10 Tips for Designing an Ecommerce Web Site
Teacher: June Campbell
Want to sell your goods directly from your site? Here are 10 tips:
10. Design for your target market. Find out who your potential customers are and why they come to your site (i.e. where they are on the consumption cycle.)
9. Identify your objectives for the site and introduce content accordingly. One Internet marketer tells the story of erroneously marketing an automotive book as an aid to car repair then discovered that the real market for his publication was buyers of new cars.
8. Be cautious about using offline marketing material on the Web. Print material often does not lend itself to Web content and usually needs to be modified.
7. Engage the viewer with dynamic environments. Allow the customer to experience the site - not just view it. Chat features, forums, solicited feedback, and database delivery of custom content go a long way.
6. Provide good navigational structure, including search capabilities for larger sites. Viewers enter your site at various webpages - they should be able to navigate easily no matter where the place of entry. Your sales area should be free of links to other Internet sites. Why encourage customers to leave when you've worked so hard to attract them?
5. Test the interface. A Website interface should enhance the user's goals, not distract from them. Strive to meld site components (i.e. graphics, text, sound, etc.) to create a unique atmosphere and identity.
4. Design with usability in mind and abide by basic design principles. Utilize white space (less is more), fonts that are easily read, pleasing color schemes, universally understood symbols, and backgrounds that don't distract from the message.
3. Write for the Web. Write in the second person. (i.e. You will appreciate our new product because ...). Keep sentences short and no more than 3-4 sentences per paragraph. Make use of hyperlinks and interactivity unless doing so would take visitors away from your sales area.
Remember also that your visitors will be situated in other parts of the world, and they may not understand jargon or North American slang.
Lastly, research shows that Web surfers detest the use of marketing hype. Subtlety counts.
2. Give something away and reward visitors from coming to your site. Offer free information, articles, contests, industry news or personalized services.
1. And most importantly, always answer the question, "What's In It For Me." In other words, talk "Benefits" not "Features." Sound familiar?
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