Part 2 – How to make an online shopping website
We’ve already explored how to get started if you want to sell your products online. We’ll now discuss the different things you will need to consider when planning your ecommerce website.
Ecommerce website design
things to consider.
If you just need a basic website that doesn’t support sales or transactions then it is relatively straightforward to build something. There are plenty of tools available online that can help even the least technologically initiated to build a basic website, albeit possibly a bit amateur if you go for an off-the-shelf solution. Such tools may assist you to produce a product catalogue, a contact page and even one for all of your glowing reviews and testimonials. Just remember to incorporate good design practice where possible, i.e. keep your branding consistent, make the site easy to navigate, ensure your chosen colours don’t hurt the eyes and place lots of clear calls to action so that consumers can easily see where to click if they wish to buy.
If you plan to offer products that people can buy online and allow payments or transactions then things are more complicated. How will people purchase items? How will you ensure credit card details are secure? How will you charge for shipping? Can your site create a feed so people using popular marketplaces will see you products? How will people find your products – are you going to set up a Google Shopping Feed?
There also a plethora of design rules around use of images, the effectiveness of white space and the techniques you can use to optimise it to increase your visibility in search engine results – which it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with, too. That’s before we even start talking about making sure your site works on smaller mobile devices. In short, if you plan to sell online it’s generally best to discuss your intentions with specialist ecommerce website designers such as Pelling.
Taking payments on your website
There’s nothing worse that browsing through a website and identifying the product you want to buy, only to find that you can’t actually purchase it there and then; that you either have to make a phone call or are redirected to a different website altogether. You are practically inviting what’s known as cart abandonment – where shoppers bounce from the site without completing their purchase. It’s absolutely crucial that you add online ordering and payment functionality.
To encourage sales, your site will need a shopping basket into which items can be placed while people continue to shop, or through which they can view and change their purchases prior to payment. You’ll then need the payment system itself, preferably one that provides shoppers with plenty of options other than just credit/debit cards – linking to PayPal is a good idea. This is the tricky stuff but don’t panic – we’d be pleased to help advise you.