Ecommerce web design NI

Online shops crafted in Northern Ireland

Ecommerce web design

Ecommerce web design starts off with the fundamental basics of traditional retail. To operate an ecommerce web site effectively, you will need to do some things that the traditional shop keepers do. By following this guide to ecommerce web design, you can get your ecommerce site visitors to be actual shoppers on your Internet ecommerce site.

The shop has products for sale

Obviously, anyone in ecommerce or thinking of getting into ecommerce has guesses this. These days if you have an item in mind for purchasing like: new car; cooking oil; spare parts for car or motorbike... You will undoubtedly find it on the Internet. Any product, no matter how grand or priced, does not make a good ecommerce site.

Showcasing products

The shop keeper needs a place to showcase his product. Normally the products are shown off in a building. On the Internet, products are show cased on an ecommerce web site. Think about how the physical retail shop showcases their products for sale. There are products carefully displayed in the window to entice the customer inside. There are wide aisles leading to shelves of various products, all conveniently arranged to entice the customer.

Navigation of the web site is critical to ecommerce web design; visitors to your online shop need the same kind of visible, easy-to-follow pathways. They need to be able to examine your products, see the price and compare them with other products easily.

Visitors to your Internet shop need to be able to access your products easily. They can't just pick them off the shelf and carry them to the till as they would in a physical shop. The back end (administration area) of your ecommerce site is just as important as the front end (customer visible site) in terms of ecommerce web design. You will need to arrange the supply and distribution of your products before your ecommerce site goes "live". You must be able to deliver on your promise to the customer.

Too many ecommerce ventures collapse because the people involved did not secure the supply and distribution of their products. When people go shopping on the Internet don't get the product they ordered in a reasonable amount of time or don't get it at all, they will get furious, and the chances are pretty good that they will never buy anything from you again. They will also tell all their friends how unhappy they are with your excuse for customer service. Remember that it is quite easy to send a message on the social media sites to hundreds or thousands of friends and bad service messages usually get plenty of negative responses!

Keeping shop up to date

The shop owners choose a building for their shops that are in good repair, and have all of the required facilities, such as electricity and heat that are necessary to make their customers comfortable and in buying mode. If the buildings are not in good repair, the problems get fixed.

Too many ecommerce site owners do not bother to keep their site in a good state of repair. They throw up web sites that have large sections under construction or coming soon. Perhaps their sites are hosted by providers that provide an erratic or slow service. If a potential customer tries to access your ecommerce website and it's down, what does she do? She clicks through to another site where she can view the products they are interested in. Will they back? The chances are that they will not be back to your site!

Ecommerce site hosting

You must have a consistent ecommerce hosting if you want to operate a decent ecommerce web design. Your ecommerce site must present a fully functional, complete shop with good ecommerce web design to get visitors shopping on your Internet site. There can be no 'Under Construction' or 'Coming Soon' notices.

Ecommerce Usability

Usability is another important component of ecommerce web design. For instance, if potential customers can not navigate through your site easily, they will not bother. Special attention should be placed to the ease of the buying process. Remember that your competition is no more that a click away.

It is important that you maintain your ecommerce site regularly and often. An ecommerce site that's full of dead links kills off the online shopping experience. An ecommerce web design that never offers any new content will bore visitors and chances are that they won't be back. If you can not afford to maintain your site, you can not afford to have an ecommerce site.

Excellent ecommerce web design

Even if you have a great deal of products on your site, the visitors still may not shop from you...

Having a professional looking, fully functional site with an excellent ecommerce web design is one way in which you can build credibility with potential online shoppers. Just as in the traditional bricks and mortar shop, you must win your customers' trust before they will shop on your ecommerce site. You will need to let your online site visitors know you and your company, as well as learn about your products or services before they will start shopping on your site. How does the traditional shop keeper build credibility with their customers? How can we build credibility with potential customers on the Internet? Having contact information made easily accessible is a must and should be build into the design so that it is not over whelming.

On-line shop catalogue

The 'traditional' shop keeper makes their shop as attractive as possible for customers. Products for sale are displayed to best advantage to entice the customers.

People shopping on the Internet need to be able to see the product before they make a purchase. Incorporating a catalogue into your ecommerce web design can really help build credibility. But do not make the mistake of loading many images onto too few pages... resulting pages would load too slowly and don't provide enough information. A good Internet ecommerce catalogue will utilise a vast amount of web pages (a page per item); it will be organised into categories, searchable, use thumbnails to give faster load times, and provide detailed product information on every product for sale. An excellent ecommerce web design will also provide space for product information and make it easy for the Internet shopper to make the purchase.

Online shop greetings

The shop keeper (or sales assistants) are physically present in the shop to welcome, communicate with, and serve the customers that come into the shop.

Too many ecommerce sites are purposely made anonymous and provide a very limited contact opportunity for people thinking of shopping on their site. It is a real blow to their credibility... "If I'm thinking of buying your product, I want to know who you are!"

Real ecommerce sites provide real names as contacts, not pseudonyms such as 'webmaster' or worse, names that look like passwords, such as 'KingLeo1'. They supply information about their staff and their company that the online shopper can access easily. Build credibility by putting photographs of yourself and your staff on your ecommerce site. Customers need to have the feeling that they know you, or at least that they know something about you,to feel comfortable before they'll do any shopping on your site.

Respectable ecommerce web design sites also provide information about customer service and contact information that is clear and accessible. Having to drill down through 50 pages to find an email address printed in a tiny font on the bottom of a page will give your potential customer queasy feelings, not good feelings. Most won't even bother to search, they will just assume that you are not the sort of person that they want to do any business with.

Build credibility with potential customers by making your customer service information a prominent feature of your site. Put an 'About Us' and a 'Contact Us' page links on your ecommerce sites menu and make sure it is visible on every page.

Remember to actually write those pages; if someone bothers to click on 'Contact Us' and all they see is a single email address, your credibility will plummet. Online shoppers need to see a fully developed customer service policy to feel comfortable about shopping. Many Internet shops use FAQs which provides answers to common questions, such as how to order, shipping charges, and return policies.

No matter how small your ecommerce web site is, you can provide customer service in real time. There are a number of Internet based customer service applications and website scripts that let your ecommerce site visitors get immediate, and on-demand help. That is a good method to entice ecommerce visitors to make a purchase!

If you want to get visitors to your Internet shop visitors actually shopping on your ecommerce site, you need to make it easy and safe for them to pay for their purchases over the Internet.

Internet shoppers want the same things from your ecommerce web site that they expect from traditional shop keepers. You will have to make them feel totally safe and comfortable before they will start shopping on your site.

Online payment systems and credit card processing are a case in point for comparison. Compare with an offline shop what happens on the Internet when trying to pay for goods.

Shop greetings

Shop keepers would traditionally close a sale with a "Thank you, please come again."

You need to do this on your ecommerce site, too. Whether it's a simple screen that comes up after the transaction thanking your customer, a follow-up thank-you email, or a thank-you card that you ship with the completed order (or all three!), you need to let your ecommerce customer know that you appreciate their business, this should be build into your ecommerce web design.

Blank screens, screens that automatically return to the home page, or screens that just repeat the order form after the transaction do nothing to give people shopping on the Internet the warm, fuzzy feelings that may translate into future sales. Ensure that this is not the case.

For an affordable ecommerce web design, hosting, installation, support, maintenance and SEO best practices, contact us at Designer Web NI for the complete package.