Did you know that Canadians are amongst the most active e-Commerce consumers? Recent statistics indicate that 76-80% of us shop online. Excluding travel, an estimated $40 billion was spent online by Canadian consumers in 2019, with sales climing higher and higher due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With numbers like that, there has never been a better time to enter the world of e-Commerce. If you are considering making a shift into online sales, consider these 5 things:
1. Ease of Use
Convenience is one of the primary benefits of e-Commerce. With that in mind, an online store should be functional and easy to use. A site’s design must be aligned with how its target audience searches for product information. Things to consider:
- Fast load times (very important)
- Accurate product descriptions
- Seamless checkout
- Professional looking design
2. Choosing A Content Management System (CMS)
The first thing to consider when choosing an e-Commerce platform is the price. This is especially true if you are just getting started with a small budget. Other things to consider include:
- Integrations and plugins – does the platform allow for email marketing tools, accounting plugins, reward programs, or shipping apps
- SEO – does your platform include a blog, custom domain name, or the ability for clients to leave reviews
- Mobile friendliness – nearly 60% of searches are done on mobile devices
- Customer Service – how readily available is the platform’s customer service and tech support
There are many e-Commerce CMSs or platforms on the market including; Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Paypal, BigCommerce and SquareSpace. A simple Google Search for “e-Commerce platform comparison” may help you narrow it down.
3. Choose the Right Payment Provider
One of the most exciting aspects of staring an online business is making your first sale and taking your first payment. However, before you can start raking in the dough you will need to choose a payment processor. Here are some things to consider when deciding between companies like Moneris, Stripe, and PayPal:
- PCI Compliance – does the company accept, process, store or transmit credit card information in a secure environment.
- Cost – what are the fees associated with each transaction
- Compatibility – is the processor compatible with your CMS
- Fraud – do they place high importance on fraud prevention
4. Your Security Requirements
Just like a brick and mortar store, it is important to ensure your online store is secure and your customers are protected from fraud. There are several ways to reduce the risks you and your clients face when doing business online:
- Installing an SSL Certificate
- Comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislations (CASL)
- Ensure your payment gateway is PCI compliant
- Comply with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
We recommend you look over The Government of Canada’s article on “E-business security, privacy, and legal requirements” prior to starting your e-Commerce business.
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Are you considering making the move to the digital world? Could an e-commerce website take your business to the next level?