Things to consider when designing an eCommerce website

Posted by Aaron Brockhurst


People assume an eCommerce site is no different to designing a normal website, however eCommerce website design is totally different; there are many additional things that need consideration.

Here is a list of things you need to think about:

  • Product range and categorisation

You need to build a plan of how you are going to categorise your products. You need to consider things such as size, price, colour and product type to come up with a system that will be best for your visitors; you want people to be able to navigate around your site with ease. Think about the keywords you could use for your navigation labels as this will help boost your search engine ranking.

  • Delivery charges

You need a system to calculate cost of delivery, first you need to decide on the method you will use for delivery then you can decide on how a price will be decided for each individual customer. Charges could be varied from a variety of things, such as weight, size, number of products or distance. Consider all the different varieties that will make your customer happy, is there a free delivery service you could offer?

  • Payment methods

Most eCommerce website programs offer a variety of options for payment processing that you can use.  The most common are WorldPay, Paypal and eDPQ. Our advice is to choose the payment processor that gives your business the best rates. You might also consider using a process company like CardSave or SecureTrading if your business already has an Internet Merchant Account. Offering a Paypal, or Authorize.net, option as an alternative will give people who have those accounts options to use them.

  • Stock control

People often forget that running an online store is similar to a normal store, so things like stock control are just as important, you need to decide how you will keep on top of stock control and stay organised. You also need to decide how you are going to let people know a products ‘out of stock’ on your online store.

  • Automated emails

When you purchase something online you usually receive an email confirming your purchase, this is set up through an automated email service, there isn’t someone sitting at a desk typing out an email every time someone places an order, it’s simply an email template that has the relevant spaces filled out by information you enter when purchasing.

  • Customer accounts

Some websites require a customer to sign up to their website to make purchases. You need to decide whether a customer log in process is appropriate for your site. If you decide to create a system where customers need to sign up, then you may want to consider an option where people can make purchases without signing up, as sometimes having to sign up to a website can put people of.

  • Product images

Where are the images of your product going to come from? Will your suppliers be able to provide you with images or will you need to get them shot by a photographer? Images have a massive impact on whether someone makes a purchase or not, if people like what they see they will buy. This means you want your images to look the best they can possibly be, there are also a websites that allow people to zoom-in to the very small details on their product images

  • Product recommendations

A great feature to add to an eCommerce website is product recommendations; this can encourage customers to make more purchases. A great location for this is the shopping cart page because this is often visited just before the check out stage so this is great to encourage customers to make last minutes purchases. This feature works well in most places on a website, you can suggest alternative products, complementary products and products ‘other customers’ bought.