Web design - digital media

ecommerce designers need to think!

Image of shoppers holding shopping bags and jumping in the air..
Ecommerce designers need to think about their target audience prior to design.

Over years of working with ecommerce designers and after several successful ecommerce websites, I have discovered that successful websites are more about understanding your customers than pretty graphics. You can have the most beautiful looking website in the world, but it does not mean your customers are going to buy anything. This is very frustrating for website owners – especially if they do not understand why their great looking site is not bringing them business in.

What motivates your customer?
In order to get customers to buy, you have to get inside their heads! Are they looking for the cheapest price, great customer service, quality of product, will they shop around for the best deal, who is your ‘typical’ customer?

Customers never buy on the first visit.
After viewing and analysing statistics on a variety of ecommerce sites. Customers rarely make a purchase the first time they visit your site. It may take many subsequent visits before they actually commit themselves to purchase. The exact number of visits or time between visits depends on the size of the purchase your industry and who your customer is.

Remember and return
The next logical question has to be how you get them to return to the site in the future. You need to make a lasting impression with your potential customer so they can remember your website, maybe bookmark it and remember your site for the product you are selling.

Keeping customers
The first thing you have to do is grab the customer’s attention. To keep a customer’s attention you need a clever combination of graphic design and usability. I have written previous articles about this. What is required on your product page and What your customers are looking for to make a purchase. Clear navigation and precise product information is key to making the sale and beating your competition.

The main thing to remember about your customers primary motivation at this stage is they are information gathering. Look at your ecommerce website and compare it to a car sales room. I would never buy a car from a pushy sales person, or a sales person who pestered me.

However I would buy a car from a company that gave me the following.

  1. Full price upfront (No hidden extra’s),
  2. All the information (i.e brochure, technical specifications),
  3. A relaxed environment,
  4. A competitive deal (if compared to other companies),
  5. Good after sales service (warranty or guarantee)
  6. Recommendation from other customers.

If you apply those 6 points to your ecommerce website and remember to design the site for your target audience and keep the purchase process as simple as possible you will have a winning ecommerce design.