E-commerce – selling goods and services over the Internet – offers smaller businesses the opportunity to step into the global marketplace and increase their customer base, from basic high street footfall to potentially billions overnight. An e-commerce website acts just like your current business location, but instead of having to visit your physical store or office, customers can browse your entire inventory from the comfort of their home.
But although online retailing is now well established (and taking a significant chunk out of the high street), customer demands mean that the traditional divisions of on- and off-line trading are no longer acceptable. Clients want to be able to order items online and have them delivered to their home for instance, but also have the opportunity to obtain post-sales support from a physical store or in-person sales team.
Increasingly businesses need to promote both a physical and virtual presence – the new model known as omnichannel marketing.
Design principles for website creation
In order to stay competitive, established businesses and retailers need an e-commerce website through which to sell. But to ensure the widest possible customer reach, the new website must adhere to dynamic design principles.
‘Responsive design’ webpages are expertly engineered to appear the same, no matter what device your customer is using. This not only guarantees a consistent experience for smartphone, tablet and PC users, but is also vital for the new Google algorithms to give your site priority in their search listings, and boost your online discoverability. Now, more people access the Internet using mobile devices than they do PCs and laptops, so it is critical not to underestimate their importance to your online success.
Design consistency goes beyond how items appear on web pages though. The colours, images and logos all need to be created and applied to look consistent with existing offline brand marketing – creating a visually appealing, engaging site that strengthens customers’ brand trust and builds on existing business identity.
Getting help with a new site – what else to consider?
Finally, there are ‘unseen’ factors that will determine the visibility and success of your website. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques must be applied to help your site be indexed properly and rank more highly with search engines. Changes to the search algorithms of Google (the main search engine) mean that well-written, organically keyword-rich content is now particularly important – especially when the Internet continues to grow at a rate of thousands of new websites every day.
But don’t be dismayed by these technical requirements for a new website – help is at hand! In order to create an outstanding, really competitive website, with full responsive design, brand consistency, and Google-winning SEO content, most businesses call in the experts. Professional web designers will work closely with your business to ensure your unique e-commerce needs are met and your individual marketing tone-of-voice is maintained on your site, whilst meeting all the technical requirements as well.
For more help and advice about designing an e-commerce website and how we can help your business join the omnichannel revolution, contact the Broadband Cloud Solutions team’s web-design partners NS Design, today. Your website is one of your most important business assets, so make sure you get it right.
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