Before hiring a web developer or web designer to build your new eCommerce site you should be entirely sure about your purpose and goals for your new business platform. Yes, PURPOSE, your new eCommerce site should be designed to offer a solution for your business and give you an online platform to reach clients and make sales. That’s why the customer journey is so important.
What you will be selling?
What functionality do you need?
What features are available?
What tools are essential?
What plugins you will be using and how much they will cost you?
List all details and breakdown your goals to help not only you but designers and developers. If you know exactly what you want they will be able to advise you.
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Client journey or customer experience.
How can you facilitate your customer journey?
You can actually design and enumerate all the stages of the customer journey and experiences you want people to have using your eCommerce website. Note, that your website will be placed in a focal point of the customer journey and you need to ensure visits will lead to conversions and therefore make it easier for the visitor to take the desired action.
Before ordering a new eCommerce website answer the following questions:
What purpose and goals your new website serve?
How your clients will benefit from it?
How the website will improve your brand and sales long term?
What essential features it should have?
How to minimize the friction during the checkout?
Make a plan and write everything down.
If you answer these questions and breakdown your goals it will be much easier to instruct and advise the developers and manage the project. Be absolutely clear. Happen quite often some business owners start with one idea and, throughout the development phase, they change their minds often about important aspects of the website not only in a design level but functionality wise. The change of directions forces the developer or development team to perform changes that are rather unexpected than in the initial scope and that make some of the technical work already done redundant.
That scenario is not helpful and having a clear vision and goal is always a good predicament for success. That indicates that you are confident about the project and you know exactly where you going and how.
Don’t be obsessed with the design perks – be obsessed with Usability!
There are thousands of themes, templates, layouts and features out there already. Unless you really bring something really innovative and groundbreaking you shouldn’t really be that worried about that heading or that column width. The important question to be asked when you analyse an eCommerce website is:
What is the level of usability?
What is the overall user experience?
No excuses for design flaws though, since there are sites like Themeforest that are offering top-notch designs for ridiculous low prices and you can really choose amongst a large variety of designs and demos. There is even offer in niche driven design level. If you are worried that those designs don’t match your brand or someone else will have a similar website, don’t be. All the themes there are highly customizable and with the help of a developer you can customise most of the skin of theme – most of these are highly customisable and can be adapted to your brand. If you have any questions about how to achieve it ask an away. I wouldn’t advise you to purchase a theme without speaking with a developer first.
Another solution is to hire a designer to better render your brand identity and then hire a developer to convert that design in a functional and responsive theme. Any option is fair, It’s all a matter of budget vs value-money. In Dribble, you can find the most creative designers around the world.
Nonetheless, surpassing the frontend aspect is something called functionality.
Does your site work? Are the buttons and clickable elements all functional? Are the elements responsive to different viewports? How the client journey on mobile looks like? (Over 50% of users are on mobile). More than the font size of that heading you should be absolutely testing every and each functionality in your website and thinking about how to improve the usage.
How to make it easier for the customer to navigate? I see many owners worried about superficial design aspects that they overlook the most fundamental functional features. In the other hand, during the brief, the developer must identify and advise the client about the possibilities and options available and also raise any flags if necessary. Asking questions is really important before deciding to build a new website.
In terms of design, most of the successful online brands and eCommerce websites are actually pretty plain in their designs. They invest more into add functionality that will make their clients have an amazing browsing and checkout experience
And they are consistent (they rarely change);
At the end of the day is about your product and your marketing strategies, plus how you make the client feel. Yet, everything needs to be balanced and an unprofessional design will raise many flags with a client. If you need advice and demos please get in touch and book an assessment.