Matlock Media Group: Designing a Successful E-Commerce Website
As Matlock Media Group continues to grow its website design firm, Aaron Price of Fort Smith, AR has been brought in as CTO. “One question I’ve been asked on many occasions is How can I build a successful e-Commerce website?” says Aaron.
Fort Smith, AR,January 21, 2013: As Matlock Media Group continues to grow its website design firm, Aaron Price of Fort Smith, AR has been brought in as CTO. “One question I’ve been asked on many occasions is How can I build a successful e-Commerce website?” says Aaron. Our team has developed a characteristic checklist that helps put our clients at ease, when faced with the daunting task of e-Commerce development. Matlock Media Group can handle all design and development work for Information websites and e-Commerce sites.
Design Characteristics of E-Commerce Websites
Unlike other types of web design, development of an E-Commerce site presents some unique challenges. It is very easy to get caught up on sales figures when determining the success of a products driven website. However, there are many factors that can influence the success of an e-commerce site, and identifying areas of strength and weakness is not always so simple.
This article contains nine specific factors that a well-designed e-commerce website should employ.
1. Make Navigation Simple
First and foremost, when selling products online, visitors have to be able to find exactly what he or she is looking for. Simplifying navigation is important to any website, but it’s especially critical for e-commerce sites. Losing a visitor is the same as losing sales, so you must make sure that navigation is clear and easy.
E-commerce sites often face considerable challenges with navigation because of the number of products that are presented on the site. Every site is going to be different. Some sites will have a great deal more products than the next, and finding what you want can become difficult with more options. Think of the customer. How is the average visitor going to attempt to find a particular product? What makes sense to the designer or to the company owning the site may not be the same path that the average visitor would take to find a product. User testing is paramount for identifying potential navigational issues.
2. The Products Are The Selling Point
The products that are available for purchase should be the focus of an e-commerce site. An over-the-top design can do more harm than good because it can take focus away from the products. More companies are choosing to keep the design simple so that the products do not have to compete for the attention of visitors.
3. Checkout Should Be A Breeze
Another critical feature to the success of an e-commerce site is the user experience. If the checkout process involves too many steps or is confusing, shoppers will wind up abandoning their cart with items left un-purchased. Checkout should involve a minimal amount of steps and should be as easy as possible for shoppers
4. Brand Awareness
We all know that brand awareness is a vital part of any successful business. Whether a company is online, offline or both, their brand is what generates customers. Shoppers are influenced in their purchasing by a companies brand. With stores that have a physical location, as well as a online site, the branding must stretch over both facets. In these cases, the website should work well with other branding efforts of the company so that customers feel comfortable on the website as if they were shopping in their local store.
5. The Design Style And Products Should Mesh Well
With countless design styles available online, e-commerce sites and traditional sites have a lot in common. The biggest difference when designing an e-commerce site is the importance of the products meshing with the site. This is more achievable and relevant for stores who have a specific product line. It also works for websites of a certain brand or company with an established identity.
If the design of the site does not mesh well with the particular products, it could result in a disconnect, and make it more difficult for the visitors to relate to products. The key is making it easy for customers to determine what product is right for them.
6. Promote the More Popular Products
To keep visitors interacting with the site, it is important to make the more popular products accessible, with the intention of helping visitors find something to purchase. A number of sites are using a large area on the homepage that they can use to promote current sales, new product lines, or whatever will generate interest. On theses sites, this area will often be updated frequently, or it may include some type of slideshow.
7. Suggest Related Products
One of the most important parts to a successful e-commerce store is suggesting related products to your customer. Sometimes you will see related products listed and shown on item detail pages, and other times you will see suggestions being made after adding an item to your cart. Putting the right products, that your buyers might be interested in, is key no matter what approach is used.
8. Product Photos Are An Asset
Running an online store has a different hurdle to cross in that the buyer cannot touch the product or see it before making a purchase. Providing quality photos that accurately portray the product can help to overcome this challenge and can make the buying decision easier on visitors. Giving the customer more photos and description is key to making sure the customer gets exactly what they are wanting and will cut down on returns.
9. Effective Site-Wide Search
Visitors need to be able to search your site. Making it easy for them to find products they are looking for is critical. Some visitors will still have trouble finding a specific product even with good navigation, and with larger e-commerce sites it may often be more feasible to simply do a search than to move through several layers of links. The search options that can narrow the search should be based on the size of the site and the items available.
How Do You Shop?
What other features would you add to this list to strengthen an e-commerce site? Your comments could be based on experience designing an e-commerce site, or as a shopper what you have encountered.
At Matlock Media Group, we have assembled a team of designers, developers, marketers, who are some of the best in the industry. We offers great services for Online Marketing, Advertising Media Planning, Ecommerce, Promotional Items, Search Engine Optimization, etc.
Matlock Media Group
1616 Jenny Lind Rd
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
office: (479) 709-9508