The future of business is here and it is e-commerce. As the world continues to grow more interconnected and internet usage spreads to even the furthest reaches of the planet the need for your business to be a part of the e-commerce movement will be more and more important. That is, it will be important as long as you wish to remain a functioning, profitable business.
The success of e-commerce has brought on the need for a whole new group of professionals. To be successful in this new avenue of business you need for people to know that you exist, be easy to find, and be easy to use. All this depends on the website that you are able to create and maintain. This can be a pretty technical undertaking, hence the need for website designers.
When you hire your website designer be sure he or she understands just what you are looking for. For some it can be tempting to add in every bell and whistle they can think of. While this might make your site pretty cool it might also be the reason why consumers leave your e-commerce website as well.
An overzealous website designer may design a great looking site for you, but it also may be one that will case people off. For one, if the layout of the site is too confusing you will undoubtedly lose customers. Using too many different colors and too intricate a layout may hide the product. If they can’t tell what you are selling or how to find it by the design of the site then your e-commerce site is sunk before it is even uploaded.
Graphics and animation can make your site appealing but they can also drive business away. Just like if your general layout is too intricate, animation and graphics can cause your e-commerce site to take longer to load. When people are shopping they are looking to do business now, not after all the unnecessary stuff from your site finally loads. Too many graphics can also make navigating through your site very slow, also giving people reason to leave your e-commerce site.
In constructing your site remember that the most important thing is that it be user friendly so be sure and include the features that people like to see most.
Security is important whether it is a B2B or B2C type of site. What is keeping e-commerce from taking over is the fear that someone’s information/ identity will be stolen in the process. While it is impossible to convince everyone your site is secure, make sure your site is as secure as it can be and then advertise that on the site.
Make sure that people are able to search your site for what they are looking for as well. Most people have a pretty good idea what they are looking for. If they can’t find it easily they will likely just move onto the next site that came up in their search.
Be sure to keep your products and information as up to date as possible as well. One of the surest ways to lose people is to advertise a product, have them buy it, and then have them get an email a week later saying that the product is on back order or no longer available.
The most important concept when it comes to your website is the navigability of it. Business partners and/ or consumers need to be able to use it without feeling like they need to call their own tech person to help them out. No one wants to spend all day doing a few transactions online either. If your site is not easy to use then you are doomed for failure.
Although it may be tempting to use all sorts of animation, video, and graphics to make your site the most interactive and appealing be wary of using too much. Users that have a weak internet connection or older computers may not have the capability of running the necessary applications for your website to work. Lots of graphic will take time for your site to open on their computer; some people may take that as a sign that it will take forever to complete a business transaction as well and just go elsewhere.
Finding their way around your site should not be like parting the Red Sea either. When designing your site make sure that it is easy to find your product and move between pages as the customer looks at whatever choices are available. With the right, simple design everything should point to your product making this easy. Don’t forget to make the purchasing process easy as well though. A sure fire way to chase customers off is by making it too hard for them to give you their money (as they buy your product)!
This is not to say that you should not use lots of graphics, animation, or video with your site. Depending on your business that may be imperative. Just be careful not to overdo it and drive some consumers away. After all, the big draw in e-commerce is the ease in which business can be done, not who has the coolest looking site. For more information on Ecommerce Web Design see our Ecommerce Get Started page.