In today’s fast-paced way of living, it makes sense to have access to elements that make life generally easier, such as shopping. Due to people being constantly pressed for time, most opt to buy what they need online. As a matter of fact, shopping online has greatly grown in popularity because of the convenience and ease of use it offers. This is why the majority of the businesses today have launched their own ecommerce websites with sometimes use of affiliate website builder. If you run a business and you want to infiltrate the growing market of online buyers, you need to provide a website with a good, effective design. But before you can accomplish that, you have to find a skilled ecommerce designer or referral email templates.
Table of Contents
- 1What is eCommerce?
- 2The Importance of a Good eCommerce Design
- 3How to Find a Designer
- 4Important Things to Consider When Designing an e-Commerce Site
- 5Things to Look for When Searching for a Good Designer
- 6What to watch out for when looking for a designer
- 7Sites to check when finding an e-commerce designer
- 8The Best Ecommerce Platforms
First of all, what is ecommerce? Ecommerce basically refers to the buying and selling of goods or services by means of electronic channel like the Internet. With an appropriately designed ecommerce website, a business owner can have a round-the-clock business that provides convenience, global reach as well as customer service. An ecommerce website can also be an excellent source of revenue for a small business, but in order for it to become a success, it has to have the right design.
An ecommerce site design highlights a very particular objective of converting a website visitor into a paying customer. For a conversion to realize, a website design must be focused on providing efficiency and exceptional user experience, with everything from creating original product description to custom shopping cart and making an FAQ page easily available.
When it comes to designing an ecommerce website, there are a lot of options for attaining a distinctive layout and impression that complements your company brand and authority. Basically, an ecommerce website designer uses an already existing shopping cart or content management system and does it up with a pleasing and appropriate-looking design that is also a reflection of a company’s industry and business values.
Here are 10 strategies you can use to find an excellent ecommerce designer:
1) Find the appropriate service. There are numerous freelancers and design agencies employing countless people from various areas of the world and you want to pick out someone who is the perfect match for you. If you are in need of a comprehensive technology platform, you will require the services of an agency that has done work with bigger corporations. If you are a startup, you will find a freelance ecommerce site designer much more practical for your budget. Before signing any contract, make sure to ask a prospective designer about their typical budget.
2) Check references. Before having your ecommerce site built, make sure to ask for at least three references from a prospective designer. Follow up with these references and ask them for information about these vital factors: quality of work, how well schedules are maintained, and how it was working with them.
3) Check portfolios. Get a good perception of the work of a would-be designer. Since you are planning to develop an ecommerce site, find examples of online stores and check them. Click through a number of pages and evaluate the quality. Make sure to pay attention to details.
4) Find a designer who specializes in your preferred shopping cart system. The backbone of any ecommerce store is the shopping cart. There are various options available today and before you choose what shopping cart to use for your online retail business, be sure to compare the carts first, putting your focus mostly on the features of each one. Look for a designer who has vast experience in developing sites based on your chosen shopping cart platform.
5) Choose a designer who can provide a statement of work before any work is started. A good ecommerce website designer will provide you with a statement of work that details his perceptions of your project based on what you want, provides an estimated time of completion of tasks involved, itemizes the precise services that will be provided, specifies the scope of changes or adjustments after the project is completed, and provides a specific price quotation for the overall service.
6) Select an ecommerce website designer who utilizes high quality images accompanied by useful information. Visuals are crucial to ecommerce websites. If you are in the business of selling items that are commonly reliant on appearance, you should be aware that the images you use are incredibly important and play a key role in customer buying decisions. A good designer should make use of strategically positioned high resolution images. What will make these images more compelling is if they come with relevant information that helps shoppers to make the buying decision.
7) Choose a designer who asks the right questions. Since your ecommerce site is a reflection of your brand, it should be developed around your business. A good designer will ask you questions that will make him understand how you want your site to be but also make sure that it is created following best practices. Naturally, he should also have prior knowledge on how to develop a customer-centered design, which focuses on ease of use, content, performance, brand value, and satisfaction.
8) Pick out a designer who gives you a range of options. A sensible designer will tell you about the relative price ranges of ecommerce websites. It is your decision to go with an affordable option or a costlier but more customized option, provided that you are made aware of what results to expect for the plan you selected.
9) Ask for referrals from people you know. The value of good recommendations cannot be overestimated. When it comes to investing in a website, you want assurance from individuals you know and trust. Check with your contacts for anyone who has had websites done recently. Speak with someone who has worked with a potential web designer, ask about their experience in the development process, the timeframe involved, the cost of the project, and ongoing support.
10) Check customer reviews. Credibility is an important aspect when you entrust an important task, such as developing your ecommerce store. So, before you get into an agreement with a web designer, do research about his work from past and present clients through customer reviews.
Designing an ecommerce site is not just about visual appeal, but also about what it conveys and how it communicates your business to visitors and prospects. Here are some of the most important factors to bear in mind when designing an ecommerce site.
1) Clear Value Proposition
A powerful value proposition refers to the critical element of why customers should buy from your ecommerce store when they can buy from your competitors. Website design, in other words, should tell people what your business is about. The crucial elements of a great value proposition should: (a) give a product or service relevancy to customers by stating outright what it does, what problem it will solve, or how it will improve a user’s situation; (b) measure the value for customers through a list of benefits; and (c) emphasize priority on the point of difference, or why your offering is better than the competition in some extraordinary manner. When a website design is able to clearly make website visitors understand what they are buying and why they are buying it from your store, it can lead to better conversion rates and an increase in sales.
2) User Needs
Ecommerce site visitors are extremely goal-driven and they spend time visiting sites because they want to achieve something, like buying a product. The ultimate letdown of an ecommerce site is to fail to provide the details that site visitors are searching for. Many online stores have lost a sale due to the reason that users cannot find what they are looking for on the site because information is buried under layers of marketing content and nondescript slogans, or the details are simply not provided. Most users who cannot find what they need on a website even within 10 seconds after landing there will quit it without second thoughts.
3) Design Standards
When users see that a website they are browsing is behaving the way it is supposed to, they will feel they are on top of things and subsequently stay on the site. It is normal for website visitors to develop expectations for different sites based on the things that are commonly done on most other websites. If your ecommerce store strays from the conventions, it will be tougher for them to figure it out and they will leave your website in a jiffy. Thus, it is highly crucial that a website ecommerce designer does not deviate from the norm.
Below are a number of the most important abilities to remember when looking for the services of a good ecommerce website designer:
• Ecommerce website designers should be skilled in creating appealing ecommerce site designs. To determine this, always check the designer’s portfolio.
• Designers should possesses adequate coding skills (e.g. HTML, XML, CSS, PHP) that are instrumental in implementing a visually appealing site design with the use of various types of web tools or platforms.
• A professional web designer should have creativity, good technical knowhow and be updated on current best practices.
• A good web designer should also be able to provide a project timeframe. There is significance in adhering to an agreed timeframe and there must be a clear understanding of deadlines and with milestones along the way in order to be certain that everything is on target.
• Experience is a vital factor to consider when choosing an ecommerce website designer. Those who have obtained web design experience for years can often provide far better results than those who just finished a degree. In other words, degree should not be used as a yardstick; rather it should be experience and talent.
• Reselling. Ask potential designers if they have reseller relationships. If they have any, they should be upfront with you about it and give you the choice to select what hosting provider to use. If they hide it from you, it may indicate that they are charging you more.
• Self-hosted ecommerce. Ecommerce solutions can either be hosted or self-hosted. Self-hosted ecommerce sites can cost you a lot. Self-hosted ecommerce sites can set you back a significant amount of money. It can cost you hundreds of thousands to set up and hundreds a month to maintain. With a hosted solution, you only have to pay for monthly fees and more affordable setup fees.
• Communication abilities. When hiring a designer, you will want to make sure that you have a good communication process. You will need someone who responds to emails and phone calls and is open to conversations. These ensure a good rapport and successful collaboration.
There are various websites to find ecommerce designers, and if you plan to design your ecommerce store using the most popular shopping cart platforms today, the following are good places to start.
• 3dcart Certified Designer Directory
If you are looking for 3dcart designers, you can start looking at this site. The designers listed in this directory are certified professionals with experience in creating and implementing design solutions for ecommerce stores using the 3dcart Store platform.
• Hire Magento Developer
If you prefer to go with the Magento option, you can start your search here, which is a source for designers versed in developing and designing online stores that use the Magento program. The site offers three plans, particularly the Classic Plan ($900), Premium Plan ($1,400), and the Customize Plan.
• Bigcommerce Cart Designers
If you want the Bigcommerce shopping cart, visiting this site gives you access to their cart designers. The hourly rate for Bigcommerce cart designers is $75. The services include full scale design and branding.
• Shopify Experts
If you choose to have the Shopify platform for your online store, start your search for a website designer at Shopify. The directory provides a list of professional designers who post their hourly rates and specified project sizes.
Shopify is one of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms. This web-based service provides a broad range of features and tools that make creating and running an online store easy. It hosts approximately 70,000 online stores, including stores for Tesla Motors, Gatorade, Gerenal Electric, and Beastie Boys. Shopify’s functionalities allow website owners to organize their products, customize their ecommerce store according to their preferences, accept credit card payments, track orders and respond to orders and communication efficiently. The Shopify platform also has a content management system that enables users to manage inventory, edit HTML and CSS code as well as create codes for coupons and discount purposes. Shopify’s basic features are: Shopify App Store, Shopify Theme Store, Shopify Experts, Shopify Payments, Shopify POS, and support.
Bigcommerce is an ecommerce solution used by over 42,500 online stores today. Offered as a web-based service in both licensed and hosted options, Bigcommerce allows users to create a fully functional ecommerce store, sell products and services online, including digital download products. The platform provides more than 90 professional templates, a range of SEO features developed and optimized by SEO expert Aaron Wall, as well as functionalities that allow site owners to make use of social media and mobile marketing tools to market their stores, build traffic, and close sales. Bigcommerce stores also sell to domestic and international buyers using multiple currency support and worldwide shipping provider integration.
3dcart is a popular remotely hosted shopping cart platform. It provides merchants with an ecommerce solution that handles a variety of business processes. With over 10 years experience in the business, 3dcart has a client base of more than 10,000 that make use of the platform’s subscription model, which entails users to pay a monthly recurring fee for hosting services. Website business owners can choose from the range of templates that provide options for various kinds of industry, create product categories and add product information and images, provide various shipping methods, and accept different modes of payment from various payment processing services.
PrestaCart is a free cart system for business website owners who want to run a simple but flexible shopping cart at no cost. More commonly called PrestaShop, the platform is a free, open-source ecommerce solution that supports various payment gateways and payment modules. The free service features no monthly fees, no commission, and no restrictions. Founded in Paris in 2007, PrestaShop powers more than 125,000 online stores in various countries. The platform offers users total control over content and functionality, SEO tools and a back office. The program’s highlights includes over 310 built-in features such as unlimited product inventory management, multi-store management, fully customizable templates, layered navigation, unlimited currencies, return management and analytics and reporting.
Volusion is an ecommerce solution powered by one of the oldest online shopping cart providers, operating since 1999. This fully cloud-based ecommerce shopping cart is used by more than 40,000 stores, with clients such as intel, the Chicago Tribune, and National Geographic. The Volusion platform has all the fundamental functions needed to run an online store: website creation, addition of products, management of inventory, checkout, payment processing, management of orders as well as customer management. It also provides merchants with advanced ecommerce SEO features, built-in merchandising tools, as well as the ability to sell to social media sites and online retailers.
Magento is an ecommerce platform built using an open source technology. It enables merchants to list products for sale online and provide different modes of payment for shoppers as well as multilingual options and support for multiple currencies. Purchased in 2011 by eBay, Magento has a feature-rich content management system with a comprehensive ecommerce solution and provides catalog browsing and catalog management features. Its other features include advanced product browsing with multiple images for each product, SEO options, and numerous promotional tools including flexible coupons. With the Magento platform, merchants get total flexibility and control over their website’s look, content and functionality.