E-commerce in simple terms refers to business conducted online,wherein, all transactions and deals are facilitated by internet technology. There has been quite a lot of buzz surrounding ecommerce business over past couple of years, especially since in spite of economic recession and inflationary pressures; online consumption continues to grow at a healthy pace.
Internet trading is highly complex with a wide range of aspects to be considered while designing and developing an ecommerce website.While customers demand a fast and convenient shopping process; website owners on the other hand, want an attractive site which can generate large amount of traffic converting into sales.
Your website is the first point of contact between the consumer and the seller, and hence acts as your visiting card to establish the image of your brand. A poorly conceived ecommerce site fails in this objective with little to distinguish it from other websites in terms of design or features.
Given below are some key aspects to keep in mind while designing an ecommerce site in general and the home page in particular.
A distinctive and easily recognizable logo helps to build online brand awareness and draw more visitors to the site due to higher brand recall. Advertise shopping deals and freebies prominently to encourage people to visit the site and complete purchase activity. Attractive banners with sale offers should ideally be placed on the upper side of the home page of an e commerce website. Free shipping is also a great enabler for driving sales.
It should not be difficult for buyers to locate exclusive deals and hot prices. Communication regarding an upcoming sale or any other event connected with any product should be prominently displayed on the home page to make it convenient for visitors to access and record the information.
Create product categorize to facilitate easy shopping, like categorizing products by brands and enable buyers to shop by brands. A search box is an essential feature, especially if you are trading in a wide range of products.
Every ecommerce site usually has the shopping cart and login box placed together. Customers are required to login with their personal login and password and have the facility to track past history of orders, as well as receive exclusive discount offers and opportunities to participate in various promotions or sales.
Icon for payment system and payment details should be clearly displayed on the home page.
Ensure Social Media Links are prominently displayed to make optimum use of social network to pull more visitors to the site as well as to encourage word of mouth advertising.
Provide customer support features with contact details and online chat options to take care of any pre sale or post sale queries from customers. Online services should typically be available round the clock to take into account different time zones and different periods of activity.
Having an e commerce website provides significant advantages to business with its ability to reach a large mass of people and do away with limitations of space and time. However, a successful e commerce website needs to go beyond displaying products to providing features and options to make shopping fun and convenient for customers.
In short, an effective e-commerce website should fulfill the following functions: