An ecommerce website is one in which allows businesses to sell products electronically across the internSet to clients and customers. It incorporates the functionality for companies to display a catalogue and uses an electronic process which accepts online payments. There are several specific design features on an ecommerce website which differ from those on ordinary website and these key features are discussed below. The most important thing to remember when designing an ecommerce website is to make it as user friendly as possible. Due to the huge number of pages and products, the navigation system is fundamental to the success of your website. Firstly you should consider the top categories of products and then consider subcategories which may help users to further narrow their search to a small niche of products.
When you have a navigation system with more than one level, you must have a way to show the user where they are within the site structure. The best way to do this is to have a headline, sub-headers and breadcrumbs for example; Home > Women > Going out > Dresses. That way the user will be able to understand exactly where they are and be able to navigate back to the homepage or any relevant section. You also need to make it possible for users to unselect an option in order to expand their search if need be without constantly pressing the back button.
Allowing users to define how the products are sorted is a great way to help them find exactly what they are looking for such as ‘Price – low to high and high to low’, ‘Popularity’, ‘New In’, ‘Best selling’ and ‘Highly rated’. Another useful sorting option is ‘Customers also bought…’ as this can link to a variety of accessories and related products which act as an up sell.
When looking at the overall design, it is important to have a number of features available on every page. Things such as a search bar should be easily accessible from every page in order to allow users to immediately find a particular product from wherever they are within your site. You also need to have a form of online ‘basket’ so customers can easily see what they have already picked out to purchase.
With online shopping, customers cannot see or feel the product like they can in real life before they purchase it. This highlights the importance for photos and lots of detailed information about each product. Many online shoppers have previously seen the product in a store and gone to find it cheaper online. In this case they will usually need the specification to compare to ensure they have the correct product. For others they won’t have seen the product, which is especially true for clothing, so there needs to be as much information as possible as well as sizing guides to ensure they will be happy with their purchase.
The final thing to remember is to ensure you have specific details about delivery, returns and shipping. It is also recommended to send them a confirmation email once they have purchased something. This is to reassure the customer of their purchases and helps to build a relationship and therefore brand loyalty.