ITM Digital recently had the pleasure to speak at Europe House, the headquarters of the European Commission in Ireland. The event was hosted by the Spanish Residents Council, an agency dependent on the Spanish Embassy, and the Group of Spanish Entrepreneurs in Ireland.
Victor Diaz, our Senior Developer at ITM Digital, was talking about the value and importance of eCommerce. Among the guests were various business people and entrepreneurs who were interested in expanding their business online.
In the talk, Victor explained how to promote a business online, how to get more customers, the best technologies to sell from the web, and online security. The talk was broadcasted live on Facebook on the office page of the Council of Spanish Residents in Ireland.
Understanding Ecommerce is very important for modern businesses and we think everyone needs to be more informed about it. Some people can feel intimidated at first about entering the online business world. You may be asking yourself these questions:
How much does an online store cost?
What payment gateway can I use?
Do people really buy online?
Victor Diaz shared the following ideas in his talk at Europe House.
Selling online is a business. Sometimes people sell a second-hand bookcase or a chair they don’t want, but this isn’t a sustainable business. However if you want to sell 100 chairs for example, you are now working as a business. Make sure you have all your papers in order. As you would with a physical store, with a website you must have your correct documentation.
Many people start to create their website and after a few weeks they change elements such as the colours and the logo. Before making big decisions for your brand, there are some factors to consider. What is your logo? What are your colours? We recommend that your logo be simple, such as Apple, McDonald’s, CNN, Nike etc. They are simple single-colour logos and less is often more. You should not need more than 3 colours for your brand.
Do you know what people mean when they talk about hosting or domains? It can be a headache to choose hosting and a domain, especially if you’re not a professional web designer or developer. ITM Digital offer both services and help our clients throughout the process. If you want to work with an external company, we recommend Siteground or OVH. They are very professional and well-supported hosting / domain companies.
This means a Content Management System. Today the most practical thing is to have a CMS for your website. This way, you or your chosen website administrator can update the content without knowing how to program. You can upload news, photos, text, products, change prices, etc. You will probably hear about 3 content management systems for online stores: WordPress + Woocommerce, Shopify and Prestashop.
At this stage, Prestashop it is quite old and is no longer used as much as in the past.
Shopify is very powerful but at the moment you need to scale your website and customize, which can be very expensive.
However WordPress, together with Woocommerce, we can say works wonders. As you know, WordPress is a fantastic CMS, being very user-friendly and scalable. Using WordPress alongside Woocommerce, you can sell virtually anything. Woocommerce can handle very complicated scenarios, involving discounts, product variations and much more.
Paypal, Stripe or my bank?
Any of these three options are okay, but we advise you to use the one that asks for the least commission. Stripe asks for a low commission. If you manage to negotiate a smaller commission with your bank, you can use your bank. You can even give the customer the option to pay through one gateway or another.
Are they safe?
Companies like Paypal, Stripe or your own bank, move millions of euro per minute. They cannot afford to have security problems so don’t worry about this. If you use any of these platforms you will be offering a secure system to your customers.
If your online business is going to require shipping, you need to consider the price being offered by the shipping companies and especially whether or not they have integration with your sales platform (ie; Woocommerce). All the big companies like UPS, DHL, etc. offer this integration. By integrating the shipments with your website you will give the customer a digital ID to track the package and know at all times where the product is.
If you are using reputable software such as Woocommerce, you don’t have to worry about billing anymore. You can generate invoices automatically from all your customers’ purchases, so you won’t have to spend time on this.
Security in an eCommerce System
If your CMS is being managed by someone, has an SSL certificate activated, has quality hosting and the licensed plugins … why worry? Your store has enough digital ‘locks’. You can say you have a secure site. ITM Digital always incorporate high-security measures in all of our projects. If you’re not sure about how secure you are, give us a call.
Promotion of a Website & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
A website is like a garden. At first, a company prepares all the soil and then plants the grass seeds. However, what happens if the garden is not irrigated and properly taken care of? All that great work you had done in the beginning will be lost. If you want your website to have a good position in Google rankings you must prepare your site correctly with the view that, over time, you should reviewing this again. Do you need help with the SEO of your website?
This was a brief summary of the conference that took place last week in Europe House. If you are interested in more information or need a quote for your eCommerce website, please contact ITM Digital. We want to again thank all event organizers for the opportunity we had to present our eCommerce talk in Dublin.