If you have decided to open an eCommerce store, is it going to be a general store or a niche store? If you are unsure what the difference is, it’s simply that a general store will sell to any market, and a niche store will focus on selling products which relate a specific subject.
An example of a general eCommerce business could be one that sells t-shirts, caps and other printed goods across all sorts of subjects such as pets, sports, types of employment and hobbies. A niche eCommerce store which also sells t-shirts etc will only sell them if they are within the niche the business targets, such as dog lovers, golfers, teachers or camping enthusiasts, for example.
The main benefit of starting an eCommerce business which targets a specific niche, rather than across general markets, is you can very easily identify those who have an interest in your niche. You will also find that people within a niche can be very passionate about it, and often buy everything they can which relates to it. This will not be the case if your products are more generally targeted.
In many cases the web designs of yesterday are now thought to be inefficient because they clutter up the website and give visitors so many options that they see leaving the website as an easier option. In 2016, the emphasis is on de-cluttering the look and feel of the website and only offering one or two options.
At the same time, websites must be responsive so that users of touch-screen iPhones and tablets can still access them and do all they want to on the website with their device. According to Slinky Web Design, to achieve this some of the features we have become used to in website design are gradually disappearing or changing to improve the user experience. Here are some tips to help your business succeed with a modern, responsive web design.
Many businesses both large and small are consulting digital agencies such as Slinky in order to make use of the Internet to enlarge their business and increase their bottom line. Even sole traders can start up an ecommerce store from which to sell their product or advertise their services. In fact, a great many people have found success in doing this. If you are thinking about starting up such a project, here are some tips on what you need to do.
Create a plan. This will include several components such as deciding what to sell, finding out where to access it, working out how you will differ from the competition, locating your target market and getting the legalities and store policies into place.
Once you have made a decision to start up an eCommerce store, there are several components that you will find essential whether you are going to choose a full service web design agency or a cheap web design company. In fact, it is wise to find out all about what you need even before the final decision is made.
For a start, some things – e.g. the shopping cart – will cost you, so you need to know whether or not you can afford them. That said, there are many ways of reducing costs; one of them is to use free services or a free trial period for when you first start up. That will allow you to have extra to spend on advertising.
So here are 7 necessary elements that your eCommerce store will need to get started: –
Since so many shoppers these days use their iPhones to shop, your website needs a responsive website interface by an expert such as Slinky. This means that button and other icons that they need to click on must have lots of space around them – enough for their finger to do the clicking rather than a tiny arrow from the cursor. You also need to choose the shopping cart with mobile functionality in mind. More about responsive here
If your company needs a logo it is a sure bet that you want it to be unique, distinct, easily recognisable, practical, appropriate – and to have that wow factor that is difficult to explain, but you know when you see it. This is not so easy to do as it may sound, even for a logo designer with a great deal of experience. It takes discussion with the client and research of the company and of the general history of the business it represents, not to mention finding out what ideas, if any, have already been thought of.
However, there are certain basic principles of logo design that must not be forgotten in the general scramble to offer something that is different, but effective.
If you have a desire to sell goods online then you’ve most likely considered how you will build your e-commerce website. There is no doubt that shopping cart websites are complex. They require not only a high quality, functional and usable layout and design, but also a secure and well thought out back end as well, in order to facilitate the financial transactions that will take place on the site.
An e-commerce website should be well planned, with every aspect of the site having a purpose and contribution to the overall goal of converting your website visitors into buyers of your products. There are now many options when it comes to building a shopping website. You can use an open source piece of software, you can pay a web developer to build your entire site from scratch, or, in the case of very small e-commerce sites, you can even simply use Paypal to build a simple shopping cart. The size of your website and your budget will determine which path you take.
For those of you who have never had the occasion to learn how all this “font” or web typography stuff got started in the first place, 37Signals has a great post up about The Art of Computer Typography. It’s a great little history lesson on how hacker guru Donald Knuth basically brought typography to the computer age the way Moses brought the commandments down from the mountain.
It’s good to appreciate how you website’s font setup can make the difference between visitors staying and leaving. There is something wonderful in the way a page full of well-laid-out, well-kerned type makes the reading experience easier for everyone. And of course, it wards you away from those dreadful yellow-on-red pages with Comic Sans text.
rogue employees – This is actually the darkest prospect, and yet entrepreneurs fear it the most while it actually happens the least.
security loss through incompetence – now we’re talking!
just plain leaks – through, for instance, trusting a third party and then their incompetence exposed you to risk.
outside attacker penetrating inside – really, every outside threat aims to become an inside threat.
Experience has proved out time and again, that under-trained or careless employees are the greatest threat vector. For every “Hollywood hacker” trying to get into your site, there’s a hundred receptionists setting their password to “1234”, a hundred associates using a malware-infected Windows PC to send mail, a hundred security guards who aren’t watching what they should, and a hundred coders who left a gaping exposure to XSS in your web page. It’s ridiculous to treat malicious attackers and mistakes all the same way.
Did you ever think you’d live to see the day when you’d read this headline? Here, wait, let’s hear it in OSNews’ own words first:
“The world’s most popular operating system will not be receptive to Flash, and Microsoft openly stating Flash is history pretty much means that as a platform for the web, it’s done. Flash may still serve a purpose in other ways, but the Flash most of us know and hate – that’s gone.”
Wha… ? Done? Gone? Flash? DOA? Belly-up? Bereft of life, resting in peace?
Yes, the MSDN developer website seems pretty sure about this. HTML5 is where it’s at now. Throw away those O’Reilly Actionscript manuals and beef up on your HTML5. Meanwhile, Apple Insider can barely keep the gloating out of its coverage of the story.
The hilarious irony in all of this? Linux, the platform the Adobe despised the most, is now the only platform that will give the time of day to Adobe. So, ah, Adobe, do you suppose Firefox Ubuntu users can expect their Flash plugin update on time for a change?
An interesting pocket of web design is found on Naldz Graphics, with a gallery of 40 websites of rock bands. Now, the point of this post is “look at designs, be inspired in your own designs” and in fact some of these might work better for businesses other than a band.
We asked our own resident rock ‘n’ roll expert (he has a Frank Zappa poster in his cubicle) to rate how these designs work for a band as a business case.
We jumped when we saw the title of the post: How to be a good client, but then when we read the content, it wasn’t what we had in mind. Don’t get us wrong, it’s all good advice, but we’d really like to take this time to advise readers on how to get the most out of hiring an online freelance web designer:
1. Link to an example of what you want. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. You can talk to a designer all day, “I want an arty header and a side link bank, but it should move with the scrollwheel and have green and blue colors…” That can still be interpreted 100 different ways. Find a picture to start with, then detail how you want it different.
It’s worth checking in over at Programmable Web once in awhile just to see what they’re up to, with their API discoveries. Google, Twitter, Flickr, and all, the defining mark of a popular Web 2.0 service is whether people do things with your API.
Of course, the fact that these graphics makes your website pleasing to view is also extra helpful. Graphics in your website can also make your website easy to view and also easy to understand. Many people will have trouble reading long texts and deriving information from them.
By embedding all relevant information in your graphics, you are guaranteed to convey the needed information to your visitors.