Depending on the business you’re in, you might have the opportunity to have an eCommerce website developed, or you might be considering starting your eCommerce website. Whichever the case may be, eCommerce website development should always follow a specific process if it’s going to yield successful results.
This 11-point checklist of things to consider during eCommerce website development can help you make sure that your new site will be as good as it can be.
Consistency in design
As you begin building your site, consider how the user experience will play a major role in your success. Your goal is to create a consistent design across all your marketing channels and it starts with your website. The look of your site should be consistent with other branding efforts such as brochures, ads, and direct mail pieces.
Identify features that you can include on all pages, including social media links and search box placement. Be sure each page contains information about what sets you apart from competitors and how to contact you for more information or an appointment.
You want every visitor to feel like they have landed on a trusted resource for product information and customer service – even if they haven’t contacted you yet.
With a professionally designed site, you give yourself the best chance at drawing visitors in and convincing them to become customers.
Calls-to-action: Another important part of web design is the inclusion of calls-to-action throughout the site so that visitors are always aware of available options.
These are usually found at the top or bottom of the homepage (or both) and may include options such as contact us, check out our blog, follow us on Facebook, etc.
Once again, consistency is key here too so choose one call-to-action per page with which to encourage further engagement with your company’s offerings.
Nobody wants a website that’s confusing or hard to use. If your site feels complicated, you’ll lose customers. But a clean and simple user experience doesn’t always mean minimalist design; sometimes it means eliminating things.
There should be no banner ads, no annoying pop-ups, and no auto-playing music or other distractions that take away from your brand message. Good UX design is based on usability
and accessibility, so create a process for measuring how users interact with your site and make adjustments where necessary.
In addition, Google provides free guidelines and best practices for web designers in the form of an SEO Starter Guide. For example, remember that search engines see web pages as nothing more than text documents (though they’re made up of complex code). The layout of your content will help determine how high the search results on your page will rank.
It may also be worth noting if certain words are highlighted differently than others on the page – such as being italicised or bolded – because this could signify a difference in importance between words.
Don’t Ignore SEO in Your eCommerce Site Development Many small business owners, who think about their website solely as a way to generate sales, consider search engine optimization (SEO) an afterthought. If you ignore SEO during your eCommerce website development process, however, you’re creating problems for yourself down the road.
Studies show that 90 percent of people use search engines when looking for a local business like yours; make sure your site appears on page one of Google searches.
Don’t Ignore Mobile Search, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches it was reported that more than half of all online traffic now comes from mobile devices—so don’t ignore mobile search in your eCommerce site development efforts.
Be Familiar with Current Trends in Online Shopping Trends come and go quickly, so if you’re not familiar with what’s popular right now, chances are your customers will be better informed than you are. Keep up-to-date with current trends by reading fashion blogs or websites such as Racked or The Cut.
Get Design Inspiration From Other Brands Similar to how other brands influence product design and marketing strategies, they can also influence design decisions on your eCommerce site—for example, using Instagram filters that emulate Polaroid effects might be effective for your brand because many other companies have used this style successfully before.
Consumers are spending more time on their mobile devices than ever. According to a report by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, adult Americans spend about five hours per day on their smartphones and tablets. With an increasing number of people turning to these devices for all sorts of things, you need to make sure your website looks good and functions smoothly across every device.
If your customers are unable to easily find what they’re looking for or take action on it, you could be hurting your brand’s reputation and limiting future revenue opportunities in a very important growth area. In the meantime, the fast-growing world of wearables is bringing a whole new level of attention to user experience design for wearable devices such as smartwatches.
As consumers gain greater awareness about UX design principles, this could open up even more opportunities for businesses to connect with them in exciting new ways.
One recent study found that 73% of respondents expect experiences on wearable devices to provide them with information relevant to their personal needs at any given moment. One way that brands will adapt is likely through providing promotional offers or other content personalised based on user preferences or location information.
To stay ahead of the curve, stay tuned: we’ll be exploring the evolving expectations around UX design soon.
Usability testing is a form of usability inspection in which specific aspects of a user interface are examined. The general goal of such activities is to obtain information about users’ perceptions and judgments, for example about ease of use, understandability, or memorability.
Usability testing typically involves five steps: prepare materials, choose a representative sample of potential users, set up an observation room, run tests and report results.
Localization of design elements
Not all markets are created equal. If you operate a business that requires different language and cultural norms than your core audience, consider localizing design elements that might make it easier for users in different regions to use your site.
For example, if you operate an online jewellery store, be sure that homepage images feature models wearing earrings rather than necklaces—earrings will look more familiar and appropriate to Asian users than necklaces would.
Incorporating Negative Space
When you’re creating a layout for your website, keep in mind that negative space—or what’s left blank—can be just as important as content.
Negative space is how we define our design and create visual flow. If you were to remove all of the white space from your website, would it still make sense? The answer is probably no.
So when planning out content for your e-commerce site, don’t feel like you have to fill every single inch with text or images; instead, think about how you can incorporate negative space into your design so that it looks clean and organized.
For example, if you want to include an advertisement banner on the side of your website homepage, consider making it smaller than other elements on the page so that there’s plenty of room around it.
The most important element of a website is navigation. Make sure you have easy-to-find links that will take your customers where they want to go. A good place for links could be at the top, bottom, or side of every page on your site.
You should also make sure all pages have a link back to the home page as well. If not, people may end up lost and confused on your site which can result in costly returns!
Something else that is helpful is putting a search box right below your navigation bar so users don’t even have to navigate around to find what they are looking for. This saves them time and keeps them interested in what they were looking for to keep them on your site longer!
You should also consider using tabs for long categories and subcategories to organize the content. For those who aren’t tech-savvy, you may want to consider using a wizard form for submitting customer information instead of individual fields which makes it easier for less tech-savvy customers.
They just fill out one form with all their information and then click submit instead of filling out ten different forms like they would if you didn’t use this.
It’s always nice when websites work on different browsers and screen sizes too. So whether someone has an iPad or iPhone or laptop – it will show up nicely no matter what device they’re viewing it from!
Website search and filtering functionality
More than half of all purchases are influenced by user reviews, and nearly 90% of consumers have changed their buying decisions because of a bad review.
Make sure you have search and filtering functionality on your site that makes it easy for customers to find exactly what they want.
For example, you can use filters like colour, size, or price range so people can narrow down their choices before even getting started. This can lead to more sales and a boost in customer satisfaction.
Keep these things in mind during the design process to get an idea of how to best promote your product’s availability. A good way to drive sales is with an automated email campaign.
These will automatically send emails with promotion codes when you run out of inventory, offer 20% off coupons on the anniversary date, or send reminders when items are about to expire from the website.
You can also set up time-sensitive deals like buy one get one free or special discounts only available until midnight tonight.
Another great way to push products is through social media ads which target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviours.
If a potential customer searches clothing stores on Google but doesn’t know where they’re located then ads could appear directing them straight to your store!
Website design that matches the products you are selling
For an online store to attract customers and drive conversions, it is crucial that your website design closely matches what you are selling. Most shoppers won’t look at a site for longer than a few seconds before deciding whether or not they want to convert.
The #1 key factor in making a sale is matching product and marketing messaging with design and layout. If you are designing your site, make sure you are confident in your ability as a graphic designer before you launch your store.
If you need help getting started, enlisting a professional web designer can help give your business an edge over competitors on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Make sure your marketing strategy is sound. The question you want to ask yourself is whether or not your current customer base and marketing campaigns are generating enough leads.
If they are, then you’re on track! If not, then it’s time to try something new: give away samples, offer a limited-time sale or implement other strategies like paid advertising (cost per click, cost per impression), direct mail postcards/flyers, and email marketing.
There are multiple ways of increasing traffic—you just have to be creative and strategic about it. Before making any decisions, ask yourself: how much will you be spending? What kind of return can you expect? Will there be any third-party costs?
Creating an online store is a great way to reach new customers and increase sales, but it’s important not to rush into things. Before diving into development, ask yourself: Why do I want an online store? How will it grow my business? Where will I focus my efforts? It’s also a great idea to see what others are doing.
Look at other brands in your niche and their marketing strategies, determine where you fit in, and learn from their successes (and failures). It’s also important to define your goals for building an online store—from its functionality down to its appearance. Working with a designer is key because they can bring your vision for design and functionality alive on screen.
In case you need more help in launching your e-commerce store successfully feel free to get in touch with our team of expert e-commerce designers and developers.