The key to effective ecommerce website design is how you plan and set about your design, which should ultimately stem from your knowledge of the market place in which your business is situated and of course your customer base. This should help design the website as well as shape and hone it as your business develops.
Seeing what’s out there and what your competitors are doing with their ecommerce sites is one way of getting an understanding of the market place, but you do need to be careful that you are combining this with knowledge of these companies and their sales, as emulating a poor performing company is not fruitful. Broad research will also allow you to see how you compare to your competitors and how you can improve on their web design. Do take the time to understand all of the various processes and elements of a good ecommerce website, whether it’s the browsing process, the cart management, the checkout, the product comparison element or the payment and invoicing process; map out the elements that you know you will need.
A very important element of ecommerce web design is to constantly think about the customer’s needs and the customer’s perspective. Knowing your customer is vital, but does require a multifaceted approach; your current customers, your new customers and your potential customers.
Who presently invests in your products and how do they interact with you? Do they make multiple purchases, do they request information and samples beforehand, would they need online live support and do they tend to shop at a particular time of day? These are all key questions that you need to ask to get a rounded picture of your customer’s journey through your services.
When you target your new customers, you need to think about how they will get to know about you, so considering search optimisation or online advertising is an option. You also to consider how they will navigate through your site, what will set you apart from your competitors and how you can make their purchasing process simple and usable so that they will return with their custom once more.
Lastly, your potential customers; this may be a longer term marketing strategy, but is worth some thought. At this stage you would consider what demographics of customer do not use your business, whether this is age, location, gender or customer type (corporate or individuals). Understanding what these groups like and need through market research of your own or that has previously been conducted and available publicly is a real benefit for this.
If you have invested in a Magento web design, then you may know about the excellent and powerful marketing tools that are available through Magento Enterprise. It includes a segmentation feature which really helps to group and analyse your customer base in order to re-strategise and target groups effectively. When it comes to actually targeting these groups, Magento also has some great Targeted Promotions features that offer promotions to customers who share common characteristics. This can really help to personalise the customer experience and expand your customer base. Combining this with the power of social media and you have the ingredients for genuine and profit-making ecommerce expansion!