From Grass-Roots Ideas to Launch: Everything You Need to Consider When Setting Up Your Website
Nowadays, with the raging success of E-commerce, more and more business owners are taking their companies into the online world. However, believe it or not, setting up a website is by no means a piece of cake. In fact, it can take long hours and a whole lot of hard work. The good news is that once you’re set up, it’ll prove more than worth the effort and investment. You will benefit from breaking free from time constraints, as your company will be in operation around the clock and also to a worldwide audience. It also exposes your store and products to so many more customers than would pass a traditional store in the street without the cost of commercial property rent or overheads such as bills. Finally? It could quite literally be run from the comfort of your own home. So, if this sounds like something you’d like to try out yourself, then hang about as we run through the complete process required to get from grass-roots ideas to your website’s launch!
Now, when you look at the majority of websites, there are certain features that crop up time and time again. Generally speaking, it’s best to stick with these. There’s a good reason that the majority of businesses, from the smallest independent boutique to retail giants such as Amazon, incorporate them into their web design. They are usually practical and what consumers have come to expect from a webpage. If your webpage is too alternative or abstract, many customers will be put off rather than intrigued and this could lead to them closing the tab or browser – losing you both traffic and sales as well as the profit that often comes hand in hand with these things. So, browse successful pages and take a note of the features that appear on each. These will tend to be things like pages that give a brief history or overview of the company and its goals or ideologies, shipping information, contact and support forms, FAQ pages, or terms and conditions. You should also have access to product pages with clear categories and options that allow customers to sort the goods according to different criteria, such as order from lowest price to highest price, or list products alphabetically. All of these pages should be easily accessible via links, as they contain information that can make or break a sale.
Crafting a Digital Experience
Beyond this point, you can afford to get a little more creative with your content. You want to craft a digital experience for your buyer that makes your products and services stand out from the crowd. While the basics appear time and time again for good reason, you don’t want your page to be a carbon copy of every other site out there. Remember that you don’t have a tangible store here to do the work for you. Customers can’t get a feel for your aesthetic through store layout, design, and merchandising. They can’t see or handle your goods until they have placed an order and it arrives at their door. So you need to make some sort of positive experience that they can receive through the screen alone. This, of course, can be difficult. Especially if you don’t have much previous personal experience of crafting a digital experience yourself! This is perhaps why it’s best to call in the professionals in this area. Consider a company like Forix Commerce who specialise in making a success of commerce sites in particular. They will be able to take care of intuitive user experiences through their use of competitive analysis, user research, simplified taxonomy, information architecture, detailed wireframes, and conversion path mapping. They can then use this information to develop visually engaging and intuitive digital experiences with award-winning design, interactive design, iconography, intuitive IU, and mobile first design.
Once you have launched your site, remember that the journey isn’t necessarily over. You need to ensure that it really does meet up to all of your customers and potential customers’ needs and desires. Remember that there is always room for refinement. So how do you find out what people really think of your page? Well, you can always prompt users for feedback. Pop-ups are great for this, as they can be programmed to open once a user has been on your page for a specific period of time (preferably long enough for them to have browsed around multiple pages) when they will probably have formed an opinion in regards to the aesthetic and functionality of the site in general. However, as we are all well aware, pop-ups can be frustrating, and the majority of people are unlikely to submit feedback forms when there’s nothing on offer in exchange. After all, time is money! So, in order to encourage people to participate in feedback and surveys, it’s generally best to offer something. Giving something to everyone who submits can prove costly, so consider setting up a competition. Something along the lines of “submit feedback in order to be entered into a competition for X amount of free products”. This way, you only have to give out one prize, but will benefit from the thoughts of the numerous individuals who enter. You can then use complaints or constructive criticism in order to make alterations to your design, navigation, or layout that will lead to more positive consumer experience in the future. Remember that even the smallest change could make all the difference! Alternatively, you could monitor user behaviour while they are on your site. Site performance monitoring will be able to highlight whether customers are reducing their time spent on your site following a particular update or change. You can then pinpoint exactly what it is on your page that is putting customers off and alter or remove it.
While the process of developing, launching, and maintaining a site may be complex, it is definitely worth every bit of effort that you invest in it. Just practice patience and persistence, and with a little time, you will doubtlessly make a success of your venture!