What is an e-Commerce website?
e-Commerce is the sale and purchase of goods and services through an electronic medium such as the internet. It is also used to describe electronically transferring data and funds between two or more parties. Put simply, it is online shopping as we commonly know it. Looking for eCommerce Web Designers Ireland ? Read more...
In the early days, e-Commerce was done through emails and phone calls. Now, with a single website, anything and everything that a transaction needs can be executed to perfection.
There are different types of e-Commerce web designs.
The most common type is retail selling, but there are many others too, such as:
Finance Management Websites
E commerce allows consumers to seamlessly exchange goods and services without barriers of time or distance. Electronic commerce has expanded rapidly in recent years and is predicted to continue at this rate, or even accelerate. In the near future the boundaries between "conventional" and "electronic" commerce will become increasingly blurred as more and more businesses move larger sections of their operations onto the Internet.
Some companies in Ireland with eCommerce sites will often want to require users to create an account in order to make a purchase, since this allows for follow-up communication that encourages future sales, as well as tracking customers’ demographic information to analyse sales.
However, it’s important to remember that not everybody wants to go through the process of creating an account in order to buy a product.
Repeat customers will want to register and get the benefits of having an account, such as saving their information for future purchases and receiving notifications about upcoming sales, but it’s still a good idea to provide an option for people who just want to make a one-time order. It is perhaps best when designing an e-Commerce website to offer the option to create an account or register once the first transaction has been completed thus not endangering the sale.
Web Designers tip: Since you’ll still want to try to encourage users to create an account, you might try to design the purchase process to allow users to complete a guest checkout, and upon completion, allow them to create an account using the information that they just entered.
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A number of considerations to take into account when planning your new web design project are:
Well Structured Site Search is Important
Statistics show that 30% of visitors to eCommerce sites use search to find the products they are looking for, so it’s important to make sure the search functionality is available and easy to use.
Engaging your website visitors is hugely important when it comes to e-Commerce website design. In addition, it’s a good idea to utilise features like autocomplete to help users find popular products or items related to their searches.
Faceted search is another important way to help users find products. This functionality allows them to narrow their search in a variety of ways, including by department, size, price range, manufacturer, etc. Providing this functionality gives users more power to find what they need, letting them limit their searches to exactly what they are looking for.
Web Designers tip: In order to make sure searches return the best results, make sure product information is fully defined and well organised, which will allow for faceted search and better search results in general.
Make it Very Easy for Your Customers to Purchase
Set clear goals on every page - Each and Every page of your website should have a defined purpose.
For example, your homepage should entice users to click through to your categories, or better yet, straight through to a product page. From there, your product page should answer any lingering doubts users might have and convince them to make a purchase.
Your shopping cart page should simplify the checkout process and have a feature like a follow-up email that reassures shoppers that the transaction was successful. Keep this in mind when planning out the various types of pages that you’ll have on your ecommerce website.
List contact information! Make it very simple and enticing for customers to contact you so that it’s easy for them to get in touch with you directly. You do not want them to abandon a purchase if they have concerns about being able to get a hold of you should there be a problem - you should not appear to be some faceless entity that cannot be contacted.
If you don’t display your contact information visibly for your customers and they have to scour your site for contact information, it could lose you a sale.
Outside of listing your location and phone number, you can also provide FAQs, product reviews, or comments for users to read, as well as user-generated content like customer testimonials that highlight satisfied customers that use your products.
Web Designers Tip: Build brand loyalty! Look for opportunities to bring users back to your website whenever possible. Encourage them to sign up to your newsletter so that they can receive details on discounts, promotions and sales.
Optimise Your Website’s Performance
If your site is slow, you’re likely to lose customers. Statistics show that at least 40% (variations between industries) of users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. This is especially true for mobile users, who are often multi-tasking as they access e-Commerce websites and are more likely to move on to another website if a site is too slow.
In order to keep from losing customers due to slow load times, you’ll want to make sure your site is optimised to run as quickly as possible.
A Hassle-Free Checkout Process
Create a checkout process that makes it effortless for your visitors to purchase your products through your e-Commerce web site.
Research has proven that the more cluttered and over complicated an online checkout page becomes, the more likely a customer who was willing to make purchase will just exit your site. As well as maintaining a simplified checkout process, work to make your customers clearly aware of extra costs such as flat, expensive shipping rates that could hamper a potential sale.
Web Designers Tip: Display trust symbols like Pay Pal, VeriSign or McAfee badges prominantley on your website in order to indicate that your checkout process has been verified and is secure in order to help ease any fears that potential customers could have when shopping online.
Security is Essential
Let your customers know that your website is secure and they will be more likely to complete the transaction. Sounds simple? It is but too many websites do not spell it out for the customers that this is in fact the case and failure to do so leads to increased shopping cart abandonment.
All eCommerce sites should support SSL to encrypt information that needs to remain secure.This is especially true for credit card and payment information, but also any customer information like address, phone number, email, etc.
Customers will have an expectation that their personal information will remain secure when they make a purchase online, so ensuring that SSL is implemented is not just a good idea, but something that is absolutely essential for ensuring that your customers trust that their information will remain secure.
In addition, security is required to meet PCI compliance for any business which accepts credit card payments.
Web Designers tip: Do not store credit card details in your site’s database. While it might seem like a good idea to keep card information on file to make purchases easier for customers, keeping this information stored on your servers is a huge security risk, and if your database is compromised, you will be liable for that loss.