Site design is a primary determinant in online shopping. If your site looks dated or relies on inferior site design methodology it may be the reason your sales have not grown. Perhaps existing customers are used to the site, but what about new prospects? What impression do they have of your site? What would compel them to come back?
Take some time to research your competitor’s websites. What seems to work on their site? What have they done really well? How does this information stack up with your site? What have you learned?
Many ecommerce sites will phase in new site designs every two years or so. There are always new techniques and software applications to assist in the development of something that catches attention and is highly functional.
There is one area you should resist and that’s moving forward with a new site design that has been hastily put together simply to give your site a new look. Test the links and the functionality of the site design. Have friends and associates try a beta version of the site to bring to light any flaws in the design. There is nothing worse than pushing a new site design that is riddled with flaws and broken links.
Many sites have enjoyed using Flash design in site development only to discover search engines don’t access the information in Flash. While the functionality of Flash is a positive for visitors it may be best to develop a Flash and Non-Flash version of your site so search engines can read your site content.
The use of flashing text or multicolored text should be avoided. The text may get noticed, but generally for very negative reasons. Simple, compact text will provide the best means for visitors to understand what your site is designed to provide. Another reason content is so important is to keep all of your customers in mind. You may have both visually challenged and portable device customers that may use technologies that have space constraints. Many new site designs keep these limitations in mind.
Anytime you are developing an ecommerce site enlist the help of several trusted individuals who are willing to tell you exactly what they think of the site. Honest feedback is important when considering something with as much potential as an ecommerce site. A traditional businessman wouldn’t construct a building without consulting an architect so why should online business not strive to enlist the help of others in site development techniques, design and site appearance?