E-commerce webshop in Tanzania, what do you need? Setting up an e-commerce webshop is like building a house architecture and budget need to be agreed before the decoration. Once the specification about what type of online business has been agreed, then solutions need to be evaluated and costed against those specifications. Take the following in consideration:
All aspects of the project need to be managed. Decide who is going to do it and properly plan the requirements, activities, outcomes, milestones and timings. Also plan who will maintain the e-commerce webshop after it goes live.
Web Hosting and URL
Nowadays web hosting has affordable prices and can be setup within minutes. Examples of hosting companies able to host an e-commerce webshop in Tanzania are Extreme Web Technologies and Fauluhost, more companies can be found through a simple Google search. Recommended is to choose a provider that can setup a SSL, SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer,” and provides a secure connection for your e-commerce webshop. Taking in consideration the security and disaster recovery aspect that is achieved by hosting with a hosting provider is very important.
Develop different site template designs and test them with real people. The webshop designs have to be easy to use and navigate. Don’t let “design” drive the site; let ease of use and sales drive the “design”. Think how the customer thinks. In case you don’t have these skills in house find a website design and development company.
For software at least 4 types of things need to be taken in consideration:
1. Webshop and Shopping Cart
The online web shop can be either an Open Source CMS (Open Source means any application that has been made available, generally free, to developers to view and modify freely) or commercial. There are a whole range of online commercial and open source options such as Drupal, Joomla, WooCommerce, Shopify etc.
There are other factors to consider with the shopping cart:
– Does it have its own or does it easily integrate with your exiting stock control systems?
– Does it integrate easily with accounting systems? (e.g. Sage, QuickBooks or Tanzania’s Vision Software)
Once your customer has placed his or her order you want to be able to accept immediately a payment from the customer. To connect your e-commerce webshop with online payments, you can apply by the bank you are banking with. In case your bank doesn’t support online payments you can use ClickPesa’s web store payment acceptance service.
How it works is that when a customer does a payment the information moves through a private gateway to a processing network, where the banks and mobile money providers complete or deny the transaction. This generally takes place in no more than 5-7 seconds. With the addition of SSL technology, it makes it a very safe way to complete transactions.
Most CMS, shopping carts and forums have email solutions. However, some solutions are very basic. If the chosen shopping cart solution does not have an effective integrated email solution then stand alone open source applications such as PHPlist are one alternative solution or paid solutions such as Constant Contact or many others.
4. Statistics and analytics
This is arguably the most important part. If you do not know how visitors to your website and in the shop are behaving, what turns them on and what turns them off then it is far, far harder to improve sales and site profitability. Google Analytics is a popular analytics tools you can use.