A webstore is a website that sells products or services and typically has an online shopping cart associated with it. With the popularity of the Internet rapidly increasing, online shopping became advantageous for retail store owners, and many traditional “brick and mortar” stores saw value in opening webstore counterparts.
E-commerce product sales totaled $146.4 billion in the United States in 2006, representing about 6% of retail product sales in the country. The $18.3 billion worth of clothes sold online represented about 10% of the domestic market.
Webstores typically share several similar characteristics, such as:
- Sell Products or Services – Although some webstores are simply informational websites for the retail store or company they are associated with, most webstores do sell specific products or services.
- Ecommerce Shopping Cart – The goal of most webstores is to have customers buy their products. These stores have an online shopping cart on their web site, and customers are able to add products to the shopping cart, enter their payment information, and check out.
- Niche Industries – Many webstores target a specific industry and find their own unique corner of the market. However, exceptions include Amazon.com which found success in offering customers a myriad of products.
Online Store Design
There are millions of webstores in cyberspace. Online store owners usually either create their own store using web design software, hire an outside web developer to create their store, or use an ecommerce store platform. Ecommerce store platforms usually charge a monthly fee, grant users access to store templates, and have order management features. Although there are millions of webstores, successful webstores often require ecommerce know-how and attention to details. Common traits of successful webstores are:
- Simplicity – Modern webstores are simple and usually have a left hand navigation bar. Rather than listing products all on one page, they feature only a few products on each page and have links to other products on other pages.
- Search Engine Friendly – One of the most popular ways for customers to find a webstore is by using a search engine. The best webstores conform to search engine best practices.
- Contact Information – Customers want to make sure there’s a real person behind the online store, so including contact information is a common practice.
- Monitor Sales – Many webstores utilize programs like Google Analytics that allow them to track sales data and how customers access the site.
- The popularity of online shopping is expected to grow, and whole companies have started up to design webstores for small business owners.
Storesonline Ecommerce Opportunity software incorporates customer relationship management, a streamlined, point-and-click environment, and integrated online credit card processing. With StoresOnline Pro entrepreneurs have complete control and total flexibility over their Internet business.