In the one of our previous articles we have discussed some of the advantages and drawbacks of paid and open source e-commerce applications. We also made a list of some of the most common e-commerce platforms together with their main specifications.

Today, we are going to talk about the most important design features of an e-commerce web site and will give you some tips about building up a successful online business.

Whatever you are selling on the Internet, one thing is most certain about it – it’s on sale on someone else’s website already. And because there are so many online shops out there and competition is so strong you may only survive with one thought in mind: what your customers want and how can I sell it to them.

Although there are many theories about keeping customers happy when it comes down to e-commerce there is only one, and that is clean and usable website design that will make it simple for you customers to shop on. An easy-to-use website will offer your visitors great experience. Great experience will most probably end with placing orders. And this is exactly what you want.

Below are some of the main features of a user-friendly e-commerce business you should bear in mind before designing your online store.

Choose a background colour which will not distract your customers’ attention from the product itself. The purpose of your webpage background colour is to complement the product image, it should be tasteful and in conformity with your overall website appearance. Whatever colour you choose make sure it keeps your customers focused on the product features rather than annoying them. Do not forget to place your company’s logo on the left upper corner of the page – where customers expect to find it.

Furthermore you need to think carefully about your web page navigation – it should be logical and simple to use. You may build a fancy website, place great pictures, and do a great job advertising your online business; you are burned without a proper search box. This is an absolute must for any online shop with a large number of items for sale. The search bar is the only way for your potential customer to find what they look for, especially considering the fact that most users need to be in control when they enter your website. They do not want to be guided through your website, that’s the reason why many users go straight to the home page search menu. Studies have shown that your search box should be a type-in field. To offer to your visitors accurate search results you need to organize products into categories and provide first-query results, otherwise you will lose many potential buyers.

The product images that you are going to include on your website play a vital role for the success of your online business. Numerous studies have proven that consumers prefer to browse through images rather than reading description text. Remember that product pictures are essential for your potential customers – they will better understand the product’s features by looking at it than reading about it. But this is not enough, to reach you goal which is of course sell the product, you should use clear images with high resolution and keep their size not too big or too small either. Sometimes depending on the product you should place more than one picture. Do not be afraid to show the product from different sides or angles, especially if this is crucial to close the sale. If possible give the users the opportunity to zoom in and out, turn around and see as many details of the product as possible. Do not use misleading pictures — this will only cause you troubles later on.

Next step to consider carefully is the product description. Here you should keep the text simple, if accurate use bullet points. Explain the most distinguishing parts of the product, like the material it is made of, its size or features, brand, colour and so on. Be brief and straight to the point. If the product requires, you can place a link with attached file with more explanations or how-to-use manual. If the same product is on sale in different colour let’s say, make sure you explain it clearly to your customers. This is also the place to put the product price, together with any discount you offer and shipping fees your customer will encounter. Make sure your customers understand exactly how much it would cost them to buy from you. If there’s no delivery fee let’s say, put a zero and give the final purchasing price. The same applies if you have to charge customers with additional fee for using their credit card for example or any other cost they will have to cover. If you have different methods of payment, state them clearly, so your potential customers can choose what’s best for them. It is absolutely important that you place payment details in the product description page. Do not make the customers browse further in your website to find the price or how to order, they will simply get annoyed and abort the shopping process.

Despite the fact that these are the basic optimizations that you can apply to your eCommerce website, they are very important for creating a successful online shop. If you are not exactly sure how to start your eCommerce online shop you may review our article on how to start your own online shop website.

If you need a professional assistance you may always contact our experienced and friendly representatives via our live chat and discuss your ideas for eCommerce website.

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  • Photo Sharing

    Very well written post however, I would recommend that you turn the No Follow off in your comment section.

    Keep up the good work.

  • netultimate

    Excellent article – I really appreciate your knowledge about for our ecommerce tips in web development, I have bookmarked it for later viewing and forwarded it on.