What makes a good e-commerce website?

For many businesses, their website is the first point of contact between buyer and seller. Many people do their shopping online now, for all sorts of goods and services. This means that having a website that’s both a visually pleasing and easy to use brochure of your website may not be enough. Depending on your niche and industry, having the option for users to purchase your products or services directly from your website can be vital to ensure you don’t lose out on custom, or even fall behind competitors already offering this as an option.

The digital revolution has made people expect a good service with little delay, so if your website is difficult to navigate or slow, you’ll soon find yourself losing customers. This is why a good e-commerce website design is so important. But e-commerce web design can also be complicated, and it’s a field full of its own jargon. That’s why we aim to break down the lingo so that you can understand more about what you need and learn more about the world of e-commerce and how it can help you.

What is an e-commerce website?

So, on with the jargon busting. What exactly is an e-commerce website? Simply put, e-commerce or electric-commerce means to complete a transaction online, so an e-commerce website is a means of buying and selling goods and services online. Just as in a traditional shop you’d find on the high street, online retailers, or companies with an online presence, need a platform on which to build their online store and carry out transactions.

Essentially, e-commerce websites have two aspects: a store front and a checkout. The virtual storefront allows you to display your products and/or services so customers can find out about them, and the checkout allows them to securely pay for those goods and/or services.

What makes a good e-commerce website?

1) Presentation

The first most basic factors for creating a great e-commerce site lies in the way your goods and services are presented. Website design is incredibly important when it comes to giving out a certain message or image, and it can really help to let consumers know what your brand is about. The design and layout of your products will depend on your type of product or services provided, as well as your brand image and the messages you want to get across.

For instance, if you sell clothing or fashion items, you would want your site to be visually appealing, clean and beautiful, so your homepage should be striking and engage the user either in stunning imagery of your products or interesting web design that will intrigue them. Your layout should then continue to be clean and aesthetically pleasing, whilst allowing users to easily see or navigate to product information that they wish to find.

However, if you sell tickets to comedy gig nights, your website might be much busier since you want to portray the concept that your nights are exciting and that there is a lot going on at your venues. You may use more colour to add to the vibe of excitement and laughter. Whatever stylistic choice are made however in the web design, having prices, trust signals and reviews clearly visible would be imperative to make this site a good e-commerce one, since customers immediately want to know how much tickets cost, whether the site is secure and safe to pay through, what the returns policy is, and whether the shows are funny in the first place.

These two very different examples show that creating a good e-commerce website is varies widely depending on the industry and the needs and expectations of the user, but it all down to the customer being able to find what they want and buy it with ease.

This leads on to our second critical factor involved in creating a good e-commerce site: ease of use.

2) Usability

If your website is clunky, poorly laid out, or difficult to navigate, it’s not going to be a place customers want to spend time browsing your wares. Making your website easy to use is essential if you want customers to keep coming back.

Finally: security.

3) Security

It’s becoming increasingly more important in the modern world to ensure that your website is secure. People have been burned by scams and unsecure sites, so they will often go to big online retailers such as Amazon or eBay that have proven security measures and are trusted around the world. For customers to shop on your site, they need to know they can trust you.

With visual trust signals on your homepage and throughout your site, you instil that needed trust value, without which your customers might consider spending their hard-earned cash elsewhere! Having a secure payment system is paramount, and resilience to hackers and malware is key.

The best e-commerce websites

Understanding what makes a great e-commerce website is one thing, but looking at some examples of already successful e-commerce sites is endlessly useful to help inspire your e-comm design.

This German bike company have one of their products take centre stage on their website, so you instantly know what they’re about.

german bike ride company ecommerce website

Mood NYC is a skate apparel outlet based in New York, and they’ve gone for a minimalist approach, letting their clothes do the talking. This uncluttered approach makes it easy for customers to get a good look at their products.

Mood NYC ecommerce website screenshot big

 

This American boot maker follows the minimalist theme and has a slideshow of some of their boots on their homepage. The font chosen also brings to mind the heritage of the company which was established over 100 years ago.

Oakstreet screenshot of website design for ecommerce inspiration

Have some good e-commerce website examples that you think we should shout about on our list? Send us your suggestions! Of course, as a web design agency (and specifically an ecommerce website design agency) ourselves we love to get inspiration from others and see what new, exciting things others in our industry are creating so we can keep ahead of the game, so if you think a brilliant website has slipped under our radar, do let us know!

For a brighter ecommerce website design, call Bright Design

Looking for an ecommerce website design company in the UK? Based in Northampton in the Midlands, we make ecommerce websites for companies up and down the country, but we working with you on your new website is so much better in person!

At Bright Design, we’re all about giving that personal touch so when we get the opportunity to work with businesses based near us in Northampton, Milton Keynes or Wellingborough, it gives us the opportunity to get to work with you that little bit closer.

Are you based in Northampton and looking for a new e-commerce website that is better optimised for your audience and market? Or are you a Midlands company that has never before dabbled in the realms of e-comm sites and want to find out how one could work for you? Then you were made to speak with us! All of your life has simply been leading you to this moment, to when you would read this perfect description of yourself, as if fate has brought you here, and you can’t resist the pull of destiny as your cursor edges towards the contact page