Like a good business, a good ecommerce site starts with a plan, and that plan determines how successful your ecommerce site is going to be.
What are your goals for the website and what do you want to achieve? Who are your customers and what are you trying to sell them? Are you selling your products solely online or do you have a bricks-and-mortar store where you also sell the same products? How are you going to promote your ecommerce website and how are your target customers going to find you?
These are questions that need to be asked and answered before you start developing your ecommerce site. In fact, they need to be asked and answered before you even start sourcing a website designer to create your ecommerce site.
Register a domain name on a domain registration website for a minimum of one year. Select a name for your website that’s simple, easy to remember and easy to spell. You want to make it easy for your target customers to find your website. If you’re registering an existing company name, then try entering “yourcompanyname.com” if at all possible. Remember that whatever the name you choose, don’t infringe upon someone else’s copyright.
Designing The Website
Once you’ve created a business plan and have registered your domain name, think about website design. Although it may have been tough drawing up a business plan and coming up with a catchy domain name, this stage of the ecommerce website design process is going to prove even more challenging.
So what makes a good ecommerce site? That’s something that many website designers and ecommerce-orientated business people will disagree on, even though it’s safe to say that some elements are essential to a good ecommerce website, so here’s a few.
1. Clear logo – Not only is branding essential to establishing your ecommerce site, and therefore your business, but it’s also seen as reassuring to have a logo clearly displayed. Anonymity doesn’t go very far where online shopping is concerned.
2. Great content – Your content is essentially the products you’re promoting, but don’t overlook the benefits of related content. The longer you’re able to hold the attention of potential customers and keep them on your website, the greater your chances of making a sale.
3. Easy navigation – Visitors to your site won’t stick around long if they experience navigation problems, so hire a talented provider of web design services to create an outstanding visitor experience for your customers.
4. Appealing design – The more appealing the design, the less chance there’ll be of visitors passing over your site in favor of the next. An appealing design also helps to keep visitors on the site longer and increases the chances of them buying your products.
5. Social media links – Social media offers some excellent opportunities for self-promotion but not only that, almost 20 percent of online purchases are made after spending time on social media sites, such as Facebook.
6. Clearly displayed deals – Give visitors a reason not to look elsewhere by prominently displaying your latest deals. Nothing grabs the attention of online shoppers more than clearly displayed deals.
7. Latest news and popular products – Interact with visitors and let them know what your company is up to. You’ll notice, when you look at successful ecommerce websites, the most successful companies have plenty to say.
8. Login box, search box and shopping cart – These are essential elements of any ecommerce site and should be prominently displayed together. If you use online payment systems, such as PayPal, prominently display their logo to further visitors’ opinions of your ecommerce site as a reputable one.
Guest author Mintleaf is a web design and development company that specializes in bespoke e-commerce sites for businesses with various needs.