Design and development play a crucial role in the success of an ecommerce website. It is estimated that by the end of this year ecommerce sales will reach over $434 in the United States. With each passing day, innumerable ecommerce websites are being launched worldwide. In this highly competitive world, it becomes hard to be in the race if businesses are not aware of the right strategies and plans. That is why we have presented below a thorough guide that can assist you in designing and developing your ecommerce sites.
Multi Product Sites VS Single Product Sites
The primary decision while designing an ecommerce website is by choosing whether it’s going to be a single-product site or a multi-product site. There is a considerable difference between the two. A site with numerous products will have entirely different needs and design strategies in order to manage everything. However, a site with only a few pages will be comparatively simpler to manage. That is why you must first properly assess your requirements and then go forward with the designing process, as it will save you a lot of time as well as resources.
Select The Best Business Structure and Register Your Business
It is essential that you select the best business structure. According to what suits your requirements the best, you can choose from Sole Proprietor, Partnership (in case you have a business partner), LLC and Corporation. Your business will be automatically taken as a sole proprietorship by IRS if you do not select a business structure. In such a case, there is a risk to your personal assets however if you choose the corporation and LLC separate, then you and your assets are separated from the business and you are also entitled to other tax benefits. The registration can be one on your own however it is always advised to seek professional help because the paperwork for the right business structure can be intimidating and there are more chances of mistakes which can lead to delay or rejection of the application.
Your Business Name Matters
Once you have decided the design, the next important step is to select a unique and lasting name for your business which people are able to instantly recognize. It is helpful to run out a corporate name search as it will ensure whether the name you are choosing is not being used by some other business already otherwise you may have to confront legal problems. Also, after you have decided a name for your business, make sure to get it registered to prevent trademark infringement.
Secure Your Domain Name and Website
Although businesses generally receive the domain name after their business name, however, in case there is no such possibility, then it is advised to select a URL which is associated with your business, quick and simple to remember, speak as well as spell. For instance, if your business is Archie’s Home Suppliers and ArchiesHomeSuppliers.com is not available for you then you can think of something similar such as HomeSuppliesByArchies.com. Always remember to secure your domain name and website.
The Design Process
It is very important to have the right design of your ecommerce site because it is the very first thing the visitors will see upon arriving your website. The design of your website should be visually attractive and easy to function. There are a lot of things to consider while commencing on the designing process such as
Content: Emphasis on the content as it is the key component of the website because the better the quality of your content will be, the higher it will be ranked in the search engine results. It should be credible as well as original so that users find it worth reading.
Unique layouts: You should strive to design original and alluring layouts for your website so that customer attention gets stronger, they are not easily distracted and are bound to visit your website again and again.
Typesetting: Apart from the content, another sure way to catch the visitor’s gaze is by using big and bold type. It will help your business to stand apart from the competition. In order to have a long lasting impression on the visitors, make sure the type of your website echoes with the statement that is written.
More focus on landing pages: One of the best and surest ways to increase customer awareness as well as the conversion is by developing landing pages that are particularly designed for the customers.
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) play the most important role in changing a potential visitor into a customer and even a loyal customer. If you want to enhance the UI and UX then your primary focus should be to pay minute attention to everything in your site, whether it is the home page, landing pages, check out, navigation, the layout, accessibility, and any other element.
Mobile Friendly/Responsive Design
Researchers have shown that as the technology is developing, the pattern of shopping is constantly transforming. Earlier people used to shop at physical stores, then ecommerce was introduced and now has come mobile commerce (mcommerce). As more and more people are using a smartphone to instead of laptops and computers to use the internet, the shopping habits are also changing.
After extensive research, New York Times stated that the continually growing industry of mobile is provisionally valued at more than $1.6 trillion!
Now keeping all these factors in mind, it will be a big mistake by businesses to not focus on m-commerce and design such ecommerce websites that are mobile friendly. It is vital to pay emphasis on making responsive website designs and concentrate more on mobile friendliness. So ensure that your ecommerce website ought to have a responsive design be it accessed from a mobile, tablet, iPad, laptop or a desktop. Now keeping all these factors in mind, it will be a big mistake by businesses to not focus on mcommerce and design such ecommerce websites that are mobile friendly. It is vital to pay emphasis on making responsive website designs and concentrate more on mobile friendliness. So ensure that your ecommerce website ought to have a responsive design be it accessed from a mobile, tablet, iPad, laptop or a desktop.
Every ecommerce expert will agree that product photographs play a crucial role. The thing with ecommerce is that people cannot actually touch and assess the product with their hands. Everything is depending on visuals and they are making purchases only after seeing the images. This is the paramount reason why you should never compromise with the quality of the product photo in your site. All this is very important if you consider the ecommerce UX viewpoint. So, ensure that the photos are taken from every angle so that the customers can assess it as properly as possible. You can use JPEG аnd PNG for your product images and optimize them to lоаd fаѕt on thе wеbѕitе. It is also advised to not just stop at photos as you can also use 3D technology and product videos to attract more customers.
It is essential that you provide on your site simple and easy options for filters that can be used to differentiate the endless list of products according to the different sizes, colors, and choices of the customers. Once your site has the right filters, the customers will be coming back to your site to shop again. To have a better idea, will be helpful to see the sort of filters that are being used by ecommerce giants such as Amazon and eBay.
Keep the Search Line in Sight
It is beneficial for ecommerce sites to place the search bar at the dominating top space of the home page. Customers always prefer those sites where they can find their products easily and instantly otherwise they are seconds away from another site that provides such feature. Also, make sure that it works correctly and no faulty results come up after typing in as it can create a negative impression on the customer.
Have a Great Marketing Strategy To Promote Your Product
Another highly important aspect of ecommerce site success is designing an effective and extensive online marketing strategy so that you can reach out to as many people as possible. With the increasing competition every day, promotion tactics are also very essential in getting your ecommerce business marketed. Among the various types of marketing plans that have been devised currently you can make the most out of social networking sites from where you can generate an immense amount of traffic. Email marketing, video marketing, blogging are some of other effective tools that can be used to expand the business. Marketing helps in establishing connections and trustworthy relations with the customers. You can also do marketing by rolling out various seasonal offers, discounts, and deals on your products to attract the attention of the customers.
Product Reviews and Feedback
Always keep in mind that it is vital for your ecommerce site to have the option of product reviews and feedback. They play an important part in the business because most of the customers, first of all, go through the reviews and feedbacks of a product before making a purchase to ensure other customers were satisfied with it or not. And if your products have positive feedbacks and high reviews then you are sure to have more conversions as well as traffic.
Make sure that in your ecommerce site design you place your shopping cart in a place where it is easily visible and accessible to the customers. After a product has been added to the cart, it is important that customer should be able to know. It is highly advised to not make the customer fret too much over the decision whether to buy from your site or not. You can also make the shopping cart button more attractive for customers with unique designs, using bold, contrasting colors so that the cart does not merge with the layout of the store. Many ecommerce giants display a page that shows all the items that are added to the cart by the customers before they reach the checkout page.
Additional Content can Make You Stand Out
By having blogs and media pages, you can add value to your ecommerce site and it is also a perfect opportunity that helps in standing out from your competitors. It also gives a positive impression on the customers as well as search engines by showing that your business in not only selling and marketing products and services but also to provide additional help and information. Following are the things that you can add in as separate pages to establish your business.
- Educational pages
- Product reviews and feedbacks
- Blogs with latest events and news
- The option of comments in your blog
- Easily sharing options of your blog posts on social media
- Insider company information to connect with your customers
- Lists that relate to your products
- Company events
- A radio, webcast or podcast page
- Case studies and interviews with people who have used your products
Support Pages for Your Ecommerce Site
You should provide in your website tabs that lead the customer to your support pages. It is extremely important to incorporate them into your ecommerce site because this way you can stay in connect with the customers even if they are not shopping and also know their requirements. Here are some of the support tips:
- Social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Quora and Google+
- Listed emails and contact forms
- Listed phone numbers
- A Live Chat area
- Give 24/7 customer support
- Delivery details
- Sharing buttons
- Present the customer with a proper return time period
Three Essential Elements:
One of the paramount factors that all the ecommerce sites in the market ought to focus and develop is a sense of trust between their customers. In case the customers do not have trust on your site or feel unsafe, then they will never visit your site in the future.
Simplicity makes a site easy to use so make sure that your ecommerce site is designed and functions in a simpler manner so that the customers do not get confused or lose interest.
Just like trustworthiness, transparency is as important in ensuring that you keep nothing away from the customer. Factors like terms and policies, shipping charges, refund policies and contact information should be available so that customers can reach out to you easily.
It is necessary that you get all the nuances of design and development right because only that way you will be able to drive traffic to your ecommerce website and stay ahead of the competition.
Zahoor Bhat has over 10+ years of experience as an online editor and media manager. He has worked with major online news and content sites as a media manager. He is well versed with major content management systems and web platforms such as WordPress and social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google Business, Yelp, Instagram & Linkedin. He is an expert in content creation, proofreading and finally making it live. Being a social media expert, he is able to make relations with social media influencers and make sure to generate leads and grow business via different social media platforms.