Why Should You Design an eCommerce Website

Electronic commerce or eCommerce means commerce that is conducted electronically utilizing the Internet. The design includes all functions of conducting the purchase, including the sale, exchange of necessary information, exchange of funds and fulfilling the order (pick, pack, and ship).

An eCommerce website design brings customers and suppliers together in ways never before possible. New outlets for sales can be created. New methods that build customer loyalty can be utilized. Innovations to create new levels of customer service can be implemented. With digitally delivered products, delivery time can be immediate. To accomplish this does not require you to be a techie, just the passion for creating a clean, professional eCommerce website.

Designing and building an eCommerce website is a method to present your products to customers in a way that they can be accessed on the Internet.

Potential customers can browse detailed product reports at their leisure. The information is available to them anytime and wherever there is a web connection.

Customers can choose to review additional information or browse through your offerings while adding items to their shopping cart. When they have finished their shopping, the orders are then placed into an order system to complete the administrative processing and the order is sent for fulfillment. All administrative details of the sale can be completed while the customer is still online.

An eCommerce website allows you to expand your business to reach the global market, increasing sales. It allows you to have your products available for sale 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so your customers can shop at their convenience. If you already have a physical store, an eCommerce website adds a new and comparatively inexpensive dimension to your marketing program.

Ecommerce allows you to:

  • Expand your sales to the local, regional, national, or global markets as you choose, depending on your product or service.
  • Create additional streams of revenue that could not be provided from your physical store.
  • Compete and win in a market that is changing constantly and becoming increasingly complex.
  • Provide additional value to your customer to increase customer satisfaction.
  • Provide convenience to your customer and build customer loyalty.

If you believe that the larger market is saturated, the 19th Annual Dunn and Bradstreet Small Business survey indicates that small businesses use the Internet mainly for email. To purchase products does not rank in the top 5 uses. The market is just beginning to explode for small businesses, as more users access the Internet.

Designing The Website Layout

A site layout needs to start the content with a clean header that states your companies name, logo, and purpose.

Then the site has to perform the same tasks as a brick and mortar store:

  • Getting the attention of the visitor.
  • Keeping the attraction of the visitor.
  • Fix their attention on the information that can lead them to the desired result.

Move your customer to action.

The content layout of your site,

How your catalog, if you have one, is presented,

How your shopping cart, order processing, and payment options are integrated.

Are all basic to your content and site layout.
In addition, they can be complex when laying out the content for your site. But, they all relate to your site’s success.

The most important aspects of content and layout are to create a site that:

  • Conforms to your customer’s expectations
  • Answers their questions
  • Provides their wants and demands

To accomplish this, you must know your customer. You need to be able to anticipate their wants, their questions, and their needs.

You must be concerned both about the content of your site as well as the layout of the administrative details. How friendly and easy to use your site is will influence customer satisfaction and loyalty of your visitors.

Here are some points to consider in your layout:

The site must be easy to navigate. The buttons, if you have them, must be visible and easy to read. When your visitor first sees your site, they must understand immediately where they are and how to move around.
If you have different product lines, they must be categorized in the navigation buttons so the visitor can easily find the subject of their search.

Never frustrate your visitor with content that is not relevant to the site theme. Make your content educate your visitor. Keep the style short, clear, and focused. This will provide your visitor with the desired information and keep their attention.

Company logos, design layout, and navigation buttons should be consistent with the layout on each page so the customer is comfortable in moving around your site. This will give the visitor the desire to return and use the site again.

There should be no elaborate graphics in your content. Everything should load quickly and be professionally presented. Ensure there are no spelling errors in your content.

Depending upon the number of items you are presenting, if you have a catalog in your layout, you may need a “search” feature in your content layout. A visitor who is leisurely perusing your site will not use it. However, a visitor who is focused on their search will almost always use it if it is visible when they first see your site. Customers of large sites are increasingly expecting it.

Build Your Website Traffic

There are many ways to build traffic to a Website, listed are some of the most common ones used on eCommerce websites.

Search Engines

Search Engines deliver more targeted traffic to websites than any other method. They also are the most cost-effective marketing tools. They have the best conversion rates to achieve your desired goal of any other marketing or advertising method. Whether they are or not, the search engines are accepted by the surfer as being independent, credible, and being objective when referencing sources.

When a surfer uses a search engine, they are usually looking for a specific source, product, or service. Surfers use search engines because they already believe that they are the best tool to locate the answer to their request.

More than 90% of surfers use search engines as the basic means to look for solutions to searches on the Internet. Thus, they generate a great percentage of the traffic to specific websites.

Users are familiar with how to use search engines and they find them quick and easy to use. Based upon keywords, a user may find you in several locations on the results page. For all of the above reasons, search engines drive targeted traffic to websites high on the search engine results pages.

In fact, searching is the second highest use of the Internet after email. Over half of all users use a search engine. As many as three-fourths of Internet marketers list search engine positioning and optimizing as an effective way to obtain traffic to a website.

As a sales force, they are great as they list and create traffic to your site at any time of the day or night.

Search engines have an ability to promote and drive traffic to a site long after the initial search is over. They also have the highest returns on investment of any other advertising method due to their cost.

Every page of your website needs to be clearly legible to the leading indexes and search engines.

When you submit your website to the search engines, it may take from a day with Altavista to 8 weeks with Yahoo to be reviewed and ranked. The time may be related to the growth that the search engine is experiencing at that time. It’s also common to not be listed at all. This is why follow-up is crucial. You can then resubmit your site.

Search engines do not let you submit your page more than once per day.

Issues with submitting pages:

Submit each page? Many engines will not only index your main page but will look at links to your other pages and index them. They will follow two or more levels down the site. It may be necessary to submit each page individually to those engines.

If you create pages that link to your home page but are not linked back to in return, you will need to submit those pages individually or create a page with links to each of your doorway pages.

Make sure everything is ready. Be careful about submitting your pages prior to all of your pages being complete. Many spiders at search engines will not try again if they can not find your links to your home page or other linked pages.

If you submit too many pages at once- some search engines have been noted to start watching for submittals of too many pages at once. They may limit how many pages you can submit per day or week.

It is recommended that you always be cautious and submit only as many variations of a page as is absolutely necessary to achieve what you desire.