If you are planning to sell something online, preparing an ecommerce plan is the first step towards building an effective online store. Starting from website goals to your target audience, you need to consider different factors so as to determine how much time and money you require to build an ecommerce website that perfectly caters to your business needs. However, building an amazing website will not help you to maintain a consistent flow of traffic to your website. You need to continue with a multifaceted promotional strategy that is targeted towards your audience. These are the 7 essential elements that you should consider while optimizing/developing an ecommerce website.

Easy Navigability and Consistent Flow

It is the requirement of every website to provide users with an easy navigability so as to keep them interested and maintain an easy flow. It is important for you to make sure that visitors do not get confused with excessive information and unnecessary clutter on your site. It is always a good idea to maintain separate pages for various categories of products and/or services you are selling. The idea is to present the users with an enjoyable experience so that they make return visits to your website.

Content

The only way to connect your website visitors is through informative and fresh content. Apart from interesting images, provide your visitors with interesting information, easy ways to get in touch with you as well as incentives to make a purchase. Another vital thing for you to consider is to refresh the content of your website on a periodic basis. With search engine algorithms changing every now and then, it has become more than necessary to continuously update your website contents to gain better search engine rankings and earn more visitors.

Hassle Free Login

Often at times, it is observed that visitors hesitate to make a purchase simply because of the fact that they are not willing to register or create a new account. Thus, you should make it a point to offer your visitors with an easy login through various social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. by offering your website visitors with convenient login options you can drastically increase your chances of getting more sales.

7 Crucial Elements for an Ecommerce Website

Responsive Design

You must be well aware of the fact, how much important it is to have a responsive website these days. With the growing focus on mobile devices, people are now shifting towards making purchases from their smartphones and tablets instead of using desktops and laptops. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to provide users with a well-designed responsive web layout that helps them to make purchases even on the go.

User-friendly Purchasing Process

When a person wants to buy an item from your website, he/she would definitely not want to click on different options or fill out long forms so as to complete the entire process. A long purchasing process always turns out to be a put off driving potential sales opportunities away. You need to ensure that visitors are provided with a short and convenient purchasing process with equal focus on security so that they can shop freely and happily.

Highlighting Deals

People prefer shopping online not only because they get to buy their preferred products from the comforts of their home but, also to save money. Highlighting special offers, deals and promotions on the home page of your website is an effective way to make more sales. You may also showcase percent-off sales, freebies, discounted items and more to attract more visitors to your site.

Options for Customer Care

When visitors to your online ecommerce store are not able to find the product and/or service they are searching for, they immediately look for customer care options. Providing your website visitors only with an email address is simply not enough. Apart from including contact options through phone numbers, you should also offer access to different social media channels to submit complaints or for urgent queries.

Winding It Up

Focus on designing a web shop which is inspiring and appealing. Always try to give your website visitors the best possible experience so that they can make purchases confidently. Remember that easy usability is the key to success of your ecommerce website that will give your visitors enough reasons to come back again and again.

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If you think that maintaining a social media account for your business and providing daily updates will significantly help with the online exposure and promotion of your brand, then think again. As a matter of fact there are plenty of good companies which have been unsuccessful in promoting and marketing their brand that ultimately led to their reputation downfall. Provided below are some of the crucial points that you need to keep in mind for managing your online reputation and image of your brand.

Building Presence

It is important for you to understand the ideal place of hang out for your target audience. It is your duty to promote your business in places preferred by your audiences. You need to be well aware of the various tools and techniques of online marketing in order to engage with your target audience easily and effectively. For instance, if your audiences favor Facebook then, it would be a great idea to offer them with an active Facebook profile of your business and increase brand exposure. On the other hand, if you feel that your audiences like LinkedIn then, you need to spend more time on managing your business LinkedIn account. This can be done easily without the need of a huge investment.

Comprehend Your Audience

One of the vital factors towards promoting your brand is to understand who the audience is for your business. It is quite easy to come up with the traits of an ideal customer but, they only form a small part of the online audience. Starting from employees to business partners to IT professionals, anybody can contribute towards the reputation of your business.

Maintain an Online Reputation

Maintaining Consistency

While engaging with the audience, you are definite to interact with people from various parts of the world. Therefore, it is vital to offer them with a consistent experience instead of mixed messages about the reputation of your business. You also need to be well aware of the current social media trends so as to spot opportunities and threats for your business early on. This will give you a competitive edge over other businesses operating in your niche. Whether it is YouTube channel or LinkedIn account or Facebook page, they should all have the identical tone, look as well as discussions going on.

Quick Response

Be it a mistake made on your part or replying to any query from a customer, the response should be quick and prompt. If customers get fast responses from you, they will feel that your business cares about their concerns which in turn help immensely with your business reputation and brand promotion.

Availability 24*7

It is definitely a big ask for small businesses to be available 24*7 for their customers. However, there are plenty of automated tools available these days like Google Alerts, Raven Tools, etc that captures every mention of your business thus, providing you the chance to participate in conversations which you may have missed otherwise.

Outsourcing

Companies with high reputations are those that do not depend on outsiders to take care of their brand image. It is important for businesses to connect with their audiences and know more about them which helps with improved service and better communication. When that responsibility is outsourced, the connection with the customers is lost leading to unsatisfactory service and bad reputation.

Transparency is the Key

If you try to maintain a transparent approach while dealing with your customers, chances are quite high that they will always come back to you for your products and/or services. After the recent data breach that occurred at Target, the company did an excellent job in explaining to its customers as to what happened exactly which helped them gain the respect and trust of the customers.

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The continued move of the web towards becoming a more engaging and beautiful place has been strengthened by immersive, big scrolling pages. Though, many people feel that this is a new trend in website design but, that is not totally true. The trend of long scrolling pages have been around for quite a period of time however their popularity has witnessed a surge in recent times. The inception of the single-page design trend has led to the removal of clutter from designs thus, leaving a clear interface with focused and concise content. From the perspective of user experience, single page website design has both good and bad things but, this design style is highly preferred by many users which definitely deserves the attention.

Though, single page design has earned a lot of popularity these days but, it is not an easy task to keep the users scrolling. Apart from bold color, high resolution images and beautiful typography, there are quite a few things web designers need to focus on to find a way into the audiences hearts. By following these practices, designers can make their single-page designs more user-friendly.

Quick Access with Alternative Navigation

Scrolling, scrolling and more scrolling! That is the main feature of a single page design. Users sometimes get the feeling that they have jumped into a pool of content without knowing where it will end. Therefore, to keep them on track and maintain their interest, it is always a good idea to combine scrolling along with traditional navigation system. The common practice among web designers is that they include a sticky navigation bar at the top which can easily replace traditional breadcrumbs in an interactive and appealing way. Vertical scroll bar or “back to top” button is also a good idea that helps users to access various sections of the page effortlessly.

Practices Related to Single Website Design

Small Chunks of Content

When the idea is to present the users with the story in one page, it is crucial not to overwhelm them with plenty of information. Multiple sections can be included within the page for effective distribution of content. The media and messaging content should be kept concise and clear from the start to the end. The most important thing to consider when it comes to a single page design is that, it should maintain a sequential and continuous flow of content. Users can also be kept engaged by telling a story through text and visual content. Storytelling helps to keep the core message interesting thus, relating to users more strongly.

Call to Action

Every digital marketer would agree to the fact that, ‘Call to Action’ turns out to be an influential factor when it comes to conversions. If the CTA is well-crafted almost half of the job is done, if not the full. Websites designed for some specific purpose like order placement, mobile app download, email signup, etc. need to have cleverly crafted CTA’s for maximum conversions. Since, single page websites tend to be more clear and focused, crafting CTA’s isn’t that a difficult task. On top of that, the lack of too much media content and text makes it even easier to guide the users towards taking an action without unnecessary distraction. The idea is to direct the users through good storytelling to a culmination point where a strong CTA can be included.

Keeping It Light

Slow load time is a major issue with most single page websites. Since, the content is delivered in one page it makes the websites get heavier, leading to increased load time. Therefore, while designing a website layout of single page, designers should always avoid using unnecessary design elements and animations that increase the load time. Slow load time of a website not only affects user experience but, also hurts the SEO of a website.

Wrapping Up

Single page website design is no doubt an effective way to keep users engaged thus, leading to more chances of getting leads. However, it depends a lot on the type of the business and a website’s purpose. These practices are simply meant to guide designers towards a more effective and user-friendly design but, there is no reason to be limited by such practices.

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The internet has become the preferred choice of millions of people around the world when it comes to getting quick and reliable information, related to almost everything. A huge role is played by web designers in this context by developing attractive and eye-catchy websites to present the information in the best manner possible. Though the demand for professional web designers is witnessing a steady rise but, not every web designer is aware of the basic design concepts that will help them to stand out in the competition. This discussion revolves around the design concepts and practices that can help web developers to create a solid and long lasting impression.

Focus on Ease of Usability

Be it regarding the development of a website or an app, users should remain the primary focus of any web designer throughout the entire development process. The design of the website should be such that it allows for easy, effective and quick navigation to get all the required information. One of the crucial factors is to identify the group of users and how to assist them find the information in a simple and easy manner. In fact, these are the factors that can affect the entire process and decisions surrounding a website development. It is important to note that, not only designers are responsible for offering an outstanding user experience but, also other members associated with the project. It is the combination of unique and innovative ideas from different people within the project that can lead to the designing of a great website.

It’s not just about the Visuals

There is a common misconception among many people that designing only refers to the visual appeal of websites. Design isn’t only about how users feel by looking at the website but, the overall experience provided to them from the moment they visit the website till the time they leave. Design includes nearly everything starting from downloading speed to the features presented to the visitors. A well-designed website keeps its focus not only on enhanced user experience but, also tries to guide the users in the right direction to get the necessary information. Effective designing helps with the organization of information or content in an easily digestible way.

Sketch It Out…..

Web designers can benefit a lot simply by sketching user experience as it helps them with various aspects such as hierarchy, flow and content along with others. Well, it would surely take some time for those who are not accustomed to it but, certainly helps with easy communication of ideas. Chances are high that something new and interesting may come up at any time that can truly add to the experience of the user. Although, designers of present times hardly follow this habit but, it definitely assists with exploring every possible options. Communicating the design in a well-defined manner is much more important than providing users with some fancy art piece.

Design Concepts for every Web Designer

Thorough Consideration of the Details

Detailing holds a lot of importance towards offering visitors with an outstanding user experience. For instance, wrapping of text or color shade are some examples of types of details that web developers should pay attention to. However, it can turn out to be tricky at times as the project can slow down with excessive consideration for detail during the early phases. So, instead of hurrying, it is a good idea to consider the detailing aspects when visualization of bigger picture is possible.

White Space…A Simple yet Effective Concept

Although, this is a simple concept but, majority of designers tend to struggle with it. The inclusion of sufficient white space acts as a necessary break for the users and helps to keep them engaged. This is especially true for websites with plenty of content. The idea is to make sure that the space provided goes well with various items included within the design.

Emphasizing on Single Aspect

It is quite hard to create an impact with every designing aspect of a website. Therefore, the best idea is to pay emphasis on single element and follow the hierarchy so that visitors are guided towards the desired direction.

These concepts can certainly help aspiring website developers to design amazing websites that are effective, simple and easily navigable to meet the present day demands.

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If you are a daily user of the internet especially on your mobile device, you may have noticed some changes in the trends of web design these days. The display of the information on the web is now more focused towards providing users with a personalized experience by aggregating pieces of content individually by using ‘cards’. It is increasingly becoming a dominant pattern of mobile web design which assists with efficient delivery of information in a readable format which is extremely easy to navigate simply by using the thumb.

The inception of hi-tech mobile devices has allowed users to access all types of information from their mobile devices while on the go. As a result of that, users expect an immersive and fast experience that goes at par with their busy life schedules. This led to information being broken up into various parts based on screen size and the browser. Cards seemed to be the best option to present users with the information they are looking in an attractive and efficient manner.

What is the Big Deal about Cards?

When it comes to a design model, the evolution of the card design is considered to be critical as it addresses the particular demands of user interfaces on mobile devices in a very effective manner. It’s actually the functionality of the cards with respect to responsive web pages that is slowly adding to their popularity and acceptance. The best part about cards is that they can be easily manipulated. Similar to physical cards, digital cards can also be grouped, sorted, stacked, turned and folded to disclose information in variety of ways. While designing for screens of varying sizes, designers can take full advantage of all these features and make efficient use of content to attract and engage the users.

With the rise in the number of mobile users accessing digital content on different social media platforms, it is the need of the hour to provide them with optimized, clear and engaging content across various mobile devices. Cards can easily meet all these requirements and add to the user experience. Some of the big players like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. have already embraced this new design pattern. ‘Cards’ launched by Twitter helps users to attach multimedia inline along with their tweets. Google Now makes use of the card design pattern for displaying various types of information contextually. For businesses, mobile devices are expected to play a vital role towards their expansion and popularity over the coming years. Cards can turn out to be the best tools for businesses to provide information that can be easily consumed even on the move.

Future Web Design Patterns May be Dominated by Cards

Concise and ‘To the Point’ Information

Cards have been in use since a long period of time and their popularity has increased by leaps and bounds over the years. People send greeting cards, birthday cards, etc. to mark special occasions. Starting from debit cards to credit cards to driving license cards, the whole world seems to have developed a liking for cards, be it for communicating information or any other purpose. When it comes to communicating quick stories, cards serve as the perfect medium to provide users with accurate and concise information. Cards can be used to aggregate various pieces of content to provide a consistent experience to mobile users. Cards can also be used to create a stock portfolio as well as deliver information on travel, weather, lodging, etc. Thus, cards offer endless possibilities to represent information in an eye-catchy yet effective manner. With social media popularity already witnessing a huge surge, content consumption on various social media platforms will become more simple and easy with the card design. Cards are soon expected to be the favorite among marketers to present their stories in exciting and new ways as well as make a global impact with this interesting concept.

Wrapping Up

With the growing popularity of social media, it is expected that more and more number of social media platforms will embrace the card design metaphor for easy content consumption. Cards will surely turn out to be the new creative canvas helping businesses to aggregate pieces of content together and offer users with an enhanced experience.

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