How to break into your market by starting from scratch or reinventing your business model for the web when you’re not Amazon? How to design an ecommerce website that really performs?
The purpose of this article is not to enter into the technical and editorial considerations that can be read regularly but to become more interested in the business model adapted to the web. In short, the reflection that comes before the design of an online business and how to translate it into a website.
Reversing the law of supply and demand
In my opinion, this is the essential element for the success of the website. Starting from demand rather than supply, contrary to what is usually done. Reasoning its product offer based on demand means taking into account data directly linked to the SEO: monthly search volume, seasonality of the search, level of competition, associated keywords, SERP display for each request. In short, relying on tangible elements to build the product offer rather than exploiting external opportunities (website) such as privileged relationships with suppliers, volume discount trading, listening to future trends on trade fairs with no real figures to back them up, etc.
The knowledge of keywords is here strategic because the study of the SERP display for each of the targeted keywords (displaying or not of the local box, strong or weak use of the structured data, etc.) will activate a synergy SEO / SEA relevant according to the viewport: is it necessary for each request to activate the two points of contact or not?
This logic of inversion of supply and demand is easily applied to wide product offerings, for ecommerce websites that offer several categories of products. Conversely, this logic does not apply to “single-product”, for specialized websites that have a larger marketing budget since they are dedicated to a single product like Kano for example.
Present your product offer
The first term that comes to mind is: tree structure. How to present your product offer easily? Without going into the logic of the semantic cocoon, I would like us to focus on one point in particular: all ecommerce websites are similar. At least, in the logic of the list pages that present the products of a particular category. The volume of products presented will depend on the page list in question: is it a main category, sub-category or subcategory?
CMS such as Prestashop and Magento take into account this hierarchy of the offer and the majority of advertisers seem to distribute their catalogue according to this logic. As a result, most pages are similar. A generic layout is defined for each page type. And no mechanism linked to a tangible marketing aspect such as the margin rate or the number of products in stock will be taken into account, like this time the emphasis on Mac Pro for example. The page is decorated with all the other pages of the website in terms of design, content and product prominence. Without pretending to design the same type of page for a regular ecommerce website, the idea of a landing page presenting a product (or a few products, if there are not many, in a specific category) is interesting because it allows you to play naturally on the content, on the images but also on marketing hooks allowing you to offer an immersive experience.
In short, adapting your business model on an ecommerce website means building necessarily different pages depending on the surfers’ browsing logics (waiting and intention to buy are different depending on the product category) and marketing aspects. Taken together, these elements create performance because the ecommerce website is built both according to the constraints of the advertiser and the surfers’ browsing constraints.
Working by hypothesis
The conception of an ecommerce website via the tangible factors that we have just seen implies working by hypothesis: according to this data, it is considered that the Internet user searches this product in this way and will convert for such and such reason. The reversal of hypotheses will condition the evolution of the website. It does not remain frozen but evolves where the need is demonstrated.
The work by hypothesis by lever of acquisition used or by the technology used can be carried out via A/B testing (traditional technique) over a period of time defined in advance to guide evolutionary choices in the most refined way possible.
In conclusion, most of the work to make your ecommerce website a success takes place before the first layer on Photoshop and well before the first line of code.