Why E-Commerce is an Essential Feature of Your Website

Dec 13, 2011 4:00:23 AM

So you have a website, great. That's the first step in creating an online presence for your small business. In today's web-centric world, a website is an invaluable aspect of any serious business, but simply having a website is only the first step in finding new customers. Viewers need to be converted to buyers. Your website should not only inform, but also sell. The easiest way to establish this connection is through an electronic commerce section of your website devoted to selling your wares.

Now, if your small business sells a product, e-commerce should be fairly easy to implement. If you're a milliner, your website will sell hats. If you're a landscaping firm, however, it might be difficult to determine what exactly your website should sell. Perhaps your answer is a year round package of lawn mowing or a gift certificate for snow shoveling. The key to creating a dynamic e-commerce page is determining which of your business' services or products can be easily communicated and sold through your website.

Many businesses have embraced this e-commerce model. For example, AndPlus recently implemented an e-commerce solution for the well-known Phantom Gourmet, a New England-based restaurant review television program. In order to provide their "phans" with an easy way to give the gift of Phantom, Phantom Gourmet developed a gift card accepted at 200 Phantom approved restaurants throughout the Northeast. View the Phantom Gourmet's Gift Card website here.

In order to optimize their e-commerce solution, the Phantom Gourmet turned to AndPlus. In order to serve their needs, AndPlus created a dynamic three-step process for handling these gift card transactions. The user chooses the amount of money he or she would like to place on the card, writes a message to the recipient, enters shipping information, and finally chooses a shipping method.

AndPlus' solution is especially innovative because it gives Phantom Gourmet fans the ability to buy multiple gift cards for friends and family that can be sent to multiple locations with specialized messages. The e-commerce form is also responsive and interactive--populating a side bar that automatically changes based on users' selections.

The added benefit of e-commerce gives Phantom Gourmet the ability to connect with their fans on a deeper level, converting viewers into long-term "phans." To add e-commerce to your website, contact AndPlus today!

Brian Geary

Written by Brian Geary

Brian is a true believer in the Agile process. He often assists the development process by performing the product owner role. In addition to his technical background, he is an experienced account manager with a background in design and marketing.

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