eCommerce Website Design – Online Store
Which is the best eCommerce Website Design/solution for your business?
eCommerce can be complicated, but you have a few options, from your own full blown online shop to a simple rented Shopify store.
Creating an online shop does not guarantee sales in this very competitive space, where digital marketing is critical and most shoppers are driven by price.
“A suitable eCommerce option should give your business everything it needs to sell its products online no more, no less“
Do you want an Online Shop with or without a CMS website or just rent space?
Our eCommerce solution is EU PSD2 & SCA compliant and helps manufacturers or producers sell online securely with the full backup of our support team.
At MEANit we do not do Enterprise or Retail eCommerce websites, Squarespace or Shopify.
With total retail sales in Ireland of over 40 billion in 2018, roughly 2 billion of that was done online and 3 billion in 2019/2020. This accounts for about 18% of all sales. And over half of that was spent with foreign or non Irish stores. About half of the 3 billion was spent on a mobile device, making mobile responsiveness a critical factor. Putting your offering online potentially opens up a huge market for you. But it is a very competitive space, where ‘lowest prices’ dominate. It is hard to distinguish yourself in a way that gets you seen, creates sales and gives you a profit.
However, if you make your own products and/or control the pricing, then you are in a very good position to grow your sales online. If you have the right eCommerce Website Design and Digital Marketing plan..
Do you want an Online Shop with or without a CMS? Is it to be:
A. a full-blown ‘enterprise’ eCommerce store solution such as the Magento platform – find a Magento or BigCommerce specialist.
B. a WordPress website with an eCommerce plugin, such as WooCommerce. This is what we offer.
C. a website with a simple catalogue and cart with Paypal or Stripe to take payments online? We do offer this too.
D. SaaS – Software as a service such as Shopify allows you rent space for as long as you want it – find a Shopify specialist.
Which eCommerce Website Design option would be right for you A, B, C or D? Keep reading for more details
A. Full blown online shop – Do you need serious ‘enterprise’ eCommerce like Magento where the site is an ‘out and out’ selling tool with loads of products every day, perhaps thousands, selling mainly on price. Ideal for a shop with hundreds or thousands of products and a hands-on website manager or dedicated trained team. Budget in the tens of thousands.
B. Website & eCommerce plugin – Is it to be an Online Shop or eCommerce website with a plugin shop such as WooCommerce, giving you more manageable control over the design aspects of content. And also over the marketing aspects of the site, but this is suited to a smaller shop, for dozens or maybe a few hundred products. This has a very user-friendly website design, so people with basic IT knowledge or training can edit and update. It is ideal for a company that wants to use the website to attract visitors to good content, that in turn sells products, perhaps a few hundred. No serious Webmaster skills required, but there is some training involved. Someone has to manage the site, just like managing a bricks and mortar store. Budget from €5000
C. Simple shop – You could have a website and a small number of products that sell via Paypal or Stripe links. Ideal for starter sites or someone dipping their toe in the water of eCommerce to sell a few items maybe even a few dozen items. Budget from €2500
D. SaaS – Software as a service such as Shopify allows you rent space for as long as you want it. You own nothing and have rather limited options, within the Shopify platform itself. The platform is proprietary which means they own it, control it and control the price they charge you. Much like having a concession stand in a shopping centre. But it is a low cost option for an initial online shop, which allows you put your toe in the water to test your product. This is a good way to find out if there is a market for what you want to sell and at the prices you offer. As many products as you like. Budget from €50 a month.
There is a learning curve with each one, so do not expect plug and play with any option. The eCommerce website is a tool, like a shop unit. You still have to populate it with products, display them well and work on it every day. Think of it as a bricks and morter project to ensure you do not underestimate what is involved in a digital platform, where you do still have to engae and talk with shoppers.
The WordPress eCommerce Website tools typically include:
- Content Management System – OPTIONAL Wordpress CMS Content Management System, simple to use, allowing you make changes to your website design, content, blog, news, articles, imagery, navigations, videos, maps, SEO etc. Ideal for promoting your shop.
- Product Catalogue – Like the website content you have full control over your catalogue. This feature allows you to store your products and manage the pricing, text, imagery etc.
- Shopping Cart – allowing you to securely sell your products or service online.
- eCommerce Website Design Template – The website needs to have a look that best suits your company brand. We have FREE and custom or premium eCommerce Website Design templates for you to choose from. If you have a unique or custom web design and brand required for the website, we can create this in the solution. Cost of special custom design template is dependent on time required to create it.
- SEO Tools – The CMS comes with a Search Engine Tool, allowing you to optimize each of your web pages keeping you competitive in terms of Google, Yahoo etc. A website is not just for show, you will need customers to find your business listed on search engines. With this package you will be given all of the means necessary to do so. A website without SEO will not be seen by Search Engines.
- Unlimited Web pages – The CMS is capable of storing unlimited web pages helping your website grow with your business. If your business needs this facility this package is perfect as the website will run on the internet quickly whether it has 1 or 1000 pages.
- Content Entry – While this solution is completely customizable, we input the initial content provided by you as a first draft and you start editing from there. We do the first 10 pages or whatever is agreed.
- Attachment Downloads – Each Web page has a facility for adding attachments allowing visitors to the website download files.
- Image Gallery – Every website has a gallery, allowing you to display your projects, shops etc. You can add as many images to your gallery as you wish.
- Google Maps – Your website can contain Google Maps, which can also be added to any web page. Our easy to use ‘Copy & Paste’ Google Maps feature allows you to help customers locate you, locate your projects or locate conference locations, stockists etc.
- YouTube – Your website can contain YouTube content that you have the power to embed on each of your web pages. Video is a great way of demonstrating your product or service to your customers
- Flash Manager – Our built in flash gallery allows you to upload and add as many animated documents to your web pages as you require.
- Image Manager – Sometimes one image can explain so much more than a lot of content. The image manager allows you to easily store your images and add them to your web pages while also allowing for linking to other areas of the website or other sites.
- Preview Mode – Our CMS allows you to make changes to the website not yet ready for the public’s eye. Preview mode allows you to view the website with the new content while the public are unable to view your latest changes until you allow them to do so. You are in control in every way.
- Email Accounts – email is essential for every business, with this package you will get an email account forwarder.
- Query Form – the CMS website platform comes equipped with a standard form which can be submitted by customers and is delivered directly to an email address of your preference. These details are not stored on mailing lists, the forms sole purpose is to allow customers contact you with a query and leave a contact detail for you to get back to them.
- Website Statistics – Once your website is up and running you will want to know who was on your website, what they were looking at and how they came to be on your website. This will be provided to you with our eCommerce Website Solutions through a registration with Google Analytics FREE.
- This solution is ideal for any Client who wants a quality eCommerce web design or presence that they can edit without the need for an ‘IT’ person or ‘Webmaster’. It is a tool for Non Techs as no coding is required and only basic computer skills are needed. It allows for selling online in a fast secure way.
Typical ‘investment costs’ for eCommerce websites A,B,C or D:
A. Enterprise option upwards from €10K plus for a proper full blown Enterprise solution for hundreds or thousands of products, depending on the spec and the time involved. Then factor in your ongoing webmaster and Digital Marketing costs.
B. WooCommerce option. The usual bundle we offer here includes, Content Management System, Product Catalogue, Shopping Cart, Initial Content Entry for first 10 pages, 10 categories and 10 products, add Unlimited Web pages yourself, Attachment Management, Image Manager, Image Gallery, SEO Tools, Google Maps, YouTube, Preview Mode, Query Form, Video Tutorial, Website Statistics, eCommerce Website Design.
Typical ballpark cost for proper eCommerce Website – from €5k for a WordPress Business website CMS Content Management System with a WooCommerce ecommerce plugin for dozens of products. Then factor in your ongoing webmaster and Digital Marketing costs. You can add as many products as you like.
C. Simple starter website to sell a few items via Paypal expect to invest about €2k initially. Then factor in your ongoing webmaster and Digital Marketing costs.
D. Shopify – From €29 – €299 a month plus 2% or 3% on sales and other charges depending on what you sign up to. Then factor in your ongoing webmaster and Digital Marketing costs.
NOTE: To consider spending less, means you may be under estimating what is involved or maybe you can do much of the work yourself. Beware you do not lose the opportunity of doing business, by having a poor performing eCommerce Website Design or a lack of digital marketing.
Maybe you need a phased rollout where you try with a smaller site and grow it when you prove that people will actually buy your products online. This way you can stagger the investment and use cash flow generated to reinvest in the solution. As long as you have a plan, why not do it in stages with your developers.
The CMS Content Management System solution is ideal for any Client who wants a quality web presence that they can edit without the need for an ‘IT’ person or ‘Webmaster’. It is a tool for Non Techs, as no coding is required and only basic computer skills are needed, plus some training. It allows for selling online in a fast secure way. It is EU PSD2 and SCA compliant.
- Optional add on items
- Custom Graphic Design – why not make the site look great – Highly recommended
- Content Creation – make the site engaging by getting well written text
- Content Editing – have a seasoned veteran tweak your written content and design
- Digital Marketing or SEO – this is show you let people know about this new site. This is what gets you found.
- Hosting – We can recommend suitable hosting provider if required.
- Content Always Needed for Product Pages
1. Product Name
2. Long Description
3. Short Description
4. SKU Number
5. Product Weight
7. VAT Rate (if any)
8. Product Images with correct dimensions, file size and naming convention such as ladies-red-leather-boots-size-6
9. Attributes such as colour or size options
10. Freight Charges
“Thanks so much for all of the help, especially on my big launch day. I am I very happy to write a testimonial“
“The site is great, I am so happy with it”
“Very happy indeed and just as happy to recommend you”
“Complex simplicity was ordered, simplicity was delivered beautifully”
“Our website upgrade is working very well and the dependable support is much appreciated.”
“We needed great design on a dependable web platform that allowed us sell our lights and combinations to dozens of countries. This works so well”
“I needed a digital canvas, my own online gallery to display my Batik paintings and something that I could use myself”