Billions of dollars are generated each year through online stores. Are you ready to get your e-commerce site going so you can collect your portion of that enormous market? If so, you probably recognize that one of the most important factors in the success or failure of an online store is site design. Here are a few things to consider when planning your e-commerce site.
First, you need to learn what your competitors are doing right so you can follow suit. You also need to know their shortcomings so you can provide a better shopping experience for your customers. Be sure that your research is also specific to your target audience so that you can design a site that appeals to your customers in particular.
Laying Out the Site
One of the most important features of the online shopping experience is how consumers interact with the products. Do you have a copywriter to create enticing product descriptions? What about product images and videos that display the item in use? These are the basic elements that will help a consumer to make a choice about a product.
Now comes the time to actually develop the website. The homepage, in this case, will act as a store front. Imagine a consumer walking down a crowded street of stores or through a mall—Is your storefront the one that will draw someone in?
This is where everything needs to come together. Your call-to-action needs to direct consumers toward making a purchase. Your product pages need to make items appealing. Even the site colors play a role in creating the right emotions for the user so that a final sale is made.
Don’t forget the importance of an easy to use shopping cart. More than half of items added to online carts get left in the store when the consumer leaves the site. Having a well-designed cart that allows the consumer to make desired changes while still driving things toward a purchase is vital.
Get the Details Right
There are many other little things that will affect the final success of your e-commerce site. For example:
If you sell internationally, can consumers change the language and currency easily?
Is there a simple way for customers to track their order?
What is your return policy?
What payment options do you offer? Many people who shop online would like to be able to use a PayPal balance.
Be sure to set up automated emails that remind consumers about something they left in the cart, thank them for a sale, or let them know when you have a special discount on something they looked at but didn’t purchase.
These are all of the little things that can turn your e-commerce site into the next big thing.