Designing an E-Commerce website is different from designing a regular website. As a designer, you might have to face a little more challenges than you face in designing a website merely for product branding. However, one advantage of having an E-commerce website is that you can determine the success of our website quite easily. All you need to do is assess the number of sales from your website and you will have an idea about the popularity of your website. Since, e-commerce websites are mainly designed for selling products, designers and developers of such websites should be very careful while coming up with layout and other features of the website. It is quite natural that a user will buy the product only if he will find your website a reliable one.
Gone are the days when companies used to rely on brochures, flyers, postcards and business cards for their business promotion. The e-commerce industry has grown immensely in a very short period of time. Only, if you have introduced a shopping cart on your website, you should expect to generate some good revenues only if your website is capable of making the visitors happy. If you have a business which can be established online and if you think you can have a large clientele of people who are in the habit of shopping online, you should be aware of a few important characteristic of a well designed e-commerce website before you invest in online websites. Similar to printed brochures, an effective e-commerce site will allow a client to learn about your products and place orders easily.
An e-commerce is an instant success when it becomes an immediate call-to-action, i.e. it should motivate the visitor to buy or take more interest in your promotions. Customers shopping online would love to find a website which is easy to use and hassle free. Obviously as a designer, you must be aware of important characteristics of an e-commerce websites but most of the times, people end up ignoring the most obvious things so make sure you don’t commit the same mistake. You can follow the given points below if you are in the process of designing an e-commerce website:
Is the Navigation Easy and Effective?
As mentioned earlier, people do end up ignoring the most obvious things and providing your visitors with an easy navigation is one of them. Structure you website in a way so that users can find harmony and consistency in your website. Keep in mind that a user is visiting your website in order to spend cash and buy something so he should be able to find the product he is looking for without roaming around in circles. Easy and effective navigation is very important for any website’s success, however, it is more important in any e-commerce website since a user would be relying on you while spending money on your products. He won’t base his trust on you if he is does not find a functional website on his screen.
If a visitor is lost in your website, you have lost a sale. The reason why this can be challenging is because you will have to display a lot of products you are offering so managing products and easy navigation can become a little hard but this is exactly where you need to show your designing skills. Put yourself in a visitor’s shoe and think how a visitor will make an effort to find the product. One you are thinking from visitor’s point of view, you can come up with an effective navigation.
Are the Products Being Highlighted instead of the Design?
I understand that a website needs to look beautiful and attractive but the basic purpose of an e-commerce website is to highlight the products and not the design. Now, this does not mean that you should completely ignore the layout of the website but do not over do it. Your design should not overshadow your products. When it comes to an e-commerce website, focus more on your products and less on the designs. If you visit different and famous e-commerce website you will see that the websites are quite simple with plain backgrounds, emphasizing more on their products and less on flashy images.
Another drawback of heavy images and flashy videos is that it will take too much time to download the website and not every visitor will be using high speed internet so you need to make sure that your websites loads fast and products are displayed at once.
Are Details Of The Products Easily Available?
Once again, you need to make sure that visitor or buyer does not have to go round and round in circles. If the visitor likes some product and wants to know the details, let him see the details in a single click. If he has to follow a lot of steps, you will end up annoying him and the result is they will leave your website without any purchases. You need to have 2-3 steps in order to reach to your product and add it to cart.
Is it Fulfilling the Objectives of Promotion and Branding?
E-Commerce websites are a great way to promote your products and do the branding. If you have a local store and an online website as well, you need to make sure that you promote your brand as well. Your website should have your tagline and details about your company. The users should be able to find your offline location on your website too, just in case they want to visit you personally. Again, don’t go overboard with all the promotion and branding that it ends up overshadowing the most important thing i.e., your products. Your brand name should stand out on the website but it should not make your products less important.
Is it As Accurate as Possible?
Customers are depending a lot on you when they put their trust and money in your product only by looking at the available pictures. You have to be very accurate with the pictures and they should look exactly the same as they are in reality. Give them an option to zoom or enlarge the image so that they can take a good look at it. Be loyal and honest to your visitors about the product and do not put fake images. After receiving the product, if a buyer is having a hard time relating it to the picture given, you have just lost one customer.
Are Popular Products being Focused?
Keep your website updated and you need to make sure your website consists of the most popular products available in market. This way your website will stay updated on daily basis and since you will be having the most popular products, your website will have a large number of traffic too.
Does It Have a List of Relevant Products?
One of the best ways to make your e-commerce website a success is to give users a list of relevant products. For instance, if a user is buying an expensive hair product, do let him know the other relevant products available on your website too.
Does It Have an Effective Search Feature?
If your visitor has to browse through your entire website in order to find a single product, you need to have mercy on him. Give him a good search option and let him find whatever he is looking for conveniently. An effective search feature can help you a lot in making your website a success.
Have Testimonials been Added?
Your website needs to come across as a reliable e-commerce website so adding testimonials from the users who are satisfied with your services can be of great help. This will help you in winning the trust of new visitors.
Above mentioned characteristics can prove to be really beneficial for a call-to-action e-commerce website. You can follow them if you want to have a successful e-commerce website. As a visitor, I can say for myself that I would take my time, analyze the website, check its functions and reliability and then buy a product.