Computer, pacchi e carrelli della spesa, una immagine esemplificativa del nuovo mondo online dove gli e-commerce sono un'opportunità da non lascarsi sfuggire.


How to create a successful e-commerce

The digital world is now a fundamental feature of our everyday life and the global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitization of many businesses, including retail. Whatever product is sold, e-commerce is now essential. However, you must be very careful if you want your e-commerce to not be just an online showroom but a real economic activity.

Having an e-commerce nowadays is essential to attract new customers, retain existing ones and be competitive both online and offline. Regardless of the size of your brand and the type of product or service offered, a digital platform such as the e-commerce represents a possibility that should not be missed. The number of e-commerce sites online today is enormous (+ 135.6% compared to 2019, according to Linkfluence data), as it is the number of purchases made exclusively online. According to a recent research led by Global Web Index, over 9 out of 10 internet users visited an e-commerce each month and more than three-quarters of them actually purchased a product. The coronavirus has certainly given a boost to this growth, as evidenced by the 311% increase in March compared to February 2020, and this trend shows no sign of decreasing.

The e-commerce market is therefore extremely competitive. Consumers are constantly changing platforms, especially if they can't find what they need or if they find it but at a cost or in a format that doesn't meet their expectations. Social media has exaggerated this aspect, allowing anyone to be reached by competitors through ads. In this extremely competitive environment, owning an e-commerce is not enough: you need to optimize your business in all its aspects, from fulfillment to the website, so that you can offer a valuable service to customers.

In this article we will explain in a simple and clear way what steps you should take in order to create a successful e-commerce.

Before starting

First, you need to carefully get ready by carrying out market research and creating a business plan that will guide your strategic choices. In addition to the product for sale, it is also necessary to manage all the organizational, financial and logistical aspects associated with any commercial activity. It is necessary to calculate the costs of production and of the materials used, the costs of labour, the costs of management, distribution and logistics. These practices, which fall under the broader concept of fullfilment that we have explained in this article, should precede any other activity.

In addition to this, it may be useful to analyse the competitors to better understand their specific reference sector, the characteristics of their products and of their customers, and their strategy, in order to be able to propose a valuable alternative (and, why not, also getting inspired by them). This differentiation allows us to be more competitive: the world of e-commerce is constantly growing and its characteristics push companies from all over the world to enter into competition. Paradoxically, a particular and "niche" product will have a better chance of being noticed than a generic one (think about it: why should a client buy something from your e-commerce if it can also be found on Amazon, probably at an even lower price?). A search on the main e-commerce websites or on Google can be useful to get an initial idea of what consumers are looking for and what competitors offer.

Also, think carefully about the type of product you are going to sell: it will have to be kept in a warehouse, even for a long period of time, and then transported by truck or even airplane. So, pay attention to perishable and fragile products. Once these elements have been fully considered, it is time to go online with your website.

Technical characteristics of the e-commerce

We will now briefly list which technical aspects must be taken into consideration when creating an e-commerce. Although graphic elements such as animations and 3D projections are a great way to create an engaging and captivating e-commerce, their creation requires resources that are not available to everyone. The list below, on the other hand, indicates best practices for online stores that can be easily implemented.

Usability and practicality

Ease of use is mandatory for any website and app, even more so when it comes to e-commerce and online stores: the platform must contain all the information on the products, shipping and replacement/refund methods. The information shouldn’t be only comprehensive, but also easy and quick to find, read and compare (customers should not take more than a few seconds to find the desired page). The registration procedures on the site, the choice of products and the payment must be quick and intuitive, or else you will lose the interest of the consumer, who will turn elsewhere.

Moreover, now almost all users access e-commerce from a smartphone, so the site must also be mobile-friendly. In fact, mobile devices provide many payment methods via apps or digital wallets (PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay, just to name a few), but according to a study conducted by Stripe, 24% of users have abandoned the purchase process because they were not satisfied with the options available or the procedures.

Loading speed and quality of multimedia elements

Continuing from the previous point, the site should have pages that are quick to load and the multimedia elements (such as pop-ups, images, videos, etc.) shouldn’t be invasive during navigation. However, these elements play a very important role, since they show the product to potential buyers. It goes without saying that images and videos must be in high definition and flawlessly made. Do not use more than two or three fonts and try to maintain continuity between the aesthetic aspect of the images and graphics.


Since you will have to store personal data, the security of your e-commerce is perhaps the most important aspect: an attack by hackers could have serious consequences both legally and on the trust that customers place in the site. Unfortunately, these attacks are more and more frequent and users’ concerns about their privacy is at an all-time high, therefore an SLL certificate ("https" at the beginning of the URL, which ensures an encrypted and protected connection between the user and the e-commerce) is essential. Another highly recommended practice is to encourage users to activate a Two-Factor Authentication system (which requires both an email address and a mobile phone number to deliver the access data to), in order to prevent passwords theft.

Last, but not least, compliance with the GDPR if you operate on the European market is mandatory: each website must display a privacy policy that should be easily accessible (and understandable!) and a cookie policy.

Sections you should implement on your e-commerce

Once the e-commerce has met all the requirements listed so far, it could also be useful to add some sections and features to attract more visitors and encourage the purchase.


What drives the purchase of a certain product over another is, in many cases, a positive review: the research carried out by Brightlocal has indeed shown that almost 95% of users trust these reviews. A good practice would be to add reviews under the products and encourage customers to leave them. Also keep in mind that reviews may be posted not only on your e-commerce, but also on external platforms such as your Facebook page or on the app-store (Google Play Store reviews increased by 238% in a year).

But how to handle negative reviews? We should accept the criticisms and try to investigate the aspects that the customer did not like, perhaps even trying to provide an explanation and ensuring a quick solution to the problem. Even in the case of non-constructive comments, it is advisable to remain calm and respond as much professionally as possible. And don't be afraid to get negative reviews: websites with only positive reviews can actually look suspicious.


A section that could be very useful for visitors is the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) one, where you can find answers to the most common questions that users might ask (how to recover the password, what to do in case of problems with payments or shipping, etc.). This section allows you to solve any doubt the customers may have, in order to retain them and giving the impression of an e-commerce that is interested in its clients and available to help them. Obviously, you cannot predict every challenge they will face, so you should also add a contact form and a way to contact the customer service directly, in order to receive immediate assistance.

Strategies for a successful e-commerce

In order to create a successful e-commerce, it can be useful to put yourself in users' shoes to understand how they think and identify the elements that they might consider problematic.

Before the purchase

The biggest barrier a potential consumer faces is the price. Obviously, you can't always lower product prices, but some strategies may encourage customers to consider profitable promotions:

  • Free shipping (which, however, may be included in the cost of the product).

  • Up-selling, i.e. increasing the quantity of products or offering an higher-end version without excessively increasing their cost.

  • Cross-selling, i.e. proposing other products that could integrate with each other at a convenient price.

  • Rewards or prizes (such as discount coupons).

During the purchase process

Traceability and notifications allow the customer to control the shipment of the orders. Delivery methods also play a fundamental role: when an e-commerce receives the purchase order, the customer should always be able to choose their desired delivery option in case of absence (to their neighbour? In a nearby business? In an automated collection point?). It is also essential to allow as many payment methods as possible (cash, cards, smartphone).

After a successful purchase, it comes a very delicate phase: delivery. Orders delivered late or lost could result in the loss of the customer, especially if it happens without a plausible explanation and without an apology. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully consider all the variables and to rely on reliable couriers or postal services.


In the after-sales phase, customer support is also very important. It is highly unlikely that every aspect will always run smoothly, so you have to act promptly to solve any problem that might occur. This could involve the replacement of the product, the refund or other assistance services on how to properly use the purchased goods. In addition, to make the customer feel appreciated, it can be useful to send a thank-you email/notification, also inviting them to leave a review, in order to receive feedbacks and be able to show it to other potential customers. Retention activities, according to Linkfluence, are also very appreciated and can transform occasional customers into regular users of an e-commerce. Cultivating a "culture of online shopping" allows you to create a real community of enthusiasts.

The importance of an efficient fulfillment

The purchase phase and everything that follows is part of a larger process called fulfillment, essential for all e-commerce. As a matter of fact, if the phases immediately following the sales are not managed effectively, all our efforts to create a successful e-commerce could prove useless. Taking care of the phases of reception and management of the order, including packaging, shipping and the management of returns and complaints is essential to ensure efficient customer service and encourage clients to buy again from your e-commerce.

Dealing with these processes, which also include the management of transport or customs documents, couriers and the warehouse, is certainly not easy. Therefore, when you have little time to manage them in-house, it is useful to rely on outsourced fulfillment services: they will not only allow us to optimize time and resources – offering the customer an excellent service – but also to count on the support of professionals who are able to tackle any setback, even the most unexpected ones.

Further suggestions

Often, having products to sell is not enough: it is necessary to attract customers with carefully planned strategies. For example, it might be useful to create tutorials or (video) guides on how to use a product. In addition, more and more people are looking for products and delivery methods that have the least environmental impact possible. Delivering packages without excessive use of plastics (perhaps replacing them with recycled paper) will become of primary importance in the near future.

Good luck with your e-commerce!

We have given you a long series of both theoretical and technical tips to create a successful e-commerce, so now you just have to start selling online! Don't be afraid to experiment with the strategies and the graphics of the site, but keep in mind that usability must always be put first.

As mentioned above, the world of e-commerce is extremely competitive, so you may need to be guided (at least at the beginning) by other professionals: creating a website from scratch is not easy at all, just as it is not easy to implement a marketing strategy that can attract customers.

If, on the other hand, you have already sorted everything out but you don’t know how to manage the fulfillment of your e-commerce, take a look at our services.