UK eCommerce Web Design 2017
eCommerce website design has become increasingly popular over the last few years, as more and more people set up online stores across the globe. The flexibility of being able to sell products and services online means that more people than ever are considering becoming self-employed, and making money through their own website.
In this overview we’ll look at:
- What an eCommerce website is
- The benefits of a well made eCommerce website
- How to get started
- The top eCommerce trends for 2017
What is an eCommerce Website?
In simple terms, an eCommerce website is a place where you can sell products or services online. There are a variety of eCommerce platforms available that make it easy for people to effectively ‘set up shop’ on the internet.
These platforms enable customers to browse goods and services, add them to an online basket, order and pay for them. It’s likely that you will have used eCommerce websites in the past, in order to buy products and services; from grocery shopping right through to DVDs and books.
Who Needs an eCommerce Site?
Anyone who has something to sell online can use an eCommerce website. It doesn’t matter whether you want to sell second-hand toys or accountancy services, there are eCommerce platforms out there to help make this possible.
Even online marketplaces, such as Etsy and eBay are eCommerce websites - despite not holding stock themselves. If you’re planning on trading goods or services for money, then you’ll need to invest in an eCommerce platform.
The Benefits of eCommerce Websites
There are countless benefits to setting up a website in which you can sell to people online - even if you already have a brick and mortar store. Here are just some of the key reasons why people turn to technology, in order to sell their products and services.
Reaching a wider audience
If you’ve been selling in your local area then you may find your customer base is limited to those living in that area. An eCommerce website can open your reach up nationally. Or even internationally!
Many people prefer to shop online now, as it is so convenient. If you can offer your customers this option then you’re likely to see a lot more business.
All in one place
The best eCommerce platforms will make it easy for you to manage your business from one place. From inventory management right through to customer service.
You might not be able to answer emails or ship products 24/7, but the great thing about an online store is that it is always open. If someone wants to purchase something at 3 am then they can do so from your eCommerce website.
The best eCommerce websites give their customers plenty of information about each product or service online. You can include datasheets, specifications, and a whole lot more. This isn’t something that can be easily done in a brick and mortar store.
With multi-site eCommerce solutions you can also sell on multiple sites at once, expanding your reach even more.
How to Make Your Own eCommerce Site
If you’re planning on making your own online store then you’re going to need to know quite a bit about eCommerce website design and the different platforms. It’s well worth doing your research and finding out which is the best eCommerce platform as there are quite a few to choose from. These include Magento, WooCommerce, 3DCart, Volusion, BigCommerce, and a whole lot more.
However, for a truly effective and professional looking eCommerce website, you may find it is worth talking with or working with professional web designers, such as an dedicated eCommerce agency, London or UK based, who can give you some pointers or even create the site for you.
Alternatively, prepare to brush up on your technical knowledge to create your own online store from scratch. Here’s a quick check-list that will help you get started:
- Register a domain name
- Find a hosting solution
- Pick an eCommerce platform and payment gateway
- Design your site (you can use themes or templates for this)
- Add content
- Add the products or services
- Set up social media accounts to promote your store
How to Choose an eCommerce Web Design Company
In order to really offer advice in this area it is best to take the time and talk with a few different agencies, ensuring they understand the specific nature of your business and how you plan to develop it through eCommerce.
However, there are a few general points that you may wish to consider when looking at potential providers:
- Do they have the commercial and technical skills required? - Some organisations may be extremely good at things such as design and appearance but might be less proficient in terms of hard-nosed business skills.
- Can they provide you with references? - If so, it might be advisable to make sure that those reference sites are ones in roughly comparable business areas to your own.
- What does their pricing structure say about post-implementation support? - Make sure that you understand whether ongoing support is included in your deal and that the rates quoted are sensible. The need for support may be mission-critical, especially in situations where there is a technical problem with your site and it is preventing sales.
Top eCommerce Trends for 2017
Now that you’ve got the basics of eCommerce website design mastered, let’s take a look at some of the leading eCommerce trends for 2017.
More and more people are using their phones to purchase goods and services nowadays. Make sure your eCommerce website design is responsive so that customers can buy from their phones or tablets.
Why sell your products or services on just one site, when you can sell on multiple sites? You’ll find several eCommerce platforms that offer these solutions, including Red Technology, CS-Cart, NetSuite and Order Dynamics.
Getting to know your customer is vital if you want repeat business. Use automated marketing, customer analysis, and ‘recommended for you’ tools to personalise each customer’s experience on your site.
Online Loyalty Programs
The best eCommerce websites use online loyalty programs to reward their customers and keep their business growing. There are several useful plugins and apps that can help you set this up on your eCommerce platform. Reward your loyal customers with exclusive offers, deals, and freebies.
You now have all of the information required to get started with your own online store - from the basics right through to current trends. Remember, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional if you get stuck.
The best first step you can take is to complete the form at the top of the page, so that we know your business needs. Then we’ll match you with the best web designers for your eCommerce business, help you save on the costs and make the whole process as painless as possible.