For most companies, a website represents a digital extension or representation of their business. But if you run an e-commerce business, your website is your business…period. Hence, it could be said that no specialist area of web design is as important as e-commerce web design.
What is An E-commerce Website?
By definition, an e-commerce website is a website that sells things. In the real world, it’s not quite as simple as this. Anyone can create a rudimentary digital vending machine and launch it online. Nevertheless, doing so is a guaranteed recipe for the failure.
In terms of how to design an e-commerce website that works, it’s a case of looking beyond the basics. Whatever it is you sell, there are probably thousands of other e-commerce businesses selling the same. Some of which may be cheaper than you, offer faster delivery or have a more compelling brand story.
This is precisely where the purpose of e-commerce website development services lies. Rather than creating a carbon copy of what’s already out there, an established ecommerce web design company in Salem can help you come up with something unique, which is, in a single word, the key to success in online business – uniqueness.
From top to bottom, your e-commerce website needs to be a unique entity. An online portal that provides your target audience with something they can’t find elsewhere. It’s up to you to establish your USP, but a crack team of e-commerce web designers can then ensure every aspect of your website is built around it.
Making the Right Choice
Of course, the quality of the result will be determined by the capabilities of the service provider you choose to work with. There’s no shortage of web design companies in Salem to choose from, but not all are cut from the same cloth.
So rather than taking chances on an unknown, here’s a quick rundown of 8 helpful tips for choosing the best e-commerce web design company for your needs:
1. Know What You Want
First and foremost, you need to come up with a detailed list of requirements and expectations. After all, you can’t expect the service provider to fulfill your requirements if you don’t communicate them clearly in the first place.
Think about what you intend to achieve, what isn’t up for negotiation and the overall objectives of your e-commerce website. Not to mention, who you intend to target, the location of your audience and so on.
2. Establish a Budget
Don’t dive into things without first determining exactly how much you can afford to spend. There will be countless extras and add-ons available, which have a habit of quickly adding up. In addition, you need to be realistic, as you can’t expect the world’s most advanced e-commerce web development services to be offered for pennies.
Always think about how much you intend to spend in accordance with the ROI you can expect further down the line. Remember – low costs aren’t nearly as appealing as guaranteed value for money.
3. Consider Your Competitors
One of the best ways of establishing a direction for your e-commerce website is to see how your most successful competitors are handling things. Not to rip-off their ideas wholesale, but to instead see what resonates with your target audience.
Competitor research is also a great way of identifying holes and discrepancies in their offerings, which you can then go ahead and capitalize on. All of this information will prove invaluable when you hire your e-commerce web development team.
4. Ask Plenty of Questions
By the time you go ahead and hire them, there shouldn’t be any important questions left unanswered. Prior to making your final decision, it’s a good idea to draft a list of questions to be brought directly to the service provider. With respect to the services they provide, their pricing structure, their guarantees, their timescales and so on, it pays to be specific and avoid grey areas.
5. Request Case Studies
Assuming they’ve been in business for some time, they should be able to provide you with plenty of evidence regarding their past success stories. Whether it’s in the form of an online portfolio of work or more specific case studies, you need to see exactly what they’re capable of.
Check whether their approach to web design and development fits your requirements and expectations. And if you’re unsure, feel free to ask as many questions as necessary to address your concerns.
6. Check for Relevant Experience
There’s the difference between a traditional web development team and an experienced e-commerce web development team. The reason is that there are enormous differences in both the mechanics and functions of these two types of websites.
It’s, therefore, a good idea to check whether the web design company has plenty of experience and expertise in this precise field. Better yet, an established track record in your exact e-commerce area. If you’re planning to sell kitchen supplies, look for a team that knows your niche.
7. Feedback and Recommendations
A quick web search is all that’s needed to find all the reviews and recommendations you’ll need to help guide your decision. Rather than taking the word of the service provider at face-value, see what their past and present customers have to say about them.
If the general consensus points to a qualified and capable e-commerce specialist, you’re probably in safe hands. If there’s a disconcerting number of complaints, you might want to take your business elsewhere.
8. Approachability and Attitude
Last but not least, it’s essential to ensure that the e-commerce team you work with is simply the right ‘fit’ for you and your business. They should be friendly, approachable and have an attitude to the job that reflects your priorities.
Professionalism, punctuality and the simplicity of contacting them day and night should also be brought into the equation. If there’s even the slightest hint of amateurishness, it’s time to reconsider your options.