E-Commerce Design Considerations

Enticing customers to visit your website is different from making them stay, let alone convincing them to buy! This is why it’s so important that you design your website in a manner fit for E-commerce. Visitors should have a “rich and smooth” experience while exploring your site.

E-Commerce Design Considerations

Too often, other online stores get too complex with their designs. In an attempt to be overly creative, they forget that a rich experience doesn’t rely on flash animations that slow down a customer’s browser or wild fonts that mix with loud colors. A rich experience is getting actual quality content that provides helpful information on what you’re selling. All text doesn’t have to be in the same page. You don’t have to smack 200 words at the center of your homepage! You put a sentence or a paragraph where they are needed. This helps de-clutter the view but at the same time, you can take advantage of keywords to catch search engines. Your main goal, however, is to answer the customer’s question: Of all the online stores in the world, why you? A headline on the top left on your homepage, a catchy snippet and photo below and you may hook them better than you could with your original 200 words.

The same goes for ensuring a smooth experience. Customers shouldn’t find it a nightmare to check out your products. It can be something as simple as wrong colors that make it difficult for the shopping cart to be visible. Customers would also want to know that when they clicked it, your site registered it. There should be an easy to find area where the customer can see all they put in their cart. Use contrasting colors to make important areas pop. On the check-out page, be sure to minimize all other distractions. At this point, you want to guarantee your customer’s decision to buy. So remove sidebar navigation and ignore that desire to sell anything else.

In web design for e-commerce, there is really only one rule: design away to make that sale.

E-Commerce Development Considerations

Business owners are sometimes too focused on catching the attention of search engines that they fall into common website pitfalls, deadly ones. For example, you can attract roughly a thousand visitors a day but end up generating a terribly awful conversion rate, just a three to five sales per week! And all because you put too much clutter on your homepage or you’re linking products to way too many pages and not the checkout cart. SEO can draw in customers but effectively developing your website suited perfectly for e-commerce can boost your sales up to 300% in just two weeks!

In facing guests, you make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. It is no different for your online store. E-commerce web development emphasizes the weight of homepages. Here, you get your masthead right, the horizontal graphic placed at the top of the site, which contributes to the overall impression for the online window shoppers. Getting it right means it shouldn’t be too big nor too small, should carry your small logo, your defining slogan, contact information and a search box.

Firstly, a strategically designed and shortly written explanation on what makes your store unique among the rest will help in their decision to stay. Secondly, a user-friendly navigation will sway them to buy.

You have to make your navigation system the star as it carries a hierarchy of information of what you’re selling. Your website should stay clear of unnecessary buttons, rollovers and graphics. Through this, you optimize your search engine and eliminate any obstacles between the customer and the check-out page. Main navigation should only lead to your products. To provide necessary information that won’t clutter the home or product pages, SEO footers will help. Plus, it optimizes keywords through internal linking.

These are just a few common tweaks to make sure you’re not tripping into common pitfalls. Getting the help of the professional e-commerce web developer will make sure you avoid creating your own.

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About The Author

Matthew Harris

Matthew began designing and building websites in 1995, and has since grown Harris Web Works (formerly Medium Well) into a full-service online marketing provider. He continuously adds expertise to become proficient in the evolving world of e-commerce, digital marketing, search engine optimization, mobile web, and more. Client work includes large corporate websites to comprehensive, customized services for small-to-medium sized businesses. He has worked as a designer, programmer, marketer and project manager. Matt is on the Board of Directors of Search Engine Marketing New England (SEMNE), and is a partner at Digital Media Sync in New Haven, CT.