What is more important, building a functional e-commerce website or web design? Understand, first, that web design mostly has to do with the attractiveness of your website. A pretty website might get lots of ooohs and aaaahs, but it won’t necessarily make you money. Wouldn’t you rather have a website that makes you money every day?
I’m sure you’re like the rest of us – you could use a little extra money in your pocket. But consider that e-commerce is more than just web design. It does include web design, of course, but beyond attractiveness you need an e-commerce solution that is functional and that makes your website more functional for your users. That’s the bottom line.
So what does a functional e-commerce website look like?
- For starters, your users have to be able to navigate the website and find the information they are looking for.
- Products should be organized in a logical fashion. Don’t put baby clothes in the toy section. That’s not where most people would look for them.
- Make your check out features easy to use and understand. More people back out of a transaction at the check out than anywhere else and one of the reasons why is because they don’t get the feeling that security is important to you. Make it important to you and it becomes important to your customers.
- Use autoresponders and make sure they work.
- Security; security; security.
- Don’t make the process of ordering too laborious for the user. Do it in two steps, if possible, or three at the most. Do you really need seven pages in the ordering process? Does the customer really need to register for your website before buying something and does it need to be a separate process? Try to integrate them and cut down on the number of pages they have to scroll through.
- Built trust; above all, build trust.
E-commerce is, plain and simply, about building trust. Nothing more, nothing less. If you do that well then you can build a functional and profitable e-commerce website. If it looks pretty then so much the better.