There are a wide variety of websites that you can choose to design and out of all of them the web store is one of the most complicated. They need to handle sensitive information and financial interactions while trying to show a form of individuality. For inexperienced developers an e-commerce website can be a nightmare, which is why many independent designers choose to outsource this kind of work to more experienced developers. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you are aware of the characteristics that make a great e-com website and are able to appropriate those factors for your own store.
Navigation Should Remain Intuitive
There is a reason that the majority of e-commerce sites share many similar features, like a contact footer or an easily accessible search bar, and that is because the audience for these sites have become accustomed to them. These features are now expected in online stores and if a new site opens up that is difficult to navigate it will only frustrate and anger any new customers, causing them to find another outlet. Every successful e-com website shares these conventions and they should not be strayed from. Making sure there is a simple navigation bar and that each button on the site has a similar appearance and function will give your site a sense of familiarity with new users.
Put Effort into the Pages Most Visited by Customers
Many new web designers focus all of their attention on the home page of online stores and, while they are important aspects of any website, most customers spend the majority of their time on other pages. For stores that are located online you do not have the physical interaction necessary to determine if a product is suitable or not. The only alternative is to see the specifications on the product detail page and make a decision that way. Some designers spend so much time on the home page they neglect to put the effort into designing a product detail page that will give customers all the information they will require to make a purchase at that moment. The last thing an e-commerce site wants is to give potential patrons a reason to go to a physical outlet to see the product.
The Platform Should Expand With the Business
When most stores start out they do it on a small scale and this is the proper way to begin to run a business. But many people make the unfortunate error of not growing their platform as their business starts to expand. Starting out on WordPress or on Etsy is perfectly acceptable, but when your business grows to a certain size you will need to move your online store over to a larger host. Upgrading to Amazon’s e-commerce platform or sites like Shopify or Highwire gives medium sized businesses the opportunity to compete on a significantly higher level while allowing them to still express their own individual personality.