When building an e-commerce website, you know that the ultimate goal of the site is to get people to make purchases.
You can’t just focus on building an e-commerce site that looks great (although that’s worth doing too) – you have to make sure every element of the web design guides people toward the point of buying something from you.
Fortunately, building an eCommerce website is easier than it’s ever been. You don’t have to hire an expensive designer or learn coding from scratch.
Steps for Ecommerce Website:
1.Organize Your e-Commerce Website Based On How People Shop.
One of the first steps to building an eCommerce website is figuring out what pages and categories to include. You’ll obviously want a home page and pages for each of your different products. But how will you organize all those product pages so that people can find what they’re looking for?
Think about how your potential customers are likely to shop and browse and build out the site architecture that makes the most sense based on that.
For example, if you sell pet food and supplies, you might organize your website based on the type of pet your visitors have (dog, cat, fish, mouse, etc.) with subcategories under each for product types (toys, treats, food, etc.). Anyone visiting the site can pretty quickly figure out how to narrow down their search based on their particular needs. And by visiting a page that groups a lot of similar products together, they can browse all the dog treats or cat toys available and pick the one they most want.
- Make Your E-Commerce Site Responsive.
Responsive websites provide the same information and images on each page no matter what device they’re on, but they position them differently in order to make the page fit the screen. An image that shows up next to text on the desktop will show up below it, for instance.
Responsive websites have become enough of a norm that a good website builder or designer will offer a responsive option as a matter of course.
- Include a Search Bar.
Many of your visitors will be content to browse the site to find items they like, but some will know exactly what they’re looking for. A search bar gives them a way to get directly to the page.
- Have a Shopping Cart.
Your ideal customer isn’t going to see one item they like and go straight to the purchase process. They’ll spend some time browsing and choosing several items they want.
A shopping cart is another standard feature of eCommerce stores because it allows visitors to save the items they want to purchase while they continue browsing, and then go through the purchasing process once for all of them.
And for visitors that add items to a shopping cart but don’t buy right away, you can follow up with a reminder email to your customers to help nudge them back to the site toward a purchase.
- Include WishList Functionality.
Including wishlist functionality accomplishes a few different things:
- It gives people an easy place to point friends and family in the lead up to a gift-giving event – a situation people regularly make purchases for.
- For people who prefer to do research before they buy a product, it gives them a chance to save the items they like for possible future purchase.
- For anyone avoiding impulse buys for budgetary reasons, they can mark now the things they want to come back for later.
- Giving people a way to use your website to create a list of items they want creates a few opportunities where those items are more likely to become future sales.
- Include Reviews.
Enabling reviews from third parties shows your customers you’re confident that your products can stand up to customers’ honest feedback. And if the reviews are positive (which they should be if your products are solid), they’ll increase your sales.
As an added benefit, reviews can help you gain valuable feedback about the products you offer and the service experience your customers have. You may be able to pick up some tips that help you improve your eCommerce business results over time.
- Offer a Guest Checkout Option.
When someone takes the step of creating an account on your website, it provides you with awesome long-term opportunities. It means they can use some of the features we’ve talked about here – like creating wish lists and adding reviews – and that you can provide them with relevant promotional emails and reminder emails after cart abandonment.
But creating an account takes time and for some visitors who aren’t sure they’ll come back, it can feel like an inconvenience to have to take the steps of creating an account. They just want to make their purchase already.
- Invest in High-Quality Product Photography.
For physical products, a photograph can often tell your visitors valuable information about the product that your words can’t communicate as well. 78% of online shoppers say they want to see images that bring products to life.
You not only need to provide photographs for all of the products you sell, but you should also invest in making sure the images are high quality. Whether you take the photos yourself or invest in a professional product photographer, make sure the images you use look great and show your products in the best light.
- Make Your Contact Info Easy to Find.
You should do your best to answer all the common questions your customers may have on your website, but even so, you’ll have customers that need to get in touch at some point. When that happens, make it as easy as possible for them to find a way to get in touch about whatever issue they’re having.
Don’t make them dig through the website for a simple email address or phone number. You can’t provide good customer service until your customer has successfully managed to get in touch. And customer service is the best tool you have for repeat business.
- Perform User Testing.
Building an eCommerce website requires doing a lot of guessing about what people will respond to. Even if you work really hard to put your potential visitors first and try to design the site based on how you think they’ll behave, you won’t get it all right on your own.
Before you launch, do some website usability testing Bring in some other people who can look at your website with fresh eyes. Have them take the steps on the site you most want your visitors to take – like creating an account, making a purchase, and signing up for the email list. They can provide honest feedback about any difficulties or inconvenience they experienced.
Their feedback will enable you to make any last minute tweaks needed to correct problems you didn’t know how to see yourself.
The challenges in the website development
5 Challenges in Web Application Development
Web development is expediting at an aggressive rate. Better and user-friendly interfaces are in demand. When it comes to developing a successful web application there are a number of factors defining that success. Customers are eager to know different aspects of your product such as it’s cost, look and feel, and value for money. To know about the company details, customers may visit the company’s website, mobile apps and social media platforms. Thus, it is important how you interact and respond to the customers.
We have been listening to our clients and have understood some of the problems being faced in developing Web Applications-
- User Interface And User Experience
Think a decade ago, the web was a completely different place. Smartphones don’t exist. Simpler and customer oriented web applications are highly expected now. Sometimes it’s the small UI elements that make the biggest impact. In the era of Smartphones, websites should be responsive enough on the smaller screens. If your web applications frustrate or confuse users, then it is difficult to maintain your customer’s loyalty for your website. Website navigation is another part often neglected by developers. Intuitive navigation creates a better user experience for the website visitor. Intuitive navigation is leading your audience to the information they are looking for without a learning curve. And when the navigation is intuitive, visitors can find out information without any pain, creating a flawless experience preventing them from visiting the competitors.
Scalability is neither performance nor it’s about making good use of computing power and bandwidth. It’s about load balancing between the servers, hence, when the load increases (i.e. more traffic on the page) additional servers can be added to balance it. You should not just throw all the load on a single server but you should design the software such that it can work on a cluster of servers. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) can help in improving scalability when more and more servers are added. SOA gives you the flexibility to change easily. Service oriented architecture is a design where application components provide services to other components through the communication protocol, basically over a network.
Generally, it is accepted that website speed has the major importance for a successful website. When your business is online every second counts. Slow web applications are a failure. As a result, customers abscond your website thus, damaging your revenue as well as reputation. It is said that think about performance first before developing the web application. Some of the performance issues are Poorly written code, Un-Optimized Databases, Unmanaged Growth of data, Traffic spikes, Poor load distribution, Default configuration, Troublesome third party services, etc. A content distribution network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centres. It means instead of using a single web server for the website, use a network of servers. Some of the benefits of CDN are that the requests on the server will be routed to different servers balancing the traffic, the files are divided on different CDNs so there will be no queuing and wait for downloading different files like images, videos, text, etc.
- Knowledge Of Framework And Platforms
Frameworks are the kick start for development languages: they boost performance, offer libraries of coding and extend capabilities, so developers need not do hand-coding web applications from the ground up. Frameworks offer features like models, APIs, snippets of code and other elements to develop dynamic web applications. Some of the frameworks have a rigid approach to development and some are flexible. Common examples of web frameworks are PHP, ASP.Net, Ruby on Rails and J2EE. Web platforms provide client libraries built on existing frameworks required to develop a web application or website. A new functionality can be added via external API. Developers and small business owners should have a clear understanding of their company needs related to website and application development. Information delivery and online presence would require a simple web platform such as WordPress or Squarespace but a selling product requires an e-commerce platform such as Magento, Shopify. WooCommerce or BigCommerce). While choosing the perfect platform one should also consider technical skills, learning curve, pricing, customization options and analytics.
In the midst of design and user experience, web app security is often neglected. But security should be considered throughout the software development life cycle, especially when the application is dealing with the vital information such as payment details, contact information, and confidential data. There are many things to consider when it comes to web application security such as denial of service attacks, the safety of user data, database malfunctioning, unauthorized access to restricted parts of the website, etc. Some of the security threats are Cross-Site Scripting, Phishing, Cross-Site Request Forgery, Shell Injection, Session Hijacking, SQL Injection, Buffer Overflow, etc. The website should be carefully coded to be safe against these security concerns.
Software development models provide the framework used to plan and execute software milestones and delivery cycles throughout the life of an application. While each design and development model has a different emphasis, they all follow the same basic flow of researching the requirements, design, implementation (coding), and verification or testing. The main difference is in the implementation of these phases. Most development models used today are variations of the classic waterfall model and Incremental Model.
Waterfall Development Models
Waterfall development models follow a sequential design process. The benefit of this model is that since each phase only begins when another ends, the requirements and design of a program are finalized before any coding begins; this means that resources, features, and program components are carefully planned and thought out before implementation begins.
Incremental Model is a process of software development where requirements are divided into multiple standalone modules of the software development cycle. In this model, each module goes through the requirements, design, implementation and testing phases. Every subsequent release of the module adds function to the previous release. The process continues until the complete system is achieved.
During the designing phase of the project, tools like Photoshop and Illustrator were used. The primary reason for using them was to get access to a whole lot of features that are available for designing various elements of the overall project. Using such software and tools reduces the effort to make the core components of the project. This is because some of the components are already available and can be reused with ease without a lot of hassle.
Talking about the development phase, various tools were used by the web developers to create what the designers had set in front of them. Usually, it’s the IDEs that are used in order to make it easy to code to get the desired result.
We introduced the notion that it is good practice to split a project into smaller, more manageable activities. When developing good software systems, you should focus on the users’ needs and, wherever possible, make use of replaceable and reusable modules – components. The overall software architecture should be constructed around the users’ requirements.
We then introduced the role of modelling in the development of software. In particular, the concepts of object orientation allow us to represent users’ requirements in a way that reflects our natural tendency to view the world around us in terms of objects. The way we relate the various activities of software development and associated artefacts (including models) was then described.