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5 Key Considerations when Designing or Developing a New E-Commerce Website

So you’ve decided to move your business online. Now what? One of the most critical steps in making a successful transition is creating an effective e-commerce website. Before you design your website, here are five important considerations you should keep in mind:

1. Selecting the right host and domain

One important element of website design is choosing the right host and domain. Compare various provider packages before settling on the one that works best for your business model. Throughout your search, keep in mind what type of content your website will be showcasing the most—this will impact the type of design or services your host must be able to provide. Moreover, if your firm does not already have in-house technical support, ensure that you find a host who can provide you with comprehensive assistance. Lastly, conduct research on the provider’s overall performance reviews.

WebsiteBuilderExpert has helpful reviews for the 6 Best E-Commerce Hosting Providers.

A memorable domain name is important as it can go quite far in bolstering your brand identity online—think back to the last time you typed a company’s website address into your search bar by memory. A good domain name will set the foundations for ease of accessibility for your online customers. An ideal domain concisely captures your brand, is easy to spell, and can be a powerful tool when used in combination with SEO—resulting in a higher likelihood of being found in search engine results.

2. Ensuring easy navigation and usability

Reducing customer friction points should be one of your primary objectives in designing your website. This can be achieved through creating a platform that is easy to navigate and use. Before publishing your website, check the loading times of each page. Also consider adding a site map—a summary page that will help visitors identify where to find the information they need. Google Search Central (formerly Webmaster Tools) is one resource that can streamline this process for you.

Another surprisingly influential factor that will determine your website’s ease of navigation and usability is the color scheme. The overall appearance of your website should be sleek and colors should be strategically selected. Certain colors can elicit different emotional responses—align the palette to the objectives you want to achieve with your target market.

Lastly, you must make sure that the website design is compatible for different types of browsers and devices. Many customers may be visiting from mobile devices—a channel that is rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. The design should be consistent across these different channels.

3. Posting updated media content

Actively posting on a company blog can help build you build a more genuine connection with customers. It is also an opportunity to update customers regarding your upcoming events, new products, or other relevant information in your industry. An effective blog will allow your company to build credibility as a trusted source and authority in your industry while simultaneously increasing reader interaction.

Posting is not sufficient on its own—creating original content also plays a crucial role. Unique, high-quality content will help boost your site’s ranking in search engine results. You should also integrate your social media platforms for omnichannel marketing purposes, which will provide a seamless experience across all platforms for your consumers.

4. Featuring testimonials and reviews

One effective—and often overlooked—consideration is to feature positive consumer testimonials. A survey[1] conducted in 2018 established that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, and that proportion increases to 95% for 18- to 34-year-olds. Featuring genuine customer testimonials on your website can be a powerful tool to not only incentivize purchase, but also to signal customer commitment to viewers.

Offsite reviews of your business is another important element. Google’s search algorithm places a higher priority on local searches. Therefore, maintaining a positive image on online review services can enhance your brand’s credibility. Your first step should be to claim your business profile on third party review sites like Google and Yelp. Google+ even allows you to connect your website to your business on Google.

5. Tracking data analytics

Making an effective use of data analytics is necessary in today’s competitive landscape and your website is one of the best resources you can leverage. Tracking information such as traffic, engagement and conversion rates will bolster the successes of your marketing campaigns and help you continuously improve customer experience.

Track return on investment with data analytics by using tools such as Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools. This allows you to monitor and evaluate the relevant data. These invaluable and actionable insights are essential to your long-term success—as well as maintaining a competitive advantage—in e-commerce.

Next steps

The success of your e-commerce website can be largely influenced by these five factors. Of course, these recommendations are not the only considerations you should bear in mind—for example, security should be a high priority on every website developer’s list. However, these suggestions do encompass some of the most important ones. Remember that the ultimate goal is to build a stronger connection with your consumers and initiate more engagement with your brand. Take heed of these guidelines as you proceed in designing your website.

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