eCommerce Web Design

eCommerce websites need many of the elements that other sites need, but they also have special needs to keep them working well and staying useful to customers. With ecommerce sites, it isn’t enough to look pretty. A site that looks great but that is difficult to navigate and use isn’t of much use to a customer. Keeping the ecommerce Web design simple enough to be easy to navigate is an important element in giving the user a good buying experience.

Organising an Ecommerce Web Design

Every site that wants to get and keep customers must be attractive. If there is too much clutter on a site with too much vying for the eye at one time, customers may not stick around to sort it all out. Customers need to be able to see exactly what they want from the site, including where to search, what is being sold and how the site is navigated right away. When these elements are an essential part of the website design, the site is well organized and easy to use.

A site that is too simple may lose customers because it doesn’t have all of the components that buyers are used to using on the big websites. When a customer is used to using an online shopping cart and using a preferred method of payment, that customer may not have the patience for a site that isn’t organized with all of the needed features to give a comparable buying experience.

Ecommerce Buyers and Web Design

Other parts of ecommerce Web design that can help keep users is to create pages that load quickly. Think about how many times you’ve been frustrated with a site that didn’t load quickly. Now imagine how many customers would give up when trying to load a site they’ve never bought from before. They have other websites to choose from, and those sites will give them an easier user experience.

Buyers can’t touch virtual merchandise, so they want to know as much about it as they can before buying. You may not be able to simulate a brick-and-mortar buying experience, but with the right website design, you can come close. The organization of photos, descriptions and other elements that help buyers understand what they are buying is a vital part of the design. When this aspect doesn’t look professional, buyers may balk.

When deciding on an ecommerce Web design, always think of the end users. In the end, the way that the site is designed is more about the customer than it is about the company’s tastes or the ways that you could cut corners to create the site. When the site isn’t designed to provide a good user experience, the site isn’t a successful one. With so much competition online, that user experience is one of the most important aspects of your website. Your product catalog should be easy to access and enticing to buy, and it should be so well organized that customers won’t miss a thing.

$197 Billion Spent Online in 2011

When you think about how prevalent eCommerce is today, it seems impossible that this new world of eCommerce has only existed or a few decades. Though buying items online became a common experience in the mid-90s, the actual framework for eCommerce websites goes all the way back to 1979.

The Roots of eCommerce

In 1979, the first system was put into place to enable ecommerce in the U.K. This beginning ushered in a number of advancements in this area in the early 80s. Even when the average shopper didn’t have a home computer and had never heard of an Internet, more and more companies were creating ways to accommodate their customers online.

In 1987, the first software was created specifically to allow people to sell items through online merchant accounts. This opened the door for businesses to start getting a bigger customer base through this new portal, and ecommerce began a quick ascent.

After the first Web browser was created in 1990, it was a quick leap to an online shopping system navigated by icons in 1992. As the world started to see that shopping online was really possible, more and more navigators were being developed, leading to more companies offering their products through ecommerce channels. By 1994, you could order a pizza online.

eCommerce Becomes a Household Norm

It may have been programmers and gamers who first got into the Internet, but by 1995, corporations and Web developers had their eyes on the average, everyday consumer. One of the biggest years in the history of ecommerce was 1995. That year, both U.S. and U.K. companies developed large and secure shopping services. In the U.K., customers could buy from Virgin, Tesco, Dixons Retail and other recognized companies without leaving their homes.

In the U.S., one of the largest, most iconic online retailers was born. started out as a media retailer, but it quickly branched out into every household device imaginable. This billion-dollar business was the first online company that many people bought from as they learned how convenient and reliable ecommerce was. That same year, eBay was developed, changing the way people looked at their own possessions and making just about anything available online.

The Dot Com Bust and Recovery

As companies and individuals started hearing how much business was available online, more and more people started putting their money into flashy websites. Some sites were run with little thought of cost or how to make money. Raising capital for sites that were run by people who spent lavishly and didn’t monetize their sites well became the norm. This led to the dot-com bust in 2000.

While the world of ecommerce seemed bleak for a while, it didn’t take long for it to recover. Businesses learned how to spend less, monetize their sites for the maximum incomes and how to advertise to the right demographics instead of paying for blanket advertisements that brought in few customers. Amazon started showing a profit in 2003 and ecommerce incomes have gone up across the board ever since. With US$197 billion spent online in 2011, these numbers are expected to continue to rise each year as commerce leaves main street and goes online.