Today, thanks to the internet and online businesses you can buy anything you want right from the house and get it the next day. No need to waste time going to the store, looking for the product you want, and waiting in a long queue before you buy it. People want to save more time, and it’s mainly the first reason why E-commerce sales keep growing with time.
Here is what to know before opening an online store
Creating a good online store is quite difficult. You can decide to take the burden on yourself and try your hand at Web Development, running the risk of making critical errors or entrust your Project to a professional or a Web agency.
One way or the other, the success of a site and consequently, of a business, depends on a number of factors.
Most of the online stores close in a year, unable to withstand competition. Why does this happen? Why are some E-commerce successful and resist the time test, while some just disappear after a short period of time?
Many aspiring entrepreneurs naively believe that it is very easy to build a website from scratch, filled it with goods and then create massive profits. The truth is that online businesses are as complex to manage as offline businesses and must be handled with care and consistency.
Now, let discuss the advantages and disadvantages of E-commerce.
Advantages and disadvantages of opening an online store in comparison with an offline store
Benefits of a regular store (Offline)
- The possibility to completely evaluate the product: see, check for quality, measure, smell, and so on;
- Greater trust of potential buyers (follows from the first item).
Disadvantages of a regular store (Offline)
- The high threshold of entry into the business requires large investments (repair of the premises, the purchase of commercial equipment);
- Large monthly expenses due to the lease of retail space.
Advantages of online stores
- A relatively small threshold of entry into the business;
- Greater efficiency in business management (mobility);
- Fewer checks and administrative barriers from the state. organs;
- A lower price of goods (as a competitive advantage) due to small monthly costs.
Disadvantages of online stores
- Low level of confidence in newly opened online stores from potential buyers;
- Loss of customers due to the impossibility to assess the products before purchasing them.
The US market zappos.com is successfully operating in the US market. When the company just entered the market, many said that the project would fail, because shoes need to be measured before purchase. However, today the revenue of this company hits a BILLION dollars! This of how hard work can lead to success.
Successful E-commerce or beautiful ones.
As already mentioned above, the success of an online store depends on a number of factors, which, conditionally, can be divided into two groups:
- The quality of the online store in terms of its compliance with technical and user requirements;
- Quality of the business, opportunities of the company itself, etc.
In this article, we will talk about the first paragraph, because the success of a business depends 70% on the quality of the site, and 30% on the entrepreneurs themselves.
What do the best online stores contain?
The high-quality and modern website of the online store consists of a huge number of elements, which directly influence the user’s purchase decision. Let’s discuss some of them:
The design of the store.
The first impression is very important. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer who enters and offline store they never bought a product from. Your purchase decision can easily be influenced by factors such as the atmosphere inside the store, the way the store is structured and organised, its cleanliness the decor and many other things. Based on these elements, you can form an opinion about that store and decide to purchase or go away.
In a similar way, visitors of online stores based their opinion on the look and the design. So the look or design of a website plays a crucial role in business success.
Before selecting the design of the future online store, to analyze potential visitors. The design must fully comply with the product that you will sell. If the store will sell products of general consumption, such as food, the site design should be universal. The design of the online store should appeal to both men and women of different ages.
As a rule, online stores contain a large number of pages. And if on the website usability is frankly lame, then it threatens the user with confusion, and the site owner end ups losing customers.
Store site must be intuitive and easy to use. Every internet user has become accustomed to a particular navigation layout. They know that the contact section is often located in the upper right corner, and the site menu often starts in the upper left corner. Therefore, usability is very important for the site and, as a result, for the convenience of the visitor. He should be clear at first glance where they should click to find what they are interested in. In other cases, low usability dooms the online commerce site.
The Product Card
A good product card should display a title, a call to action, some subtitles(short description of the product.) and its design should emphasize on the product. All of these must be arranged in the correct way in order to attract more clicks.
Each component and functionality of an online store is essential to better user experience and can lead to more sales. Therefore, a successful online store should contain the following necessary components.
- The search function on the site by product name, product code, specific requests;
- Filters for searching for products by individual parameters;
- The function of online communication with a consultant;
- The function of comparing goods, adding a product to your favourites;
- Payment functions with binding reliable banking systems.
A good E-commerce website contains a large number of items that lead the visitor from the first click on the site to the completion of the purchase. It is very important to avoid mistakes that could lead to catastrophic consequences.
Example of some beautiful and functional E-commerce Websites
There are big stores on the internet, selling hundreds of thousands of products, which serve very different purposes. We listed below some ideas taken from most those E-commerce sites to inspire you.
Creating an online store with one group of goods
Creating an online store that displays a group of goods is a good idea, even though it is not the best. Selling only on a specific group of products give you the option to describe in detail the characteristics of each product, and its competitive advantages. You can also upload many photos and videos about the product to stimulate your visitors’ desire to purchase.
Creating an online store with a small number of goods
Here are some examples of online stores that sell a limited amount of goods. As a rule, these are narrowly focused online stores that implement a certain group of products for a specific target audience.
This site is dedicated to the sale of souvenirs with the image of chickens and cockerels. The design of the site really delights. The concept of the site is being observed, the hand of a professional designer is visible because all the drawings were created by hand.
Each position is given maximum attention. On the main page, there is a catalogue with prices. Clicking on any product opens a full product card. There is everything that an eye-catching product card should contain.
Studio-amara, is another example of an online store dedicated to the sale of dishes from elite wood.
When you get to the main page, there is absolutely no feeling that you are in the online store. Screensavers with full-length photos depicted products, more like the classic elements of the restaurant’s website. the site is made in a minimalist design. There is no standard navigation, the menu button is in the upper left corner. After the menu window pops up, go to the directory.
The catalogue, as well as the whole page, completely excludes any text. There are no descriptions and prices, and no calls to action. The site might look unusual to the user but it still sells expensive and exclusive products.
And for dessert, this section is an example of an online store dedicated to the sale of mobile and electronic accessories from wood.
On the main page posted sales hits for a quick transition to the best-selling products. The very same product catalogue fits on one page, which is very convenient for viewing and searching. Also, there is nothing superfluous in the design. On a white background, attention is focused on the product itself. There is a technical description of the position, a block of recommended products, links to the choice of bank service for payment, as well as a call-to-action registration form. In total, the site is stylish, fashionable, and focuses on its target audience.
Examples of large online stores with amazing design and functionality
Let’s begin with one of the most popular and famous among women of the site
– Victorias Secret.
This online store is a real benchmark. It is what a modern e-commerce site should be: bright, beautiful, stylish and, most importantly, convenient. A large number of beautiful photographs depicting models in the brand’s products, user-friendly navigation that is understandable at first glance, a magnificent design does not leave the slightest chance to close the site without buying any item with it.
From the point of view of consumer experience, everything here is simplified to the maximum. On one card, you can immediately choose the size and colour, enlarge the model and examine it in more detail, and if you have questions, ask them in the online chat. From a technical point of view, this site is very complex and functional. And this gives the owner a head start over their competitors because this functionality that makes every visitor to the site feel as comfortable as possible.
The next site is Sofa.com
Sofa.com is dedicated to the sale of upholstered furniture from the manufacturer. It is spacious and comfortable. The site design gives the impression of lightness and home comfort, there are not too bright inserts, everything is served in soft colours as if hinting to us that we are choosing something special for ourselves. The functionality of the site fully satisfies the desires of the visitors.
The product card clearly displays the product information. After reviewing the characteristics, there is not a single question about the quality or characteristics of the product, which I would like to ask the consultant. The Products card include selling items such as reviews, a call to subscribe, a call to visit the showroom, and also contains a functional pearl.
Also, All the information about the assortment is presented in a separate tab so you can choose by size, colour and type of material.
Indochino.com is an online shop selling men’s suits.
Fresh and modern design complements a large amount of content. But the main feature of the site is not the design, but its personalization features for each user.
This site allows the users to quickly and conveniently find the costumes they need. And this is done as follows: a potential client registers in his personal account undergoes a small questionnaire regarding their body size: shoulder width, chest size, arms and legs length, etc. And after the site automatically selects the options that are ideal for the client under his request.
Due to the wide functionality of the web site, the choice of products has been simplified several times. Instead of long viewing of product cards, a potential client gets exactly what they need. A great solution that competitors should look at.
So how to create the best design for an online store?
To create a good design for your online store, you must:
- Analyze your target audience;
- Use modern tools, directions and design styles;
- Emphasize on the site usability;
- Use a Proper combination of colours.
Do not forget that excellent design is key to your company’s success. A successful online store is a combination of Design, functionality, and customer services. Therefore, it is important to pay much attention to all these features while building your online store. Building a professional E-commerce site requires experience, time and money. If you have no experience, you’d better take advice from professionals developers before you engage. Otherwise, you can ask for assistance from well-renowned Web agencies and get help for reasonable costs.