delivered
Staging and testing
Your e-commerce site will be developed on a staging site rather than a live one, keeping it out of public view until it’s ready and fully functional. Only those with the direct url path will be able to visit the site. On the staging environment, we’ll build, hook up, and rigorously test your site’s functions to be sure your site can properly process orders, accept payments, calculate tax and shipping, and handle whatever other needs you’ve requested. Through the process, we’ll keep you informed and work with you on setting up any necessary services or accounts to make your running your e-commerce site a successful experience.
When it comes time to finish up your project, we’ll be setting your site to a live environment where anyone can see it. As part of go live, we’ll submit your site for search engine indexing, apply analytics, and double check that everything is working like a well oiled machine. Once your e-commerce site is live, you’re all ready to take orders and promote your business.
The e-commerce frameworks that your site will be built on has thorough written documentation on the use of your e-commerce portal. While you’ll be responsible for learning how to use your site, we will provide links to the written materials and can act as paid consultation for any further questions you have.
When it comes to specific functions and actions you need to be able to perform on your site, unique to your site, we’ll provide training videos to walk you through step by step.