Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten years or so, or haven’t read over previous posts, you are aware that e -commerce has become an important part of the (world-wide process of people making, selling, and buying things). From the days of the dotcom bust, whenone E-commerce site after another went out of business, we’ve arrived at a time inhistory when E-commerce sales are quickly heading towards the $500+ billion mark each year.
Online shoppers now treat making online (instances of buying things for money) as (showing little concern/in a relaxed way) as they do writing an email. Although online shopping isincredibly popular you still need to create a E-commerce site which allows you toperfectly tap into this huge market, so I’ve put together a guide to help you create a E-commerce site which really works.
The Design & sales
If you’re working on a brand new site then you can design the site in almost any way you wish, orat least you can within client limits/guidelines. If you’re trying to add a E-commerce backend to an existing site you may find yourself working with lots of older/(related to things given to future people) code. Where possible you need to make the visitor change (from one thing to another) on older places/locations as perfect as possible, which means (combining different things together so they work as one unit) existing design elements into your E-commerce design, or completely overhauling the existing site.
Far too many designers think that a E-commerce site is complete once the shopping cart and payment processing functions are working properly. The key to a truly successful online store is your understanding of the trip your visitor takes from the moment they arrive on the site, to the point where they enter their payment details and then complete their order. You need to map out which pages a visitor has to travel through while shopping, (making something as small as possible/treating something important as unimportant) the number of steps it takes for them to actually make an (instance of buying something for money). You’d be amazed at how much money online businesses lose each year because of possible sales which are empty/left alone at the shopping cart stage because of a design problem.
Building a E-commerce site which features many products against/compared to/or building a site which features just a single product might seem like completely different challenges, but they’re actually quite almost the same. Both will require their own shopping cart, SSL certificates and a payment doorway of some kind. The only real difference outside that is how many items are listed in the shop’s (computer file full of information). It’s still very important to plan a single or multiple product site out well in advance however. One key example of this is figuring out exactly how many products you want to feature on each page
Most of the bigger online stores show shoppers exactly how many of a given item they still have left in stock, and if the item is out of stock they give a guessed time of delivery based on when their next batch of stock is arriving. E-commerce (related to buying and selling goods) design best practices would also have your site displaying related (instances of buying things for money) to your visitors, so if the product they want is out of stock they’ll probably be more than happy to buy an almost the same product, often with a higher sticker price.
Any modern E-commerce site will need to at least feature social media sharing buttons in the design, because if you have a great design and great products you need to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to share your site with all of their Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest friends. You can also tie your online store to your online presence on Facebook or Twitter, encouraging shoppers to leave (reactions or responses to something/helpful returned information) or reviews on your social networking places/locations – these can be extremely valuable in creating added/more sales for your business, and all without paying an added cent for advertising.