ECommerce or electronic commerce is the trading in products or services using computer networks. B2C and B2B are common notations for business to consumers and business to business eCommerce and makes use of technologies like mobile commerce, internet marketing, online transaction processing and a few others.
Today, almost everything in this world is sold through the internet and this makes ecommerce and designing websites more relevant than ever before.
An Ecommerce website is as good as a virtual store. Just as when we walk into a shop, the general ambience should appeal to us while doing business. There are always personal likes and dislikes, but the overall appearance of the website should be inoffensive and inviting.
It is recorded that in 1984, Gateshead SIS/Tesco is the first B2C online shopping system and Mrs. Snowball, 72 is the first online home shopper. In 2015 Amazon stood at the world’s largest eCommerce site, accounting for more than half of all eCommerce growth.
Guidelines for a good eCommerce site:
If you are selling one product, you will need only one page or a few pages at the most. How many pages exist between the home page and the final checkout pate is an important consideration. If there are multiple products, multiple pages are a given.
Design – if it is an already established product, some design concepts are already in place and will have to be adhered to meticulously. Match the pictures you are putting up with the feel of the website. They should not clash.
Three essentials of a good eCommerce website
Trustworthiness, simplicity/ease of use and transparency (contact information, merchant’s policies, publishing reviews and answering negative ones)
Good eCommerce websites follow some best practices like
Using good images and lots of them – photos from every angle and zoomable too.
Feature the scarcity of the product.. as in ‘only 2 left’. Many buy so that they don’t want to miss out on what everybody else seems to have bought!
Feature related products too.
What are the drawbacks of a bad eCommerce site?
- Lack of a clear value proposition and difficulty in conveying what is it that they have to sell
- Not enough product description
- Failing to use a good quality photograph
- No visual hierarchy – those visual elements have to be given importance that call for action,
- Does not look trustworthy – it doesn’t inspire confidence in the viewer. This is especially true of health related sites, where design is seen to have a greater impact than the content itself! Lack of good customer testimonials and favorable press mentions and absence of any interesting information about the website are the drawbacks of a bad eCommerce site
- A reluctance to try out fresh new ideas of web design
How do you build a website?
Using a drag and drop website builder tool is a good idea for beginners rather than approaching a developer where there will be issues of a technical nature, plus the huge costs. The other routes are using WordPress which is a premium suite for building websites. Custom built websites are designed by approaching professional web designers/ designing companies that build a unique web for you. The latter two are quite expensive. Ranging from a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars.