An online store is essential for any business, regardless of size or industry. With a well-designed e-commerce website, you can reach potential customers worldwide, reduce costs, and increase profits.
Designing the perfect e-commerce website, however, can be a challenge. There’s a lot to consider, from choosing the right domain name to setting up payment methods and options. This guide provides you with a comprehensive overview of the key elements required to create a successful e-commerce website. You’ll learn about web hosting, design principles, user experience, and more. With this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to turn your business’s ecommerce dreams into a reality.
Choosing a domain name
A domain name is the web address of your website, e.g. example.com. Before you start designing your ecommerce website, you’ll first need to choose a domain name for your website. Domain names are often the first thing customers see when visiting your store, which can significantly impact their decision to buy from you.
Upon choosing a domain name, it’s important to remember that customers will base their first impression of your business on the domain name. Customers will associate those qualities with your business if they are unclear or unprofessional.
To avoid this, you should choose a domain name that: is short, memorable, and relevant to your business. You can’t choose a domain name trademarked by another business or one too similar to an existing domain name.
Choosing a web hosting service
The next step in designing your ecommerce website is selecting a web hosting service. Web hosting is hosting your website’s files on a remote server. Many hosting providers offer e-commerce hosting services. When choosing a web hosting service, it’s important to select one that is reliable, scalable, and secure.
Reliability: Your hosting service should have a reliable uptime so that your ecommerce website is always online and accessible. Hosting providers typically report their uptime percentage as a Service Level Agreement. Hosting providers with a 99.9% uptime guarantee are the most reliable.
Scalability: Your hosting service should be able to handle increased traffic, whether that’s from a marketing campaign or an increase in sales. Hosting providers offer scalable solutions to add more servers to your website as needed.
Security: Your hosting service must protect your website from malicious attacks and other security issues. Hosting providers offer security solutions to protect your ecommerce website from hackers.
Designing the website
Once you’ve selected a domain name and chosen a web hosting service, it’s time to start designing your ecommerce website. The first step in ecommerce design for your online business is to identify your target audience.
Who are your potential customers?
What are their interests?
By identifying your target audience, you can focus your marketing efforts on appealing to their needs.
For example, if you’re selling women’s clothing, your target audience would likely be women aged between 25 and 40 who are primarily interested in fashion. Now that you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to start designing your website. To create a great user experience, consider the following design principles:
Layout: The layout of your website should be clear and easy to navigate. The most common ecommerce website layout types are Grid, Magazine, and Hybrid.
Navigation: Navigation is how customers navigate through your ecommerce website. There are two common navigation types: top navigation and side navigation.
The use of colour is essential to creating a visually appealing website that appeals to your target audience.
Font: Font is the type of font used to display content on your website. The most common font types are serif, sans serif, and cursive.
The importance of user experience
User experience is the overall experience a customer has when visiting your website. It’s important to consider how customers will navigate your website, whether they have a positive experience, and how to improve it if not. Customers who have a poor experience navigating your website will likely leave and never return.
Many factors can affect user experience, including load time, layout, navigation, and a visual clean design. For example, having a website that loads quickly will improve the user experience by not making customers wait, it is also now a Google ranking factor. To create a website that customers enjoy using, consider these factors and focus on improving each one.
Setting up payment options
Security is the most important consideration when setting up payment options and the checkout process on your website. Customers expect their payment information to be kept private and secure, and rightfully so. You can set up various payment options on your website shopping carts, such as credit cards, cash, and gift cards. Credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards are the most common payment options. You’ll need to use a payment processor or gateway service to accept credit cards on your website. Many payment gateway services offer ecommerce payment solutions. If you’re operating internationally, you’ll need to select a payment gateway service that offers global services, like PayPal or Stripe.
Creating a secure website
When designing your website, you should consider security and create a secure website. Customers will trust your ecommerce business more if you have a secure website that protects their private information. There are many steps you can take to create a secure website, including:
Using HTTPS – Choosing a trustworthy hosting provider Using HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol used to communicate between your computer and the website. By default, HTTP is not secure, so communication between your computer and the website is public.
Choosing a strong password – Your password should be long, complex, and unique. And remember: the stronger your password is, the harder it is for hackers to break into your account.
Using Security Protocols – You can use several security protocols to protect your website, such as SSL. SSL protects website data by encrypting it.
Optimising for search engine results
Now that you’ve designed a beautifully functional website, it’s time to optimise your ecommerce website for search engine results. This means you’ll be able to rank higher on search engine results pages, bringing more potential customers to your website. There are many ways to optimise your ecommerce website for search engine results. For example, you can create useful, in-depth content that is keyword-rich. Keyword optimisation allows you to target potential customers based on their search terms. When they search for a keyword, your website will appear at the top of the search results. Other ways to optimise your website for search engine results include:
– Setting up a blog
– Creating an author profile
– Creating rich snippets
– Optimising Meta titles
– Optimising alt tags / product images
– Product descriptions
Analysing website performance
Now that you’ve designed a beautifully functional website, optimised it for search engine results, and created a secure e-commerce website, it’s time to analyse website performance. You can use a website monitoring tool to track customer behaviour and identify ways to improve your website.
Website monitoring tools offer in-depth analytics on how customers use your website, including
– Website Traffic
– Content performance
– Conversion rates
– Loading time
Among these metrics, loading time is particularly important to monitor. Customers will abandon your website if it takes too long to load, so it’s essential to keep your website loading times as short as possible. To do this, focus on reducing page load times across your website.
One important factor to consider when designing an ecommerce website is social proof. Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to purchase a product if they see others have already done so. This can be in the form of customer reviews, ratings, or even the number of sales a product has had.
Adding social proof to your website is a great way to increase conversions, enhance the ecommerce experience and build customer trust. You can add customer reviews, ratings, and even the number of sales a product has had. This will help customers make an informed decision about their purchase and give them the confidence to buy from you.
To create the perfect e-commerce website, you’ll need to start with the basics. Choosing a domain name, selecting a web hosting service, and designing your website are three essential steps to creating a successful e-commerce website. Once your website is live, you can optimise it for search engine results, set up payment options, and create a secure website, to name a few. Finally, you can analyse website performance to identify ways to improve your website. With a well-designed ecommerce website, you can reach potential customers worldwide, reduce costs, and increase profits.
At Bluedoor Design we are here to help with all aspects of ecommerce website design, and development, from design to hosting, development to security we can help and advise you through it all.