Recently, there has been an huge explosion in internet usage and online transactions. Hundreds of millions of people around the world use the internet on wide range of devices. This is a huge market for any serious business or startup. Coincidently it is also important to design a website that reaches your target market and effectively communicates your solutions to market needs.
What is Ecommerce?
Ecommerce websites are designed to sell products online for virtual or brick and mortar businesses. Any business with an aim to sell products locally and beyond national borders needs to invest in effective ecommerce websites. These websites may look similar to general websites in terms of layout, themes and colors. However, they differ from general websites in that they add an element of functionality to both sellers and customers. Web designers platforms as Magento, OpenCart and Shopify among others to help build and maintain small, medium, and even large scale ecommerce operations. However, they do not stop there. Web designers create a blended atmosphere for your online and offline presence to alllow you to seamlessly sell your products to the millions of people that may be looking for them.
How Does Ecommerce Work Online?
In addition to core functionality, ecommerce websites make use of databases. Web developers can easily change the website content by manipulating information in the database. This makes it easy for one to add, delete or change information of any product through a safe and often secure content management system. Furthermore, some web content management services such as Joomla or WordPress can easily integrate with your shopping cart using plugins. With these powerful content management systems in place, the time spent updating and ecommerce website is drastically reduced. Static websites on the other hand use various programming languages, which, although easily loaded even to slow connections, need a professional web developer with sufficient knowledge of coding and UI/UX. The inability to change information easily on the website makes static websites unsuitable for ecommerce compared to the easy to use content management platforms readily available for use.
Another important feature with ecommerce web design is to display customize-ability for customers. For example, a clothing store could allow customers to design their own clothing and select different sizes, colors, etc. The site takes the customer through various stages in designing their clothing while displaying current information. It is also possible to monitor a customer’s search preferences and personalise information for them directly depending on the search preferences they use. Moreover, dynamic ecommerce sites are able to store and read back cookies stored in browsers while using interactive HTML forms and settings created by the customer making the customer experience increase, thus increasing your opportunity to sell to this visitor.
Any website design company who engages in ecommerce web design will understand the fundamentals of the design process and ensure that the site has all the key fundamentals of a shopping site. Take a look at our portfolio to see how we do it.
Tips on Creating an Effective Ecommerce Website
Whether you use Future Design Group to design and develop your ecommerce site or you do it yourself, keep in mind some key objectives for ecommerce design.
- Include detailed product information: Unlike brick and mortar store where customers touch and feel products, online customers create a mental image of your product through a set of images and a detailed description of the products on the site. The more information you provide without overloading them, the better.
- Use high quality pictures: A picture is worth a thousand words. It is a good idea to put attractive pictures that add a touch element to your products. Customers will buy what attracts them on your site. Do not use stock photography for your products but instead take professional photographs or use services that compile the product information and images for you.
- Have an adequate search feature: Customers do not always know what they want, so you need to help them find your products. Having a good search feautre could mean the difference between closing a sale and having a frustrated visitor leave your site. A good site search should be easy to use and navigate.
- Clearly display contact information: Customers usually do not buy products from a store that they cannot authenticate. Contact information shows that they are dealing with a real company and real people. Scammers exist all over the internet and as people become more cautious, the need for one to one contact becomes more important. Increases their trust in you site and increase the likelihood of them buying from your site.
While creating and maintaining an ecommerce storefront online can be a time consuming process, the benefits greatly outweigh the cons. There are many ways to get started, but if you are daunted by the task, please feel free to contact us so we can help you get established online with your own ecommerce storefront.
About the Author
Director of Website Development
With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.