Blog items tagged with "web-design"
Top 5 Ecommerce-friendly Platforms That Offer the Best Web Designs
Design, layout, and overall aesthetics of a website are some of the most important considerations that go into an ecommerce business. There are numerous ecommerce-friendly CMS (content management system) platforms, and some offer better web designs than others.
Whether you support a large-scale retailer or a local store seeking an online presence, finding an ecommerce platform with the ideal web design is key. In this article, we share five ecommerce-friendly CMS platforms with the most creative selection of web designs.
Shopify is a versatile platform that makes it simple to establish both large and small-scale businesses. It's an easy-to-use CMS with a wide variety of modern and clean web designs to choose from. Shopify's designs are cutting-edge, yet simple, and all layouts are intuitive and easy to navigate. Design customization to the might not come easy to basic-end users, however Shopify does provide a dependable and well-supported ecommerce platform.
Shopify is a fully-hosted platform offering complete packages and 24-hour support. Without worrying about these additional website needs, ecommerce entrepreneurs can concentrate on running and growing their online business.
BigCommerce is also a fully-hosted ecommerce platform that is user-friendly for most business owners. BigCommerce comes with over 100 free web design templates to suit various styles and sizes of online stores. The platform is also supported by a network of skilled web designers who are available to create custom made designs for unique needs.
In addition to offering a wealth of design options, BigCommerce is well-known for its simple, yet complete, analytics platform. Online store owners and marketers can see detailed reports based on a number of different performance metrics. This platform also makes it easy to feature special coupon codes and gift certificates.
3. Exponent CMS
Although its not the most popular ecommerce-friendly platform available, Exponent CMS is an open-source, SEO-friendly CMS that showcases a wide variety of attractive web designs. Centered around online stores and deep inventory management, ecommerce merchants can take advantage of a complete platform that's supported by a number of resources.
In addition to its online community, Exponent CMS is supported by web design and development company, OIC Group, Inc. So if you're interested in a custom web design for your ecommerce stores, this team of Peoria web designers can tailor a unique design based on your needs. Additionally, Exponent sites can be hosted via OIC Group, in addition to a number of other web-based services and consulting programs.
4. Square Space
Square Space is emerging as one of the best ecommerce platforms for small-to-medium sized business owners looking for simple yet highly professional web design. Square Space offers beautiful looking web templates that are ideal for creatives (like interior designers and photographers) who want to feature portfolios of their work on the website. Square Space is intuitively programmed for seamless inventory management, allowing online merchants to upload thousands of products, configure sales taxes, and other back-end features of store management.
Since 1999, Volusion has been recognized as one of the pioneers in top ecommerce CMS platforms. Supporting its solid reputation, Volusion offers a huge selection of solid web designs that range from creative and elaborate to modern and contemporary.
Volusion is an affordable platform for small businesses that are starting out. It is a hosted ecommerce solution which comes at a price of $120/month, but that includes the complete package. This enables a standard business owner to comfortably run a medium sized store. Additional features and capabilities also make this ecommerce platform ideal for medium sized stores that might require greater functionality and capacity.
Ecommerce CMS platforms are incredibly popular for all types of online stores. In addition to niche and local businesses, many ecommerce platforms support national big-box retailers. Be sure to choose the platform that offers excellent web design capabilities and the right set of options.
No matter how much a fancy website you may own, in the end it always comes down to its usability.
In case you are not sure about the usability of your website, check the 2-3% rule. Do the 2-3% of the visits on your website get converted into sales?
If not than definitely you would have to rework on your website, to make it more user friendly and effective in selling.
Here is a complete potpourri of various steps and techniques that you can follow, in order to optimize the usability of your ecommerce website.
Steps That You Can Take to Improve the Usability of Your Website
If, as per the data, only 3 out of 10 orders on your ecommerce website are seen through completion, of course there is a room for a lot more that can be done. Here we shall be discussing various ways in which you can optimize your website, offer a better user experience and subsequently improve the sales of the same.
Optimize Your Website for Faster Loading Time
Your website has at most 3 quick seconds to load on the browser of the user, otherwise no one is going to sit around and wait for your ecommerce website, while it takes forever to load.
So, remove any unnecessary animation or flash designs, optimize the images on your website and ensure that your website is a quick loading one.
Reconsider the Layout
Follow the conventions – over the period of time, there has come to be an ecommerce website union of the sorts.
They follow similar practices, have a similar layout, so that the users do not get intimidated and find it rather easy to navigate through and use various different websites.
You may think of applying the widely followed practices on your website as well.
These include – Logo on the top left side, hyper linked to the main page, a contact us page, which offers contact information such as Name, email address, postal address etc., the right side as the link to check out page.
These conventions will make the users more comfortable and hence will enhance the user experience.
Wisely use the text – the right blend of text can further increase the experience a user has. Do not use morbid type of fonts and also do not get extra flashy with the same. By the very nature, it gets a bit difficult to read through the website, hence ensure that the size of the texts is optimum enough to be read. Also, avoid long paragraphs, try to follow the KISS principle [keep it simple, silly!]
Condemn unnecessary graphics – unnecessary graphics only adds up to the over all weight of the website hence increased the loading time and also distract the users from focusing on the main content and highlights of the website. Keep the brand logo of your website and the pictures of what you are selling, rest everything is simply unnecessary.
Rework on the Navigation
Effective organizations – you need to make it very easy for the users to find the products.
Do not leave them unguarded in a maze of product pages etc, rather be their torch bearer.
Organize the content of your website rather skillfully and the entire journey should appear to be as smooth as boating in still waters.
Work certain conventions out – there should be certain aspect of your page, which should not change and also should be easy to find. Like, the links of the previous page or the next should always exist on each and every page and that too at the same locations. Similarly the checkout button – it should be easiest to find and should exist at the same right hand corner, on all of the pages.
Offer users a menu bar – the menu bar will make it considerably easy for them to flip through various pages of your website, it should have the home page, Contact Us page and other critical pages.
Streamline the Order Process
Give them clear cut, specific information – nobody’s a fool when they are shopping online. We are all well aware of the online frauds and cyber crime and hence it definitely gets a bit difficult to trust the online medium, regardless of how easy and effortless it is.
In such a tight cryptic scenario, if you hit them up with hidden information, add hidden costs and inflate the prices at the point of checkout, the users will only simply abandon your shopping cart.
KISS, KISS and more KISS – well, there are people who can never get enough of it, but this time round we are talking about the principle we already discussed – Keep it simple, silly!
Though it is such a simple concept to follow, yet a lot of websites simply refuse to follow it; especially when it comes to the check out process. Usually, the checkout process takes at least 5 pages, simply because as an online merchant, we want to get as much information from the users, as we possibly can manage.
However, what we don’t realize that every page in the check out process gives an opportunity to the user to abandon the entire page and leave it right in the middle.
Thus, work on the checkout process. Do not ask repetitive questions, which would force the users to type the same information again and again. Also, match their shipping information with the billing data and there fore, fill in the shipping details automatically, so that the users do not have to type the same. Lastly, it will be good to show some sort of a progress bar, which will show how much far they have reached in the checkout process.
Do away with the registration – there are websites that require the customers to register first and then place their order. If you have one such website, you are only inviting much more steps and inconvenience for the users. Do away with any such formality and your may add a handful amount of loyal customers to your kitty.
Ask for Feedback
One of the basic lessons that one learns in the business school is that consumer demands have no end. No matter how far you go to please them, they would definitely come up with something or the other that went amiss.
Ask for their feedback anyway. Their feedback will give you a reality check on where you stand. Do not be swayed with the criticism or the acclaim, always try to read between the lines and test the waters on your own.
I hope these certain guidelines or tips (in whatever way you take it), would help you to boost up your sales. We are waiting for your reviews and views in comments section.
About the Author:
This post has been contributed by Mr. Praveen Sharma, an Sr. Associate – Internet Marketing at Daffodil Software Ltd., a company specializes in magento ecommerce website development and other cms development services. You can get in touch with Praveen on twitter @i_praveensharma.