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5 Important Features A Web Designer Should Include In A Client's Ecommerce Website

ecommerce website designAs the society evolves from a primitive to a highly industrialized one, so does our methods and ways of life transform.

 

 

Industrialization has made people to continually look for better methods of doing virtually everything. The drive to continually improve gave birth to the internet which made eCommerce websites available to us.

 

An eCommerce (electronic commerce) website as the name implies is a website designed with the sole aim of facilitating sales and purchases of goods and services over an electronic medium (the internet). An eCommerce store can be an online retail store, auction sites, business-to-business site, business-to-customer sites or a media sales site.

 

Unlike a regular website, an eCommerce website gives consumers the chance to make purchases online or pay on delivery. It also has a shopping cart (open/close) software, a round the clock customer support service and its website images are properly optimized so as to avoid having a slow or unresponsive website.

 

An eCommerce website undoubtedly increases sales by giving the owner the opportunity to sell to customers beyond the immediate geographical boundary, provides cheap and efficient marketing options and also increases the business customer base when it is Search Engine Optimized.

 

For the customers, it provides them the ample opportunity to make purchases from their home without having to queue or go through the other hassles of trade.

 

Regardless of the countless benefits associated with having an eCommerce website, it is pertinent for us to know that the owner and prospective customer might not be able to access these opportunities if certain features are not considered while planning for an eCommerce website. Below are some of the important features to look out for:

 

1.         A good shopping cart tool: They are two types of shopping cart tools (open source and closed source).  Depending on your requirements and budget, both types are good and reliable. A good shopping cart tools on your website will help you store product information and ease customers’ shopping experience.

 

2.         Using a proper hosting server: Regardless of your intention to reduce eCommerce website cost, shared hosting (which is the cheapest) should not be an option if your intention is to maximize the opportunities of an eCommerce website. This is because shared hosting put as many as possible website onto a single server. As a result, your website takes longer than usual to load and research has proven that customers will rather use an alternate website than wait for your website to load.

 

3.         Get a highly secured Payment gateway: A payment gateway is one of the most important features of an eCommerce website. It allows you to process credit card, debit card and other card-less forms of payment. The payment gateway performs other functions like initiating refunds when the transaction does not go through and it also performs some anti-fraud checks on the user. It is advisable to have varieties of payment gateway as this gives the customers multiple payment options.

 

4.         Having a responsive website: Research has proven that there is an increase in the number of buyers who make purchases on their mobile phone. Having an eCommerce website that is highly responsive will go a long way in reducing the bounce rate and in return increase sales.

 

5.         Fuse an option for customer review: Due to the general skepticism people share about online trading, reviews of the previous buyer will go a long way in convincing new clients about the genuineness of the product.

 

The aforementioned might have proven to us that website design project especially that of eCommerce will be expensive. However, ebrand promotion who has carried out several website design project has several good packages that are cost-friendly.  

5 MUST HAVE FEATURES ALL NIGERIAN BUSINESS WEBSITES SHOULD HAVE

features of a websiteWhile it has been established as a universal fact that any organization created for profit making in today’s world without a business website is on the fast lane to decline. So many businesses, especially in emerging economies like that of Nigeria, are yet to take the advantage of this golden opportunity.

As much as having a business website is important for a business, it is equally important for us to understand that the opportunities found therein can only be exploited when a competent website design company handles the project.

The importance of having a business website developed by a competent business website designer cannot be overemphasized as it will open lots of prospects for the company.

The benefits of having a good business website include but are not limited to cheaper advert, round the clock marketing of the company’s product and services, increased customers and sales.

A good website design company knows exactly how to make a website that will have the above abilities and more.

While many business website designers have the ability to produce eye-catching websites, only a few understand that functionality is the most important thing.

At eBrand promotions, we are a website design company with a team comprising of Business website designer, website developers and SEO writers who all know the right tools to use and this goes a long way in opening relationships to more customers and at the same time increase your visibility on the internet.

Regardless of the numerous website features that exist today, A Nigerian businessman that intends to benefit from the numerous opportunities associated with having a business website should have five of the following:

1. Search Engine Optimization: What is the purpose of a well-crafted website with all the latest updates if it won’t be ranked? To edge out of the growing competition on the internet, your website content should be Search Engine Optimized and this can be actualized by a competent Website Design Company.

2. Have an attractive homepage: In order to avoid bounce rate on your website, you need a Business website designer who knows how to make an appealing home page that will compel people to visit more pages of your website.

3. Make your website mobile friendly: The majority of internet users in Nigeria use their mobile phones to access the internet. As such it’s a smart move to employ a business website designer that will take that into consideration.

4. Include the option for review: Putting into consideration, Nigerians phobia for internet business, a third party’s accreditation that you are a genuine business institute will help lure more customers and make you more trustworthy to work with.

5. Have a Call to action link: The overall purpose of having a website is to increase sales and awareness. As a result, a good Business website Designer should be aware of the strategic locations to place your contact such that it will be easy for your website visitors to contact you.

From the above, we can deduce that setting up a business website is not a haphazard activity. You need the service of a reputable website design company like eBrand promotion to make your dream business website a reality.

How to use your website to increase sales in 2018 for your business

 increase sales in 2017 for your business

Did you know that some companies in Nigeria generate over 3.5 billion Naira a month in sales from their website alone right here in Nigeria?

While you may not quite achieve this feat (I mean the 1 billion naira part), but have you ever imagined if it was possible to have your phone ringing 24/7 and it would be potential customers calling and starting the conversation like this;

“I saw your number on the internet, can you help me do this or that…” or “I got this number from your website, am I speaking with …”

The thing about having a website is that it not only gives you exposure, it also positions you as an expert and your product as the best in the minds of potential clients. This makes it possible such that when they call you; all initial resistances would have been watered down.

As a matter of fact, through your website, you would have answered more than 70% of the questions on their minds and a relationship is already established.

If it was this easy to get customers calling and requesting your products and services, why isn’t every business taking advantage of it?

Unfortunately, it’s not so straightforward and simple. In fact, 70-80% of websites created in Nigeria are shut down after 2 years (my opinion) because they turn into liabilities for their owners.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to leverage your website to increase sales in 2018 for your business by as much as 500%.

How to Increase your sales by 500% using your website

The strategies I’m going to teach you in this article work. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. I’ve personally applied them in my business over the years and have gotten a countless number of clients.

As a matter of fact, most of my clients come from this website you are on right now. I have also applied the same strategies for a few clients who I consult for and it has worked for them tremendously.

So let’s get started

#1 Strategy: Position your homepage as a Landing Page

The #1 purpose of your website is to sell.

Irrespective of whether you are a non-profit organization or a profit-oriented company, the primary purpose of having a website is to sell something. Therefore, your website should be positioned to sell.

In order to achieve that, your website homepage should be designed as a landing page, i.e. It should be created in such a way that as soon as someone lands on the page, he will be encouraged to take an action that will bring you a step closer to selling something to him/her. This action may be for the person to request for a free quotation, submit his/her email address/phone number to get a free offer, ask for a call back, request for Free consultation etc.

How you engage your visitors will be solely dependent on the type of product/services you offer.

But the most important factor is that once someone drops into your website, you should be able to capture the person’s contact information so that you can reach out to him/her later.

Take for example this E-Brand website; you will notice that we have a quotation form on the homepage of the site such that people can request for free web design quotation. Also at the end of every article, we put in a number you can call if you have any questions or requests as regards to web design. This makes it possible for us to capture their details and get in touch with them, right?

Believe me, almost every day, we get up to 3-5 requests for quotation. While we may not be able to convert all of them, we certainly do convert a good number of them into customers. And most importantly we have a database of potential clients to sell to in future.

The easiest way to achieve this is to design your website using a landing page template/theme. These types of templates are already designed to help you capture your visitors’ information. The forms are positioned appropriately and call to action buttons placed on hotspots that attract human eyes.

#2 Strategy: Leverage the popularity of other websites

If your website is just new with few visitors, no amount of tweaking will make it bring in customers and increase sales for you.

Therefore, you will need to leverage other existing more popular sites to get the word out there about your business while your own website gains popularity gradually.

In order to achieve this, there are 3 ways;

Submit your site to relevant business directories

This is the surest way to leverage other websites. It makes it possible for your website to have multiple pages in different places all over the internet.

However, just submitting your business to a directory and disappearing the next minute will not help you in any way. You have to constantly update your directory page with the right keywords so that search engines can take notice of it. Also if you have photos of previous projects you've done, some directories allow for you to upload pictures.

The idea is just to treat your directory pages as you would your own website and you will reap the reward

Put out Press releases often about events and activities in your organization

Putting out press releases is a subtle way of marketing. It gives you the opportunity of riding on the back of the media to success. If you are lucky and one of your news goes viral, that is all the publicity you need to boost your sales.

Take it or leave it, people respect businesses that make the news more than obscure ones. So don’t wait for the news to happen, create it and distribute it

In order to achieve this in Nigeria, using an online PR management service like E-Brand Managers will come in handy. They can help you distribute your press release to over 1200 local and international media outlets all over the world. Can you imagine the reach!

Participate in relevant forums

This is also a good way of leveraging other websites. Every article I write for E-Brand Promotion, I normally distribute them absolutely free to other forums so that more people can actually see it. But the subtle marketing strategy is that at the end of the article like I said before, I normally insert a number and email address you can use to get in touch with me if you have more questions or for a free consultation. And don’t forget, the article has already established me as an expert. So what kind of mindset do you think people will call me with? Your guess is just as good as mine.

Engage with your website visitors

When a visitor lands on your website, if you don’t engage him/her within 5 seconds, he/she will leave and never to return. What a tragedy!

But how do you engage a visitor?

While there are several ways to engage a visitor, I’m going to tell you exactly the best two I know of that work perfectly

Blog Regularly

Blogging is one of the best ways to catch the attention of people when they land on your website. For example, if you visit a honey seller’s website, seeing an article headline like “How to detect fake honey in the market” will catch your attention more than all the other marketing messages like “BUY FROM US - WE OFFER THE BEST NATURAL HONEY IN THE WORLD”. After all, nobody wants to buy fake honey, right? Visitors may even be willing to drop their email and mobile number for you to send them that information, don’t you think?

This is just an example - find something similar for your own.

Use live chat

If you have a shop/office and someone walks in and you totally ignore the person, what do you think the person will do next? Walk away of course!

But imagine a situation where the same person walks into your shop and you cautiously and with the nicest of voice ask the person how you can be of help, what do you think the person will do? Your guess is also as good as mine.

To achieve this, there are several chatting apps online that you can ask your web developer to install for you on your website. I normally recommend Tawk.to and Livezilla. They are free. At least, These 2 options save you the cost of the monthly payment that is attached to some other options available. All you have to pay for is just the one-time installation fee.

However, the major drawback of this is that you need to be online always to always engage your visitors – This may not be too feasible for many people. But if you can, it’s the ultimate engagement strategy.

Be Social

What shall it profit a man to have a business in this 21st century and not have social media pages!

Not having a social media presence is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a business owner.

However, you must understand your business’ core market before you start going social.

The rule is (in Nigerian context);

- If you are a B2B (business to business - i.e. your company sells mostly to other businesses), concentrate on Linkedin as your primary social media strategy.

- While for B2C businesses, Facebook and Twitter are the best options

- If you are in the entertainment industry, Instagram is the way to go.

- And if you want to just reach a mass number of politically oriented individuals, join Nairaland Forum.

There are several other options you can use to boost your social media strategy, but the best advice I can offer you is to focus on just one or two social media channels and become a force to reckon with in those. Don’t try to be popular in all social media channels online. You know, "a little here and a little there" kind of strategy. It’s a sure recipe for failure. Believe me, I've tried!

Advertise

If you want to establish yourself and increase sales in 2018, you must also be willing to open up your wallet. But you must do so wisely and strategically. Else your advert money will just be a pure waste of resources.

Before you start advertising online, you must;

Have a website that can convert visitors to paying customers

This is the first and MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do for yourself. If your website is not built to convert visitors to leads/customers, even if you spend 1 billion in adverts, it will be money down the drain. You might as well take it to a nice nite club and blow it on champagne and hot chicks.

Have a clear-cut digital marketing strategy

Simply put, know where and how you want to spend your advertising budget. Are you going for Google Adwords or Facebook advertising (cost-per-click) approach? Or are you going to place your advert in niche websites for a highly targeted traffic? What is the demography of your target audience? For example, if you sell Airplane spare parts, you will agree with me that it wouldn't be a wise strategy to go about splashing money on Instagram ads or even Facebook. For that, spending money on an aeronautics blog or even Google AdWords will be a better strategy.

Have a specific advertising budget

One big mistake most folks do is to just insert their Debit card numbers online and have every other smart website owner take a cut monthly in the name of subscription and advertising. But you shouldn’t do that. Ensure you have a specific money earmarked for adverts for a specific period. After that, don’t spend more until your next spending cycle comes e.g. weekly or monthly.

Have a target amount of sales you want to generate based on the money you are investing in adverts.

Always ensure you have a target amount you want to get as a return on investment (ROI). Don't forget, an investment is what your advertising budget is. Therefore, it should yield returns.

What you need to do is to know exactly how much it will cost you to get one lead or how much to convert one visitor to a paying customer

e.g. if you spend N100 to bring a single visitor to your website through google, it means that you will need to spend N10,000 to bring 100.

Therefore, for your advert campaign to be successful, the product/service you sell should be worth far more than N10,000 when 100 people visit your website.

 

Finally, we have come to the end of this article, I hope you have learned a thing or two about how to increase sales for your business.

If you have any questions or need help to improve your website homepage to ensure that it converts visitors to leads/customers so that you can generate more sales, just give me a call via +2348105882416 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I’d be glad to help out

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Smart Okpi is the Lead Developer/CEO at E-Brand Promotion (http://ebrandpromotion.com) and also the Lead Instructor at http://webtutorial.com.ng – a website where he teaches aspiring web designers/small business owners for free on how to design websites without the headache of coding.

5 Important things to check before hiring a web designer

If you want to hire a web designer, it is important that you look out for some specific highly important tips which I’m about to reveal to you in this article. These 5 tips are so essential that if ignored, might result in you wasting your money and time because you will definitely hire the wrong company. The result is that you will be compelled to pay yet another web designer to redesign the entire website for you.

So we will dive straight into exposing those things that actually separate the good, the bad and the downright ugly web developers in the industry.

1. Your Web Designer Should Be A Real Business

This is important because when you deal with a single individual say your neighbour’s 16-year-old son, that guy you met in the church or the one your friend introduced you to the other day, you are dangerously putting the future of your business at risk. How? You may ask.

What happens when he/she is not reachable and you urgently need to update information on your site for a client to review? Or when your site goes down and you need it right up ASAP because your potential business partner wants to take a look at your website? I think the answer is obvious.

This is why it is important that you deal with a real business so that even if the web designer attached to you is not available, they will quickly reassign you someone else to work on your site in case of an emergency. The web design company need not be a very big one. It just needs to have a structure in place and the organization that comes with a business

Another important point is that dealing with a business helps you to make specific requests with regards to the features you need and be firm in your negotiation. You are dealing with professionals so the entire project will be handled in a very professional manner.

2. The Web Designer Must Have A Website

This point I believe is a no brainer! The first thing you should checkout before hiring a web development company is the quality of their own business website.

If the site is shabbily designed, you will certainly get the same quality of work. If there are a lot of errors like 404 errors, dead links, non-functional features, poor web graphics etc, then you know your own website is going to look exactly the same. The web design agency cannot offer you what it can’t offer itself. However, if on the other hand, the website is a top-notch world class design and excellent in functionality, then feel at home. You are at the right place.

3. Quality of Customer Service

This is by far the most important factor you should put into consideration before you even make any financial commitment with the web developer. How do they respond to your inquiries? Are they hasty about it or do they take their time to address your concerns and answer your questions. Are they easily reachable 24/7? What is the most effective way of reaching them - Is it by phone, email or live chat? Me personally I prefer a web designer that is always online for a live chat. This is because, if there is any form of emergency with your website, you will get instant response from the web design team. Also hire only web design agencies that respond to email enquiries within 6 hours. Anything less than that is not acceptable! My major concern with phone conversations is that there is no guarantee that the person you are talking to is online at that moment or will be online on a regular basis.

Also how they follow up on a client after completing the web design project is yet another important factor. You certainly don’t want to deal with a developer who only contacts you once a year when your web hosting is about to expire. Some are even so bad and careless that your website will expire and they won’t even inform you about it.

4. Web Design Portfolio

“Let me see a website you have designed before” This should be the first thing you ask a web designer when you meet one. You don’t want to patronize a rookie in the business of web design that will use your website to learn. This is not to disparage the skill of people who are still fresh in the industry. But you should understand that we are talking about quality web designers here. A good web design firm should have no less than 20 projects in its portfolio. And these completed projects should be publicly listed on their website. Or at least they should be able to prove that they actually did the work. One easy way to find out who designed a website is to look at the site’s footer. This is where you will see something like “website design by XYZ Technologies”.

5. Web Design Price

I intentionally left this to be the last factor to consider in this article. And when you want to hire a web design company, it should also be the last thing you discuss. If you make it the first, as most people do, you will likely end up with a very poor choice. Why? In my 7 years experience as a web developer, one thing I have found out is that you get the quality of job you pay for – this is like a general rule. Cheap web designers always ask for cheap price and deliver cheap jobs. The important thing you should know is that price of any web development project is generally determined by  2 things:

  1. The type of website you request for: The cost of putting up a dynamic website is always higher than static html site. And if it designed with a content management system, the price goes even higher. The costliest websites are usually ecommerce sites. So you should have this at the back of your mind when approaching a web designer.
  2. Number of features that you request for: You should know that the more features a website has, the more likely it will be costlier. For example, if you request for a bespoke design for your website, be sure that the price of such project will be a lot higher than when the web designer uses a template to do the job for you. Generally, if you don’t have any specific reason why you need a unique design, it is always better to stick with templates - it is cheaper and your designer can tweak it in any way you desire such that it may even appear unique.

In conclusion, before you hire any web designer or  web development company, ensure that it is a real business with established structure – It doesn’t necessarily need to be a large company with 100 designers on its payroll. Also that the company has its own functional website, offer quality customer care service, and has a good portfolio of completed website design projects. Don’t also forget that when it comes to web design what you pay for is what you get.

Have a question about your web design project? Call an experienced web developer with over 10 years experience and we will help you every step of the way from conceptualizing the idea to design and full implementation.

CALL NOW! +2348105882416, +2348144297674

Complete Breakdown of Web Design Cost in Nigeria In 2018

cost of websites

Web design cost varies a great deal from one designer to the next. In fact, it is safe to say there is no universally accepted price for any web design project. However, in this article, I will attempt to give you an idea of what it will cost you to design a functional quality website. The breakdown I give here will be greatly influenced by my own 10-year experience as a web developer and interaction with several other top-notch web designers in Nigeria.

The cost of creating a website can be divided into 3 basic categories. These include Domain Name, Hosting fee, and programmer’s fee. So below is an outline of all the monies you are likely to spend on your next web design project. Also beware that since there is no fixed price, I will stick to price ranges.

Domain name

N3000 – N5000 per year. This is the price you are most likely to pay for a name that is free and available for registration. If you need a .ng domain, the price goes up a bit at between N8,000 - N15,000.

However, you may want a name that is already taken by someone else. For that, you will have to place a backorder for it (that is contracting a domain broker like Godaddy or Namecheap to purchase it for you as soon as it is free). This costs about $69. But if you are buying from another individual, then the price can be a lot higher – running into thousands of dollars. Generally, if you don’t have a specific need for a particular name, just choose an alternative.

Personally, my normal strategy for getting the names I want is to go for the .com.ng or .ng extension. For example, when I was setting up my news site, I wanted www.thesummary.com but of course, that wasn’t available and I couldn’t change the name of the business, so I simply opted for thesummary.com.ng. You too may apply this same strategy.

Web Hosting

web hosting comes in various categories. It could be

shared hosting,

Virtual Private Server (VPS),

cloud hosting

dedicated server.

The category you choose depends on the number of visitors that come to the website on monthly basis. If you need just a business website for your company, it is okay to use shared hosting. On the other hand, if your website is going to serve a large audience, it’s safest to go for a VPS or cloud hosting. This type of hosting is recommended for blogs with a lot of visitors monthly or a church or association with a large membership

Shared hosting = $36 - $60 (N13,000 – N22,000) per year

VPS/cloud hosting ranges from = $360 - $1700 (N133k – N629k per year)

Dedicated server = $1600 - $4200 (N592k – N1.554Million) per year

Web Developer's Fee

This is a very important factor that influences web design cost. The programmer’s fee is largely determined by the type of website you want: static, dynamic site (Content Management System) or eCommerce.

While I cannot speculate any fixed price that a web programmer will fix, the price of a basic static 5-page website ranges from N25,000 to N50,000 or much more. And it generally increases if you request for more pages and functionalities.

For a dynamic site, the fee varies so much. While some programmers will take as little as N50k, others may charge as high as N5-10million. It all depends on the type of client, quality and years of experience of the website developer.

The uniqueness and functionality of the site also play a key role. If you want a unique bespoke website design from scratch, then be prepared to pay a much higher price than the person whose website is designed using a $60 template. I generally advise my clients to opt for templates as it makes the work faster and even 10x cheaper while offering the same or even better functionality than the so-called bespoke design.

The programmer’s fee for an E-Commerce website is generally the same as it is for a CMS-driven dynamic website above. However, what influences the web design cost the most is the extra features you may request as well as the number of products you want to sell on the website.

For example, if you want to accept payment online in Nigeria using Interswitch payment gateway, the price of the gateway alone is between N150,000 to N200,000. And this will be built into the programmer's fee most times.

So when your web developer starts quoting N500k – N2million, you have an idea of what the money will be spent on and why.

Recurrent Annual cost

It is important for you to know that having a website is not a one-time expenditure. This means that for your website to remain online you will have to be paying annual hosting and domain name renewal fee. And it varies a lot from one website to another.

In conclusion, your web design expenses revolve around the domain name, cost of hosting, and programmer's fee which is determined by factors such as the type of website you need and the features involved.

Have a question about your web design project? Call E-Brand Promotion and our web development team will help you every step of the way from conceptualizing the idea to design and full implementation.

CALL NOW! +2348105882416, +2348144297674 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.