The creation of an e-commerce website complicated. The site creator should consider some key factors; ranging from user experience to website performance. According to professional web developers, all the attributes should be embedded in the e-commerce plan to ensure a smooth development process. Hence, when creating the website, an e-commerce plan should be at the top of the list. This plan is equally as important as your business plan. The first step in creating a comprehensive e-commerce plan for your website is deciding the type of experience the customers should have online. Experienced web creators are of the opinion that a good e-commerce website should be future oriented. This implies that it should be relevant five or ten years down the line. In this article, we will discuss the attributes that are necessary when creating an e-commerce website.
Set Goals and Objectives
Unlike other types of websites, e-commerce sites pose very particular challenges to the developer. This is because different users will be visiting the site for various purposes. Some users will only visit to view the web page and the products or services they offer. As such, the website should be appealing enough to accommodate the needs of these visitors. Others will be visiting to learn about the services and products, as well as purchase them. For such visitors, the developer needs to make the processes as easy and intuitive as possible.
Web developers assert that e-commerce businesses should commence by setting website goals to ensure a good user experience. The goals and objectives would identify key website attributes. Additionally, they would help the site owner answer important questions such as:-
- What is the purpose of the website?
- What is the target audience?
- What does the audience seek from your website?
- Is the site providing the audience with information only or can it be an avenue for making purchases?
Answering these questions will ensure that the developer can estimate the cost and time needed to create a website that suits the owner’s ambitions and purpose.
The Products or Services on Offer
The second important aspect that goes into creating an e-commerce website is identifying the products or services that should feature on the site. Knowledge of goods or services is key to determining critical market decisions. It often assists the website owner to answer fundamental market question like:-
- How will the company/business position the products or services?
- What display strategies will the website use?
- Can the products or services be sold online?
- How will the company handle shipping if the products are sold online?
The answers to these questions not only contribute to the design of the website but also ensure that the website is suitable for the goods or services offered.
The first three tasks, which entailed creating a plan, setting goals & objectives, and identifying the goods or services is usually the owner’s responsibility. However, once these tasks are complete, the developer has to design the website. A good e-commerce website must have a proper layout. This implies that the website should be attractive to the users, memorable, accessible, and free from errors. The attractiveness of the site often depends on the architecture. The site’s structure should conform to the target audience tastes, habits, and preferences. Additionally, the website should have a responsive design, which makes it accessible and usable on our day-to-day devices. Scholars state that an e-commerce site must be accessible/responsive on mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones, as well as personal computers. The design of a website is highly dependent on the developer. Hence, e-commerce website owners should choose a designer, who would follow their instructions to the letter and create a website that is usable by both the clients and the owner.
Other Supporting Options
To complement the design, the developer should incorporate supporting options to the website. For instance, most e-commerce websites require the client to create an account in order to buy goods or services. The account often improves the ease of communication between the business and the customer. Additionally, it allows the company to track critical customer’s information such as demography, which can be used to improve the products and services offered. In spite of the relevance of the account, most people do like creating accounts for buying purposes only. Hence, it is imperative that the website developer incorporates supporting features like guest checkouts, which can allow unwilling consumers to make purchases without going through the process of creating an account. Sites should also include support tools such as the search box, which allows the customers to search for the commodity they want. Research has shown that the majority of the e-commerce clients use the search tool to find the commodities or services they want. For this reason, this support option must always be part of the website.
The most important thing when building an e-commerce website is security. The businesses, as well as their clients, often have sensitive information on the website. This applies particularly to the clients, who surrender personal data like credit card information, names, social security number, phone number, and address. All e-commerce websites have to be encrypted to ensure the safety of the clients and the business. Web developers advise e-commerce websites to use Secure Sockets Layer to protect their clients’ information from hackers. The security of an e-commerce website should always be of primary concern to the business and the developer.
After creating an e-commerce website, the owners should ensure that it has been optimized. Website optimization can fall under either of these two categories:-
- Speed optimization
- Outreach optimization
Speed optimization ensures that the site is not slow. E-commerce websites with low speeds are likely to ruin the customers’ experience. Consequently, the business will lose clients. On the other hand, outreach optimization entails implementing strategies to ensure that clients are aware of your website’s existence. Developing a consistent stream of traffic on your website requires actions like search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing. Organizations should always ensure that they optimize their site’s performance to maintain clients.
Creating an e-commerce website is a complex task, which requires the input of the owner and the web designer. Different things go into creating a comprehensive e-commerce site. They include developing a plan, setting goals and objectives, and identification of products or services that will feature on the website. In addition, the creator has to identify and utilize an appropriate design, set up supporting options, incorporate security measures, and lastly optimize the website.