Pro Custom Design
Home Page design Philosophy
The home page is you store window where people first begin window shopping. Just like a retail operation the main purpose of your store front is to attract shoppers and get them to enter your store. There are two approaches to designing your store front/home page for your eCommerce site.
The first approach is to show products and prices and bargains or sale items, something a shopper would consider a good deal. You would choose this approach when you have products that are easy to buy, simple items that don't require comparison or research, typically lower cost items. You would need to offer compelling prices for this approach. This type of design will appeal to customers who are price shopping and are not particularly brand sensitive.
The second approach is to deliver more of a visual design to showcase elements other than price and to try and invite customers to enter further into the site based on intriguing them.
The best way to highlight the difference between these two approaches is a flea market vs. a department store.
In the last few years we have successfully designed home pages that combine both of these approaches using the top section to bring great visuals to the page and the lower sections to showcase pricing and products.
There really is no right or wrong way to design an eCommerce home page - every storefront will eventually adjust their home page to fit their market and their niche. but there's nothing like a head start and that's what we can provide.
- It's important to present a telephone number or some other key contact element in either the upper or lower section of each page. This is in addition to the contact us page so that this information is readily available to shoppers regardless of where they are in the site.
Category/Products page design Philosophy
The category page is an important page in eCommerce web sites as this type of page is very popular with search engines. the popularity stems from the content, the product entries and the links to other pages. It's very important to make sure that a few specific elements are done right on this page. Specifically navigation, filtering and advertising.
The first element is the category navigation bar. It's important to decide where to place it, on the top or on the side. If your web site has lots of categories then a side bar makes more sense, but if you have only a few then place it on top. The amount of products in each category also plays a role as you need to decide how to showcase the product list. In boxes, in rows etc... If there are many products per category then we highly recommend a filter process which also needs to be designed into the page. The category page is a great place to advertise either internal or external links so your deign will have to include some placement of these banners and/or boxes. A holistic approach that considers all of these elements is the best way to proceed.
Product Page design Philosophy
We believe that this is the most important page of the eCommerce web site. This is the page where customers will come either directly from a search engine or through navigating your site. This page should be designed to do one and only one thing - make the client want to buy the product (add it to the shopping cart). It's highly recommended to have a clean design that is clear as possible while still offering the maximum product information (images, video, specs, prices and other descriptive information). You have to design in a call-to-action button in a prominent place and using different contrasting colors from other pages on the web site. There is a lot of supporting research available that shows a differing color scheme will further support the call-to-action.
- It makes sense to show cross sell products on this page (e.g. "shoppers who bought this item also bought...")
- Do not show advertisements on this page as you risk moving the client away from a purchase decision with a distraction
Categories Page/Visual Browsing design philosophy
In the last few years the web has become much more visual and interactive and as such so have the eCommerce web sites. If you want to show a category that has televisions within it it's much more likely that someone will click on an image of a TV than on text, even hotlinked text. Images are much more compelling. Adding this type of page to your website will make your client have to perform an extra click (which is typically bad), but if you do get that click it's a qualifying event in that it shows interest and will more likely deliver a sale if they proceed.
Content page design philosophy
We suggest that if you break from the standard (content pages that inherit design from the home page) and have your content pages be uniquely designed you will send a clearer and more targeted message to your customers. Using elements such as rich media and variegated layouts will make your pages much more appealing.
FAQ Page design philosophy
This type of page is very popular on eCommerce web sites. Designing this page to be as easy and user friendly as possible is a good idea. You want to give the client the feeling that your web site answers his/her questions and encourages that the user will stay on the web site thereby increasing the chance that they will buy.
Shopping Cart and Checkout Process design philosophy
The shopping cart and the forms within the checkout process in most cases can kill a deal if not executed properly. If you consider that you have already invested a fair amount to get a shopper to this point it's a terrible waste to allow a weak process or an overloaded form to kill your deal and have your shopper abandon prior to closing. On the web your customers are only a click away from the competition and sore feet never play to your advantage :-)
It is recommended to design the cart with a clear and user friendly interface, display up-sell products, but not to an extreme degree as shoppers have a limited tolerance for up-sell during checkout. You want the cart to be easy to edit and have shoppers add items easily and simply. In the shopping cart process the call-to-action buttons play an important role.
An overdone form is a terrible idea and a minimalist process is recommended as most often shoppers who abandon their carts do so because of too much form filling. A one step form is much better than a multi-step multi-page form - in this case less is always more.
- It's important to add elements that demonstrate security such as credit card logos and certifications.
Floating Bars and Menus design philosophy
What does "Advanced Custom Design" mean?
It means the same thing as Basic Custom design but also offers custom design work for thimngs like the shopping cart, checkout processes and any other element that you require something specific and/or special. This approach will likely result in a website that shoppers find irresistible.