Guide for eCommerce website Design Solutions

e-commerce website Design Solutions

e-Commerce website design is a lot more than just putting your company brochure on the net or adding an internet shopping cart to your existing product catalog. There are some fundamental differences between doing business online and doing business the traditional way. Before you design your business website, you must know what specific goals you desire to achieve with your business website, determine how best to meet your goals based on your budget, and then determine what software and services you will use to design your e-commerce website.

website Business Objectives

A small business website can do many things. This can include:

- Generate Leads. Pre-sell your business services and products to generate telephone, e-mail, or online form leads from customers.

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Generate Sales Quotes. Solicit or generate automated quotes that in turn generates a customer sale or lead.





- Generate Advertising Revenue. Display online content and free services with affiliate or ad network advertisements that generates advertising revenue from your merchant partners.

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Provide A Storefront. Host online catalog that fully automates the customer purchase and communications process.

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Generate Customer Traffic. Generate customer traffic from search engines and business directories to pre-sell your product or service. Traffic is then re-directed to you main website or product web pages.

Your e-commerce website design is greatly influenced by your specific website objectives for your small business.

e-commerce website Design Fundamentals

A website is a lot more or even a lot less than a traditional store. There are more considerations with e-commerce website design versus a traditional store. Web design considerations include:

Customer Friendly: Present a professional image, offer customer convenience, have good sales copy, and just make it easy for the customer to make the desired response (click, lead, sale).

Search Engine Friendly. For most online businesses, most customer traffic comes from search engines like Google, Yahoo!, or MSN. If part of your e-commerce website design strategy is to generate search engine traffic, you will need search engine optimization expertise to succeed. Buy it or grow it.

website Automation Tools. There are thousands of website tools such as shopping carts, content management systems, e-mail auto-responders, payment processors, search engine optimization tools, online bulletin boards, traffic analyzers, and advertising management tools. Some of these tools are cheap and some are expensive. If you do not have the expertise to evaluate these products, it is probably best that you do not make any major investments in expensive website tools. Wait until you become knowledgeable enough to evaluate web tools and add-on's for your business website and that you have a specific need.

Costs. Costs, of course, are a key consideration for any e-commerce website design solution. You can usually purchase website tools and services up-front or by subscription. Subscriptions can help you with your cash flow up-front. Usually you do not need to make any long-term commitments with subscription software or services. Subscriptions are good because as you become more knowledgeable of specific website solutions you can add and drop web tools and services at will. Buying software up-front is good if you know that you will definitely use the software for a long time (1 to 3 years).

website Design Options

e-Commerce website design options can range from doing it yourself with web design software such as Microsoft FrontPage or outsourcing the entire website development to a website design company. For a business, a free site with a free website builder is not the answer. A free solution will not generate the desire response from the customer, is not search engine friendly, and is limited in growth for website add-on's. A free affiliate site can be OK for making a sale, but have another method to generate traffic to your affiliate site as search engines will rarely give high rankings to cloned affiliate sites. Here are some e-commerce website design options:

Do-It-Yourself. Buy website design software and do it yourself. Good option if: technically inclined, marketing skills, part-time web publisher, limited budget.

Do-It-Yourself Using Templates. Buy website templates, web design software, and do it yourself. Good option if: technically inclined, marketing skills, supplement with low cost web design services.

Do-It-Yourself Using website Builder Solution. Buy business web solution service. Good option if: not technically inclined, have marketing skills, and willing to make some investment. Do not waste your time with a site builder that just clones a snazzy website. You will not get a website that generates traffic or sales.

e-commerce website Design Company or Consultant. Outsource your web design work. Good option if: not technically inclined, limited marketing skills, medium-to-large budget

As with any business there are risks. In evaluating an e-commerce website design solution it is best to know your objectives, have enough business knowledge to evaluate your web service suppliers as well as your business web tools, and maintain a positive cash flow.


About the Author


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Randy McClure is a website publisher of http://www.EasyAccessClub.com. Easy Access Club is an e-commerce resource for discount shoppers, small businesses, and churches. We feature discount online store reviews, hundreds of discount stores, e-commerce news, and resources for doing business online. Visit our other sites: Small Business Online - http://biz.easyaccessclub.com and Church Online - http://www.access-jesus.com.


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