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Critical Aspects of Designing a Good E-Commerce Site

Designing and developing an E-Commerce Site present itself with some pretty interesting challenges you often don’t find when dealing with other forms of web design. Sites which successfully sell products can online often create a sense of envy when looked at from the perspective of a retailer. There are numerous factors that affect the real success of an e-commerce website. Identifying all of them can be considered more than shooting in the dark for those who haven’t had any experience in development of websites, so we’ll cover some of the main points you should consider implementing into your e-commerce project.

Simple Navigation:

This is one of the first and most important steps when it comes to the retail type of service. When customers enter your website, they need to find the product they are looking for without having to look for it for too long. Navigation is an integral part of any website, but it is absolutely critical when it comes to e-commerce. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for, then will almost certainly try looking for it on a different website – losing customers is equal to losing profit. That’s why having a site with easy-to-use navigation is so important, as any issues with the site’s navigation can have a big impact on your brand and business.

Simple Navigation

The problem e-commerce websites have with navigation is purely logistical. They often present the customer with a large number of different products, all of which must be located quickly and without any hiccups, so to speak. Another aspect to consider is the way customers search for a particular product. What is considered good navigation for developers and website owners may not actually be as convenient to the average consumer. Navigation issues are best identified with user testing, so make sure to check that out before making the site public.

Complementary Design:

Complementary Design

The design of an e-commerce website needs to reflect the products it’s trying to sell. Simple as that. Making your website too flamboyant simply for the sake of extravagance can have quite an adverse effect, as it will shift the user attention from the products. The emphasis of an e-commerce site needs to be on the products themselves and any design that hinders that is considered to be a bad design, even if your site looks amazing. Keeping the design simple and straight-forward ensures that user’s focus stays on the products you’re trying to sell and maximizes your potential profit.

Simple Checkout:

Simple Checkout

The most successful e-commerce sites are the ones with the most positive user experience. Having your customers click through five different pages just so they can order something can only lead to them leaving their cart with un-purchased items and heading straight to the competition. This potential loss of revenue can easily be avoided by making sure that the checkout process doesn’t involve too many steps. Keeping it simple and easy to use ensures that the customer keeps returning to your website.

Short Loading Times:

Short Loading Times

More than a third of all online shoppers will leave a website if it takes more than three to four seconds to load.  Having this information in mind is crucial when developing your website and it doesn’t matter if your page looks good or your services are superior to that offered by the competition. If it’s slow, people just won’t use it. This can be avoided by implementing a design which loads its resources quickly. Find a good hosting solution as they’ve become faster and more secure over the years. Couple that with compressing large image files and implementing content delivery network and you’ll have no problems with your sites load times.

Promoting Related Products:

Promoting Related Products

Almost all e-commerce websites use the information of what the customer has purchased to offer them similar products that might interest them. This has proven to be a great selling technique, especially if you use analytics to deliver personal results to each customer. Whether they see the suggestions during the search or after the item has been added to the cart, they will most certainly click on it, at least out of curiosity. Promoting just the right product to the right customer is an important part of a good e-commerce experience and can only do well for your business.

In Conclusion:

Those trying to make it in the e-commerce world need to realize that the website is an integral part of the shopping experience. It needs to be simple, elegant and straightforward, or you’ll end up losing potential revenue due to customers preferring a better looking and easier-to-use page.  Make sure the design doesn’t overshadow the products and that the site is responsive and not overly complicated. This will guarantee the best user experience, as well as customer loyalty, as they’ll keep returning to your page to make their purchases.

About John Stone

John Stone is a web designer and cloud hosting expert. Through years of experience, he became a believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur.

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One comment

  1. Great info John.
    Thanks so much for sharing it.

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