Are you preparing to launch your ecommerce company?
The ecommerce industry is growing. Ecommerce sales are projected to rise to over $735 million by 2023!
In such a competitive market, it’s vital to be armed with the marketing tools you need for success.
As an ecommerce business owner, your most essential tool is, naturally, your website.
In this post, we discuss the basics of ecommerce web development. You’ll also find some helpful design tips for ensuring your site drives conversions.
Keep reading for more!
Ecommerce Web Development
An ecommerce site is a purely digital retailer. This means that ecommerce business owners aren’t relying on brick-and-mortar storefronts to attract customers.
This can be advantageous in this digital age, especially given the range of digital marketing tools available to ecommerce owners.
It can also be tough when your site alone–rather than glossy signs and helpful employees–is your sole converter.
Ecommerce web development recognizes the value of websites as virtual stores. It also is designed to help you maximize profits through your site alone.
Here are the basics of ecommerce web development.
An ecommerce site must display product information and enable customers to easily purchase goods. Your domain name and web host aside, your site must have a “virtual storefront” built in.
Most business owners use Shopify or Magento to take care of this necessity.
However, plenty of website providers (like Squarespace) have their own built-in storefronts. At the very least, they make it easy to integrate storefronts.
When choosing your platform, make sure to select the one that suits your ecommerce niche.
For example, Shopify may be best for an online boutique. A custom storefront, on the other hand, may be suited for larger merchandise, such as manufactured hardware.
DIY or Professional
It is possible to craft your ecommerce site yourself, even without technical savvy. Some owners, however, choose to rely on professionals.
Luckily, both enable owners to customize their sites to their hearts’ content.
If you are on the fence about this, you can always consult a freelance designer. Sites like Fivvr connect design professionals with clients all the time, and often at an agreeable rate.
Images and User Experience
Ecommerce sites are very visual. They have to be, in order to give visitors a clear idea of products.
For this reason, ecommerce web development often hinges around image integration. However you proceed, make sure you have some high-quality photos of your products on hand (see below).
Lastly, ecommerce sites are all about your visitors. It’s important to shape your design around your ideal user’s experience.
Here are some tried-and-true design tips for generating conversions on your ecommerce site. Most of these tips are also designed to maximize user experience!
1. Seamless Navigation
Your visitors should never be confused about how to make a purchase. They shouldn’t be confused about navigation–period!
Ensure your ecommerce site has seamless navigation. Limit the number of menu tabs you display, and make all buttons visible and “clickable.”
Inspect your internal links, too. Make sure all internal hyperlinks are logical and that they guide visitors to the right place.
2. Go Minimalist
A cluttered website is likely to deter visitors. When possible, be as minimalist in design as you can be.
You can still give visitors adequate information about your products while being minimalist.
How? Aim for concise web copy. Give your customers only the essential pieces of information.
Incorporate more white space on individual pages, and stay away from designs that are “visually complex.” Less really is more in this regard!
If you’re using a WordPress site, check out these effective templates (also good for beginners).
3. Incorporate High-Quality Images
Images drive every ecommerce site. Make sure yours are high-quality.
Stay away from any stock photos–always incorporate authentic pieces to showcase your products, your team, and your vision!
If you are taking photos of your own products, shoot in high resolution. Strive to present several images per product to provide a 360-degree view.
You may want to hire a professional photographer to assist with imaging. Or, get comfortable with Photoshop. It can do more than you may realize!
4. Easy on the Pop-Ups
A well-placed pop-up can be critical, especially if it is used to gather subscribers.
However, be cautious about distracting your ecommerce shoppers too much. Excessive pop-ups can deter visitors and convey an overly sales-y vibe.
Besides, if your content is powerful enough, it should be able to convert visitors on its own without the need for additional flashing lights.
5. Include Reviews
Over 90% of consumers consult reviews before they give serious consideration to a business.
When designing your ecommerce website, make space for product reviews. If possible, showcase ratings per individual product.
The process for doing this varies according to your platform. Most, however, enable a simple plugin to do the trick.
6. Enable Users to View Their Carts
As your users navigate your website, subtly remind them of what is lurking in their carts. This can compel purchase decisions, especially if cart contents are visible on every page.
Make sure that you display a cart icon on all pages, and enable users to view cart contents whenever they wish.
7. Use Responsive Design
Plenty of mobile users conduct their personal shopping from the comfort of their iPhones or Androids.
Meet the needs of these users by using responsive design with your ecommerce website. This means that your website should adjust to fit the screen of any device used to access it.
Some platforms automatically guarantee responsive design. Others, however, do not.
Sometimes this can be fixed with a simple plugin. In other cases, you may wish to work with an ecommerce website design company to build a custom, mobile-friendly site.
8. The Secret Is in the Font
Believe it or not, the font you use on your site can contribute powerfully to your website’s “vibe.” Take the time to choose a font that suits what you wish to convey.
This may mean crafting a custom font with the help of a graphic designer!
You can also download or purchase fonts from various third parties, including right here on this website!
What’s more, when crafting your web copy, make generous use of headers, bullets, and font sizes. This can contribute to your site’s readability and navigation.
9. Establish a Logo
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to build your ecommerce logo. Do not underestimate the potential of your logo to compel purchase decisions!
Effective ecommerce logos should be concise, memorable, and image-driven.
Check out this post to learn more about building a successful logo.
Your logo should be visible on every page of your ecommerce website.
Final Thoughts: Ecommerce Web Development
As an ecommerce business owner, your website is your digital storefront. Take the time now to ensure it has what it takes to generate conversions!
These are just a few ecommerce web development tips you can make use of as you build your site. If you’re craving more, visit this post about where web development is headed in 2019!