The design of an e-commerce website is very important in achieving success in the marketplace. A website that is confusing, difficult to use, unclear or unwelcoming is not likely to be successful.
Bespoke or off-the-shelf?
The choice between a bespoke e-commerce design or a standard solution will depend largely on the available budget. Bespoke designs from professional e-commerce web developers are more expensive, but can be precisely targeted at the needs of the e-business. Off-the-shelf solutions have a common framework, but can usually be customised around a series of web templates.
Website designers often combine standard packages with bespoke elements, enabling them to deliver more affordable e-commerce web design.
The user experience
Whether bespoke, standard or hybrid, the e-commerce design needs to be attractive, and allow intuitive use by the user.
Good search facilities and clear navigation are both vital elements, so that the potential customer can find the right product, understand its benefits, and choose it with maximum efficiency.
Your identity and brand
The website design needs to take into account the needs of your e-business, and use your corporate identity correctly and consistently. This will reinforce the effects of your offline marketing activity.
E-commerce website features and functions
Within the design of your e-commerce website design, you should have a range of features to ensure the success of your online venture. It should allow effective search engine optimisation, and also enable changes or updates to be made easily. This is particularly important if you sell fast-moving products where features, benefits and prices change regularly.
One of the most important elements of an e-commerce website design is the shopping cart, which is where visitors identify and choose products to buy. There is a wide choice of standard shopping cart software, so it is important to take time choosing the one with the right range of options.
The functionality of the website design is critical at the point of payment. This needs to be easy to follow, clear and very secure. Standard packages are designed to ensure secure shopping, but ease of use can vary.