Effective eCommerce Websites

Russell M. Angelo

Effective eCommerce Websites must be easy-to-use, appealing and process requests quickly; offering consumers what they want. Good eCommerce design combines the three most important Website elements: appearance, organization and functionality. An attractive form, with solid function, uses up-to-date technology to optimize the customer’s buying experience. Back office functions should be performed behind-the-scenes.

An effective eCommerce site merges industry goals with specific store goals. General business goals include the following: advertise the store’s best products, communicate important information (contact phone numbers) and strategically place keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Specific company goals emphasize the store’s products.

A wise businessman knows that eCommerce is online business – leverage Internet advantages with traditional business advantages. Customer satisfaction should be an important goal. The most successful eCommerce sites understand how their customers think and know what they want; answering questions before they are asked.

The first page must be professional-looking, interesting and attractive – keeping the customer’s attention. The Website appearance should use color, typeface and graphics (within industry standards) to communicate to the visitor. Fresh, custom eCommerce Web designs help individualize the store’s website. The text must retain interest: brief headlines, short paragraphs and beautiful photographs.

Most Web surfers have very short attention spans. An effective Website front-loads the most important information and best products to the first page. Grocery stores place candy so children can see it; the effective eCommerce Website highlights products through optimum placement in multiple easy-to-find locations.

A good Website provides new product information. Product information should be short, sweet and descriptive. Having positive customer testimonials helps.

An effective eCommerce Website guides the visitor to the best pages step-by-step. Primary content should only be one click away. A “call-to-action” leads the visitor to important content.

The most effective eCommerce Websites transform “visitors” into high quality “customers”, targeting ready-to-buy traffic. The site should leverage limited space to “up sell” and “cross sell” merchandise.

An effective eCommerce Website provides a customer-friendly shopping cart, simple checkout and sensible payment procedure. Customer service should be prompt, with an easily accessible phone number. Shipping procedures should be simple.

Important information includes a privacy statement and security guarantee.

Affiliation, with the Better Business Bureau or another commerce organization, builds up credibility and trust.

The Website should follow a basic understandable organization; Microsoft Windows is successful because everyone is familiar and comfortable with the “window” concept.

Navigation should be simple, logical and consistent.

Good eCommerce Website designs use standard Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), sensible tags and clean code for a well-organized interface. Logical links and a website “Search” capability are important.

The effective eCommerce Website is prominently ranked on search engines. The Web developer should maximize keyword placement and density. Compare competitor search engine rankings.

“Back office” maintenance, such as uploading content, should be efficient.

Once a website is completed, the effective eCommerce Website markets, advertises and promotes its website, so that people will find it. Establishing e-mail marketing with blogs keeps the site relevant.

The most effective eCommerce Websites maximizes appearance, organization and functionality to make sure the customer is ultimately satisfied. Satisfied customers make businesses successful.

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