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E-Commerce Website Design vs. Web Design

Aug 22, 2007
Not all websites are the same. And while all webmasters need to take web design into account, those dealing directly with money and customers have extra considerations to make. After all, for owners of e-commerce (or sales) websites, "conversion" is the number one priority. Conversion refers to turning visitors to a website into paying customers, and the "conversion rate" of an e-commerce site is hugely dependant on how potential customers feel about the site itself.

This brings the question... When designing a website, what is the difference between e-commerce web design and regular web design? Can you design an e-commerce website just like you would an informational web page? The answer is no. Though they are similar in concept and execution, there is quite a lot of difference between e-commerce web design and regular web design-- it's all in the details.

E-Commerce Web Designers

When an Internet user visits an e-commerce site, he/she is often looking to buy. But the truth is, if that potential buyer doesn't feel good about the website, they won't buy-- even if the items for sale there are just what they're looking for.

Since turning browsers into paying customers is the way for an e-commerce site to make money, e-commerce website designers must keep in mind the importance of creating trust and good feeling with potential customers. Before deciding to spend money, most online customers look for security, convenience, and accessibility, and a successful e-commerce site must make all three a priority. Because of this, e-commerce web designers must put a special focus on:

Branding

In order to create trust and a feeling with security with potential clients, it's important that an e-commerce website be well branded. This means that sales websites must put more effort into logos, mottos, designs, etc., than non-commercial websites.

Shopping Carts

The ease and convenience of e-shopping carts, shopping baskets, etc., is an important factor in converting browsers into customers. Because of this, most e-commerce website designers should offer custom shopping cart design for websites. This includes but isn't limited to shopping cart appearance, databases, product display, and email receipts.

Security and Merchant Accounts

The biggest reason why online shopping is such a huge industry is convenience. And what makes shopping online so convenient is the ability to pay online securely with credit cards. Since paying online is one of the last remaining 'sticking points' for reluctant online shoppers, it's important to make them feel safe and secure when ordering from an e-commerce site. Because of this, e-commerce web designers are specialized in creating secure websites, and often help users to apply for and create secure e-commerce merchant accounts for credit cards.

Of course, all of this specialized knowledge requires specialized training, and an e-commerce web designer needs to be trained in this highly specific field. An e-commerce web designer must know both regular web design and the specialized skills in the areas listed above, as well as other e-commerce related areas.
About the Author
Train for your future as an E-Commerce Web Designer at triOS College located in Ontario.
www.trios.com
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