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Building an eCommerce site for your customer base.

Building an eCommerce site for your customer base.


Depends on the industry and type of selling goods the e-commerce set up will be different each time, the same as different will be customer’s expectations. Do your research first about what products will be provided by the store, how you will accept payments and how you will deliver products. I hope these tips will help you prepare a solid base for a successful web store.

Customers experience:

Mobile – Each year more and more customers are using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to shop online. The mobile devices are using different screen ratio like 16:9 or 18:9 and with different resolutions. It’s hard to find templates which would support all available mobile devices on the market but make as many tests as possible to eliminate possible glitches with displaying content. Especially if you to some changes to the templates, test the changes.   

Fast – An important part of nice user experience is how fast your web store is working. Find out first how much computer resources (CPU, RAM Memory, enough HDD space) you will need and configure them according to your current and future needs. Check if the web store hosting provider allows you easily to change the parameters and pull out more resources if need it.  

Search results – not all search engines work the same way. Be sure that your customers are able to find what they are looking for. Sometimes they don’t remember the whole title or an author but a part of it. Depends on the store size after the search results may display hundreds of products. Apply filters to narrow the search results.

Security:

Taking care of web store security is as much important task as the front-end user experience. Start with a hosting provider you can rely on. There is a few which PrestaShop partnerships with but always check the hosting provider meets the installation requirements. The SSL certificate is the next step. There is a way to obtain one for free and remember to set up an auto-renewal for it.
Next, pick up the payment processor. There are a few companies offering such services. You may need to co-operate with them in case of a fraud or claims cases. Having an account manager assigned to your company will speed up solving claims.
 

Updates – do not forget about updates. Keeping the web store core updated is important, the same to keep updated all your add-ons and templates. If need it, contact the developer. Most of the add-ons are testes with the latest PrestaShop version but just in case pay attention to the version of the addon as well.

Access to the back-end – if a web store doesn’t generate a random path to the back-end after the installation, try to change it manually. A good practice is also not to use common logins such as: Administrator, admin, root. Try to create unique credentials. If possible, add some extra security features like Two-Factor Authenticator or whitelisted particular IP addresses. Be sure, you know all the ways how to get to the web store and/or the hosting server.  

Try to limit the unsuccessful logins attempts, before blocking the account. As the web store owner, you need to think not only about keeping the store secure but keeping the customer’s data secure as well. Disable possibility to create common passwords such as “12345” or “password”. Require from the web store users both a back and front-end at least 8 characters long passwords, with a mix of lower and capital cases + extra characters if a system supports those. Do not let create a password which can contain a whole or a part of the first or last name.

Control – if you run your web store by yourself you don’t have to worry about it but if not, you need to know who has access to the back-end. Who can see the financial information, who can print reports. Are those things downloadable?

Backup –  remember, one backup is not enough. Keep two or more version of the DB in a secure deposit.
Additionally there are add-ons which allows you in a very easy way to back up your DB as well as your files.

Compatibility – Keep your PrestaShop updated, also the addons and the server environment such as the PHP. The 5.6 is end of life. Switching to the newer version 7.x could not be smooth. Having a good test environment can help you debug most of the problems before updating your customer’s web stores.

 

Conclusion

PrestaShop provides a very well designed eCommerce system which is very flexible to develop and implement changes increasing by that the user experience. For my company working with PrestaShop it’s a big time saver. What required a lot of extra work with some other eCommerce solutions, with Prestashop is way easier. The add-ons cover 95% of the customer’s needs. The rest is easy to add or



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