There is a huge difference between designing a static website and an e-commerce website. One can easily recognise a static website as it appears pretty simple, represents a comparatively smaller company just to make its presence online. A person needs to have technical knowledge (i.e. HTML/CSS knowledge) in order to maintain a static website. Static websites are cheaper to host, develop and manage. But in comparison to its advantages, disadvantages are the gravest ones. After the end of Dot Com era, it’s the Web 2.0 that influences almost all web development and design methodologies. Though a static website can represent a Web 2.0 design format, yet the development standard is not possible to implement on a static website. A static website does not large scale expansion; a forcible implementation consumes maximum web space and it’s very difficult to trace the problem whenever occurs. But dynamic websites are easy to manage, maximise and modify. Almost 90% of the existing websites are launched only for business operation online. Since the introduction of Shopping and Transaction online, E-Commerce Applications are high on demand. But in most cases, e-commerce websites do not satisfy the requirements of Web 2.0 standards. It heavily affects the business itself. Let’s analyze some of the points that play a major role in making an e-commerce website successful. Here follows six briefs those are elaborated below:
• Five designing elements that make an e-commerce site successful one – navigation, displays, readability, informative copy and ease in purchasing.
• Choosing and registering a domain name.
• Recognise your site hosting company from your prospective.
• Developing/Designing an e-commerce site of your own is not a good idea. Let experts do this for you.
• Three major profit making components of your e-commerce website – product database and availability, payment options and shopping carts.
• Continuing development of your site (i.e. including promotion, maintenance and improvements.)
Five Designing Elements
Navigation, displays, readability, informative copy and ease in purchasing – these are five key elements that one must pay close attention during design and development period of your site.
A complete e-commerce website helps a potential customer finding what they want as well as easily navigate through your site. Your web store needs to show a number of products at once. This improves the site’s Click through Rate (CTR), as visitors easily get required product information in a single action. You can visit other web stores including those of your competitors too to explore what has made their web stores so successful. List down such good aspects in MS Word and draw a design skeleton, then hand it over to your designer team.
One picture is worthier than thousands of words. Most online customer prefers to have a look before making purchasing products. Presentation of a product mostly depends on the type of product it is. For example, jewellery items need quality and high resolution images where as vehicle, furniture and antiques need 3D type display. Sometimes you need to provide multiple images for single product depicting various sides and conditions. Changeable colour scheme too has a greater advantage on product display.
Set up your image displays so that associated products are included. If you’re selling candles, try to include appropriate candle holders. Webpage Layout is one of the very important aspects of web designing.
Readability (Skimming and Scanning)
Like presentation of various objects on web layouts, Readability is also another characteristic of e-commerce website designing. Readability basically refers to the presentation of text on a certain web page. If a customer can’t read your item details, then that web page is of no value. The textual information should be properly presented, like: in paragraphs, italicized, bold, use of bullets and so on. If your textual information is not scanning or skimming friendly, then the bounce rate of your website will certainly goes up.
Item details including, meta data (i.e. Meta Title, Meta Description and Meta Keyword), Item Title, Specifications value a lot. It is an effective way of helping your customers knowing what an item is all about. Try to create options for writing reviews on respective products. This feature facilitates retaining your customers longer on your web pages. Use words to connect your products with your customers.
Directions on ordering merchandise; return and exchange policies; terms and conditions; and customer service should be easy to find, read and understand. A telephone number for customer service can help increasing customer loyalty in your site and generate more leads.
Make the transaction process as easy as possible. The most important factor of an e-commerce website is the simplicity and security of its transaction process. If one customer has to fill up five or six web pages before completion of a sale, he/she may just tire out and give up. The whole transaction process should be completed within three clicks. You can implement express check out on your e-commerce site. There are various financial institutions are active around in the payment gateway industry. Some of them are PayPal, Google CheckOut, Protx and so on.
Emphasizing and proper implementation of these five elements will help your web store becoming a profitable attempt. Take enough time to research sites including your competitors, too and implement as many as positive elements in your website and make as easy as it possible. Let your customers get best shopping experience on your website. If your web store satisfies above five elements, then it would be worthy to bookmark.