Web technology changed the way businesses operate and how customers purchase goods and services. Buyers can easily search through a large database of products and services. They can compare prices with a click of a mouse and buy a selected product at the best prices.
Similar to the growing activities in Kariakoo market in Dar es Salaam; the popularity of online marketplaces shows no signs of slowing down, so starting your own e-commerce business in Tanzania might just be your best move.
You can develop an e-commerce site that looks and functions exactly the way you want, helping you to meet the needs of your customers and your business more effectively.
In this article, we will be looking at the core requirements for building e-commerce websites for businesses in Tanzania.
E-commerce, or electronic commerce, refers to transactions conducted via the Internet. Every time individuals and companies are buying or selling products and services online they’re engaging in e-commerce. The term e-commerce also encompasses other activities including online auctions, Internet banking, payment gateways, and online ticketing.
Over the past 10 years, e-commerce has been one of the fast-growing segments of the retail industry, the size and speed of the boom have been truly astounding.
There are already several online stores existing on the world wide web. However, there is still a wider range of opportunities in creating a successful e-commerce site than ever before. But first, it’s important to create a clear e-commerce business plan.
What are you selling?, Who is your target market? How much money will you need to invest to get your e-commerce business off the ground?. These questions may seem like no-brainers, but it’s worth taking some time to sit down and map out a clear strategy.
Developing Your E-Commerce platform
Determine the tools you need to use to design, develop and operate your site.
After you have your business plan in place and ready to focus on your new online investment, it’s time to start creating your e-commerce web site. Your e-commerce platform is the most important technological component of your store.
You can decide to develop your e-commerce platform from scratch by working with experienced software developers or by using e-commerce development tools.
The top factors that you should consider when you’re looking for the right model to build an e-commerce platform are;
- Nature of your business
When you’re considering which website building tools to use, make sure that the applications you choose, support all of the functionalities that you want on your website.
Selecting Your Web Host for E-commerce
It is important to find a hosting provider that can accommodate all tools and features you need.
Now that you’ve got an idea about how you’re going to build your website, you need to think about where to host it. In order for your online business to be successful, you need to pay special attention to the type of hosting you’ll go for, and the provider.
There are hundreds of different web hosting providers to choose from, so how can you be sure you’re making the best decision? Here is a list of the most important things you need to keep in mind before you commit to a hosting option:
- Host-based security services — How secure the credit card payments are on that particular server.
- Access to an email server is critical — If you’re interested in having email addresses that match your domain name.
- Solid customer and technical support — A good hosting provider will be able to answer your questions and help you quickly address any day-to-day problems that may arise.
- Bandwidth — Be sure it offers the bandwidth to support all of the traffic to your site and meets your needs for guaranteed uptime
- Frequent backups — Just in case your site goes down and you need to recover your files.
Remember, It’s often said that the best things in life are free, but when it comes to web hosting, this may not be the case. If you’re running an e-commerce site, a free hosting provider may not give you the reliability or features you need to keep your customers happy.
Register a Domain Name
Domain name is a web address for visitors to find your business on the Internet e.g. www.nameofyourstore.co.tz
Apart from Web Hosting, a website needs a domain name which is the address through which visitors find it on the Internet. It is through this address that your visitors access your business website on the Internet.
Pick something that your customers will find easy to remember, your domain name should tell people what you’re about, for example, a name like “ViatuStore.com” clearly tells people that it’s a shoe retailer.