Our team create high end, mobile friendly eCommerce website designs from initial concept to deployment. We focus on a high end customer experience.
The goal of this page is to explain in detailed terms the concepts of how an eCommerce website design project works and the challenges of actually making money once the project is delivered. If you just want to get a quote and understand all then just contact us.
We wrote to clarify the steps and challenges involved in delivering a great, money-making website that sells your products online.
eCommerce websites differ from a traditional brochure website in many aspects and this article is to set expectations for you rather than say – yes, of course, let’s do an eCommerce site for you and watch the money roll in.
With the advent of easy to use templates, hosting packages that make it easy to get a website up and running and the perception that if you want to make some money online all you have to do is put up an online shop selling your wares and your virtual shop will start making money right away.
This is far from the case. But it is, of course, possible but it takes more than a good looking site. We will expand on this below.
This article explains how eCommerce Web Design works and how a project evolves into something successful
THE BAD NEWS: I have worked with countless client down through the years who think create website, turn it on and make money. This is nearly 99% of the time completely wrong. The belief that you have a great product or service means people will come and buy is constantly proven wrong on the Internet.
THE GOOD NEWS: with focused effort, constant work over a period of time you can build an audience and get those first sales and orders. But having a nice website is more often than not the smallest part of the effort.
People now surf the Internet from many different devices and often get to your site from many different sources and not just search. When they are making a purchase they use a lot of information to help them make their decisions. Of course, a great sales website and design is critical but they look at a lot of more factors.
Where do you show up on search, how detailed are your pages, what is your social media presence, do you provide support and a lot of intangible emotion-related items.
They also rely heavily on others peoples feedback so you need to treat every transaction with a lot of care and attention in the sales process and post-sales process.
Often all of the above is bundled into an emotion, gut reaction but this is delivered by great marketing, website design and products/
If all of this sounds daunting it isn’t. Your approach to establishing an eCommerce site needs to be more focused than a business website as you want to make sales. So let’s dip into the eCommerce design and development end and explain why it costs
The number one mistake eCommerce owners make is thinking that their amazing product(s) are what will help them do well over others.
Your simplest idea is to get a website, sell your products make money. You have seen tons of other sites selling similar (or even identical) products and you want a piece of the action,
It isn’t that easy. We have designed and developed eCommerce sites for lots of businesses and the following rules ring through for all of them.
The perception that all you need to do to make money selling online is to set up a site with a shopping cart and wait for the money to roll in is flawed..
So the setting up of a website that looks great is just the first step.
Then the work begins to show people what great products you have and start promoting it. But lets first talk about marketing your finished new online shop before we actually talk about the making of it (and the costs).
The businesses mentioned above with a physical selling presence are usually able to hit the ground running with selling online as the usual reason they started an online store was due to customer demand. They also realised the lower cost of transactions for selling online. No need for a person at the till, less handling costs and often a happier customer as they didn’t have to make the journey.
But the initial sales and the curve to making the first sales are lower as they can advertise in their shop, perhaps on existing media that they are doing and get sales right away. This isn’t to say that they are entitled to a flood of sales as they still need to follow established marketing and optimisation to grow their online sales.
The word challenge is overused in business but making sales online for a completely new business can be a HUGE challenge. Unless your product is unique the odds are that you are already competing with other businesses. EVen ifyou think it is unique eyou need to convince people that not only is it unique but it is worth buying
To summarise the challenge, without marketing, setting up a new eCommerce site that looks great, has your products (however many that may be) and then sitting back in the expectation of instant online sales will usually end up in disappointment.
Here is why
If you know nothing about how website design and development don’t worry we won’t baffle you with technical terms. The design time and effort involved in an eCommerce site needs to be understood as you may look at a quote from a brochure site next to an eCommerce site and wonder what the price difference is based on.
In its simplest form website design is the creation of visuals for all your pages on a website using tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Think of drawing pictures online (we hate that analogy but it does help). When you the customer approves the visuals, then a website developer converts these into an actual functioning website.
A lot of online sites sell prepared sites skipping the eCommerce website design process and development completely. Think of buying a website from the plans versus getting a house developed by an architect (the website designer) and a builder (the website developer). There are also sites like Wix and Shopify to name a few that allow you to get set up quickly with a standard site or an eCommerce site.
We do not support any of these sites or development but based on our marketing conversation above and our details below we hope we can explain why.
So let’s expand on design and what it means to people who don’t spend every waking hour staring at a screen.
Some of the eCommerce website design points below are still valid though for brochure sites though.For eCommerce, it is more complex. If you can recall the last time you bought anything online we are pretty sure it went something like this.
No the typical eCommerce Shopping Cart (we will talk about these further down) has inbuilt code that can be designed and customised to give the best shopping experience possible. This is just being all high brow it is critical. Great designs are a factor in convincing people to make a purchase online.
Great eCommerce website designs establish trust and work to convince the user that using their money to buy a product or service from you is the right thing to do. Is price a factor – of course, but trust, credibility, and ease of use are others.
It is quite common for someone to spend a little more on a product online even though they know they can get it cheaper elsewhere online or from a high street shop.
Having a poor customer experience for sales means that at any stage in the process above you may decide to exit the shopping process. How often have you gotten frustrated at a shopping checkout when it prompts you for way too much information or makes it so hard to move through a form.
For this reason, the design and development work for eCommerce does take longer. Of course, you can default a lot of things but working on great user experience (or UX to get techy) really ensures that the hard work you may have spent above on marketing isn’t wasted.
Of course, you need to get paid and if you have ever bought anything online you entered your payment details and they were confirmed. This is called the payment gateway and it is for small business eCommerce sites usually off-site using a payment gateway.
In the very first instance, we design and deliver great eCommerce websites. It’s what we do. This covers all of the items below
We ensure that your eCommerce platform is visible on all types of devices from laptops to smartphones and every device in between. Online shopping now takes place at many locations and we make sure that your customers can too..
Before any of this starts we have the marketing and SEO conversation. Very simply put new online sales sites that invest time, effort and yes some money in marketing and SEO do better than those that don’t. Being blunt those that barely do a trickle of sales.
This may read funnily but it does happen (or at least clients try it). It isn’t the client’s fault it is just a lack of understanding of how SEO and marketing works.
It just doesn’t work that way. We understand how you as a customer may have no clue about eCommerce or websites or any of the goings-on. That’s fine that is what we are experts in. But what fuels great SEO and marketing is information and material. Product information, company information, visuals, pictures, video, sounds and so on.
We get ten times better results with our marketing efforts (and not just for online sales sites) when the customer understands the process and deliverables.
The SEO and marketing of eCommerce are detailed and technical and also a lot of just plain grunt work but the fuel comes from you, your products and production process.
When we started creating websites back in ancient times we thought “Build it and They Will Come” would work. But nothing could be farther from the truth. It is so easy to get some sort of basic online presence started now. You can have a working website up and running in under a day now if you know what you are doing.
And guess what. Everyone is doing just that. Then they wonder why they aren’t doing gangbusters business.
Today’s online success is a mix of content creation, marketing, SEO and as we mentioned slogging away at the right stuff to get customers online.
We hope you start your journey soon.