E-commerce websites

E-commerce websites are the future. Selling online is essential to keep up with or stay ahead of the competition if you sell a product or service.

There are a lot things to consider in E-Commerce which is why it is not a process that any good web designer can facilitate. It isn’t just the more complex design process, it is the understanding of how a business operates; consideration of stock management, delivery options, product or service variations and payment gateways.

Many E-Commerce websites are similar in their wider design, this is because successful online stores follow several golden rules. That’s not to say you can’t push the boundaries with your design but if you want results then some rules have to be followed.

Custom coded E-Commerce websites will cost considerably more than E-Commerce websites designed on a CMS platform, both have their place and you can get a fantastic online store using a platform such as WordPress. Whichever option you are opting for, beware of the very low charges some designers charge for an E-Commerce website, if it is considerably lower than other like-for-like quotes then there is certainly something to be suspicious about – if it looks too good to be true then it probably is! There is an art and a science to E-Commerce design and it’s false economy to opt for the cheapest option as you’ll probably be less likely to get results.

Types of E-Commerce

Online stores selling products or services should be targeted at your ‘ideal customer’ and be part of your marketing strategy in order to deliver a return on your investment. A good online store should attract visitors, encourage them to look around, convince them to leave their contact details and ultimately to buy from you. Generating leads is an important step as many people won’t buy without establishing some form of relationship with you.

I provide support at each step of the process, working with specialists in SEO and design optimisation to ensure your business is a success online.

Membership sites can be complex depending on your requirements. You may have a standard website but want the additional functionality to have a members only area for specific content, or you may want a site with subscription services and varying levels of membership.
Membership sites can include forums and communities so ease of management is also an important consideration.
Downloads are becoming more popular for businesses. Some sites don’t require a full E-Commerce set up but simply the option to provide downloadable content either free of charge or by taking payment. Other sites may require a more comprehensive E-Commerce system, for example those selling e-books or e-magazines as well as photographers and designers.
From simple online bookings for occasional events through to full booking systems for courses and conferences, I can design user friendly E-Commerce sites to help your business run more smoothly whilst easing the administrative burden. It is a great way to advertise your events with an immediate call to action to help convert more enquiries to customers.

Planning for E-Commerce

As well as being a designer of E-Commerce sites I have also run my own successful online stores which I have designed. This has given me the advantage of understanding an E-commerce website from the businesses point of view, providing me with greater understanding of the functionality and usability required by the business to get the best results.
One thing I do know, both from a designer and ‘client’ perspective is that preparation is key.

Planning Tips

Planning and preparation for selling online

There is a lot that goes into planning an E-Commerce website, being as organised as you can from the outset will lead to a smoother design experience.
See my Planning Tips for how to stay one step ahead.
Planning Tips