There are several elements that contribute to the success of an ecommerce website. In the first place, a lot of your measurement for success will depend on what your ecommerce website's goals are.
As you and your professional web development team work together to develop a website with a look and feel you are happy with, keep those goals in mind. They can be as simple as adding revenue to your actual store through virtual means or creating a new source of revenue for your handmade products. To keep your design goals in mind, keep a list of these important elements handy.
First, your ecommerce site should carry great products, products that you are passionate about and believe in. Customers will be able to distinguish if your products are not up to standard, and you will end up with a lot of returned merchandise. Fulfill your business model by ensuring that you have popular items in stock and that you have the appropriate shipping options for your customers. Avoid putting products up that you do not have yet, even if you know they are coming in soon.
But do not fret if you have not completed your inventory yet. Chances are if you are passionate about it, your customers will be too. Your products should be easy to distinguish from your competitions -- one way you can do this is by creating a website with a contrasting look and feel.
Usability, Navigation and Feel
A great ecommerce website follows one basic rule: it is easy to use. Your customers should be able to figure out the basics of shopping on your site in seconds. The site's architecture should be easy to navigate and your customers should be able to find the products they need in seconds.
Your site's feel should also match your type of business. For example, a black and white theme and corporate fonts would not be a good choice for a website that sells baby products.
If that is not the case, your web design development team should be able to test and check if the site's main functions (like the shopping cart) are running right and fix any glitches that come up. You can also put together a focus group to help test your site's feel.
As an ecommerce website, your primary goal is to help your customers find the product they need as fast as possible. Incorporate search functions that allow your customer to search the site using keywords or categories. Help your customer as much as possible by using a combination of both.
Make sure your search function is easy to use and find because the more products your customers are able to find, the more sales you make. Consider organizing your inventory into easily recognizable categories, then incorporating that into your search functions. Consider anything that will make the selection process easier and drive the customer straight into the purchasing part of the online shopping process.
A successful ecommerce website entices customers with a judicious use of images for their products. Make sure you provide multiple images per product, close-up views, color views for items in multiple colors and size options.
Your images should have neutral backgrounds, be crisp and clear and most important, and be accurate. Images are the equivalent of in-store shelves and the online equivalent of your customer picking something up and examining it before they buy in.
Finally, a great ecommerce website ensures that the customer maintains a safe state of mind by incorporating guarantees on its safe transactions, excellent product quality and return or money back promises. If your customer knows that their transactions and that they are guaranteed an excellent product, they are more likely to make a purchase. Guarantees are more than just words though; make sure you always follow through. Customer word of mouth (or in this case, online reviews) can destroy a business.
A good, well-designed ecommerce website presents products that are easy to find and purchase, in an environment where the customer can enjoy his or her shopping experience to the fullest. Focus on the experience and you are guaranteed to have a website that contributes to your business success.