Although ecommerce and online purchases have been booming, many businesses hesitate to adopt online sales. Typically companies think that e-commerce brings challegnes like cost, complexity, constant necessary optimizations, and difficulties in coming by support.
Even if there’s a truth in these concerns, it is not as challenging as it used to be in the past. Today, there are solutions like Magento which although fully-featured – or someone could even call them ‘heavy’ – which make the entire venture much more accessible.
Ecommerce hosting and setup
One of the key concerns about e-commerce is setting an eshop up. In the case of Magento, it is really easy to get started now. You don’t even need to have dedicated hardware anymore. For example, website hosting companies like cloudwaysoffer very cost-effective packages with one-click installs of Magento. That way, at a first level you don’t need to worry about your e-shop’s reliability anymore. Support both for the hosting server and for the Magento installation itself can be covered for you at a reasonable price.
Initial eshop improvements
Once the site is up the challenges continue of course. It is expected that the new online presence will attract little traffic at first. That can be addressed, if the business has a physical presence like a store, if it runs promotions to existing customers either online or offline or if it has been around for a bit offline and has brand awareness.
In any case, at the beginning, whatever little traffic comes in must be exploited to the fullest and with a minimum budget (as this new sales channel will not have revenue initially). One smart idea for this is to use Magento extensions to address cart abandonment – these basically attempt using appropriately timed messages with the right content to lure back customers to their cart to compelte purchases. For instance, Optimonkis such a useful tool that can help with cart abandonment, cross-selling and upselling to increase cart value, etc. And, for early days when traffic is low, it’s free – so it’s a win-win arrangment for all involved.
Online sales management
As soon as e-commerce sales pick up, it is also important to keep track of orders generated on this channel so you can have online availability at the same time as products are sold in physical stores (or even in other online channels). Megaventory offers a Magento integration which helps online shops running Magento to handle their stock availability better.
So, for example when an online sale takes place, our Magento extension enables the staff in the warehouse to automatically (and without potential errors in data entry) to get all the necessary information to ship it. Furthermore, when offline sales take place site visitors will see reduced availability and that way it is ensured that the same product isn’t sold twice!
Advanced ecommerce features
Once early challenges have been addressed, more advanced problems can be sorted too. Optimization is constantly necessary to generate more sales, achieve better performance and enjoy higher security. The Magento marketplace is full of extensions which can supercharge an ecommerce effort. For example, the onestepcheckoutextension of Magento, which is extremely modular, allows merchants to shape the checkout and create a superior theme design of their preference with minimum resources and development skills. That way they can enjoy improved conversion rates and better sales figures.
Magento enables you to sort things out with the technical implementation of putting together an ecommerce channel. Certainly, it is not at ease of use levels of ‘point and click’ but it is much more approachable even by non-technical people too – even with only a bit of help by a part-time developer for example.
Also, services such as Zapier can allow for connectivity of Magento with other apps without any development work. Yes, for a wide array for other things, a specialized Magento development company or a similar professional on retainer may be needed. In any case, putting together, maintaining and expanding an online sales presence is not out of reach with Magento these days.
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