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Best practices for e-commerce web design

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Designing an online shopping site is different than other website design because it is focused on building relationships and making money. It is not nearly as important to showcase the company brand as it is to satisfy consumer's expectations, and the reason customers choose to shop online is because it is faster and more efficient. The more an ecommerce site meets customer's wants and needs, the more often customers will return to shop. For this reason, web design for ecommerce should be predictable, focus on efficiency and give users comparison-shopping and control.
Like All Web Design, ecommerce should use the following:
Web-safe fonts
1024 x 768 screen resolution
Page footer with room for additional navigation, copyright, credit cards accepted, secure site verification certificate, credits, shipping and return policies and contact information. In the footer also Include links to social sites, bookmarking, and make sure that it is easy to share your pages
Use gradients that can be tiled horizontally or vertically for easy repetition on X or Y axis in background images
Leave blank space on the left/right and bottom of the design to show the developer how the web site (and backgrounds) will function as the browser is maximized and/or resized
Page header should contain: Large Phone Number, Login, View Cart, Your Account, Help, and if you have it, Chat. These links need to appear on every page of the web site.
Create a vertical left hand navigation bar for the cart's product catalog. This can be in addition to a main navigation bar, or part of the main nav bar if the main nav is vertical. Navigation should include a place for company news, about us, a blog
Provide an area for a "Search" input box and associated submit button. This should also appear on every page of the web site.
Use a white background.
Create a wide area of the design in order to accommodate the checkout process. Leave at least 600px of horizontal space for the ecommerce pages to “live.”
Understand How to Develop Customer Trust Right on the Home Page
More so than on any other type of website design, customers who shop online must trust your site and company. Pictures help, awards and certifications help, testimonials from trusted sources help to develop trust. Facilitating communication (via chat, email, phone, etc.) also help.
Giving Shoppers what they want on the home page:
Search features that allow shoppers to find specific items
Rather than a Flash header all about the company, consider a large graphic of the current best-seller, or several large pictures of featured products, brand name (i.e.” Cisco”, “HP” etc), rewords program, finance options, phone support etc.shown in a “content slider for easy browsing and customer interaction. Not only that, they serve as an easy way to manage and display content.
Wish Lists
Deals, new featured products
Coupons and discounts
Show partners
Show testimonials
Show financing options
When designing for ecommerce it is wise to review the giants like Amazon, Walmart, Borders, and Nordstrom to see what works for them.

Article Source: Messaggiamo.Com


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