Issues to Consider when Creating an eCommerce Website
Although there are different types of eCommerce websites (i.e. Business-to-Business (B2B), music portals, auction websites, financial management websites, etc.), this discussion will be limited to eCommerce retail selling for the sake of simplicity. Here are the primary issues and design elements that must be considered as you create your own eCommerce website:
1. Visual Appearance
According to research by 3M, learning can be improved by 400% with visual aids, and all humans process visual information 60,000 times faster than text alone. The conversion optimization platform Justuno notes that the single most important factor in the purchasing decisions of 93% of online consumers is (drum roll, please) visual appearance! For eCommerce websites, visual appearance is related to any and every single visual design element that is featured on your websites. This includes a color scheme that compliments your products as well as high quality product photos.
All eCommerce platforms come with a price. Whether or not you’re charged a monthly flat rate, you must consider all costs in your business model, which could include transaction fees, the maximum number of products you can sell, loyalty programs, gift cards, the ability to create free shipping, etc.
3. Ease of Use
Strongly consider how you’re going to manage your eCommerce business. If the goal of your eCommerce platform is to sell products to consumers, then the interface needs to be easy to work with. From the home page to the checkout page, a practical, meaningful, and valuable user experience is one of the most important conversion factors. Focus your efforts on creating an enjoyable online shopping experience.
4. Payment Gateway
A good payment gateway with solid features like guest or customer login, a straightforward checkout process, and dynamic payment options such as the ability to use PayPal, a credit card, or bank account is critical to a successful eCommerce website.
Security is an essential part of eCommerce. If your website accepts credit cards, you should have a SSL certificate (https://) at your checkout page. To help build trust with your customers, this should be installed throughout your site.
Hosting must be fast and reliable. Note that with the exception of Magento, most open-source platforms usually require self-hosting. The alternative eCommerce platforms that come at a monthly cost are usually SaaS-based (Software-as-Service) and provide their own hosting.
Last but not least, do your homework: thoroughly research every eCommerce platform that interests you. Contact their support teams, reach out to eCommerce platform user communities, and ask questions BEFORE starting your website design project. What are all of the search engine optimization features? How many products can you feature and upload? What payment gateway's do they offer? Be sure to understand exactly what you’re signing up for and that your platform of choice provides the eCommerce design and functionality that your business requires.