Ecommerce Website Design, Development & Planning
If you plan to sell anything online, having an e-commerce plan is as important as your original business plan.
One of the first things that you will need to consider is who is going to help you build your ecommerce site. You have many choices, you can use a web design company like Palmetto Digital Marketing Group, a web design agency, or hire a private web design professional.
What's the Difference?
Palmetto Digital Marketing Group
We are a group of subject matter experts! We offer digital marketing, web design and eCommerce management services to companies who want to be found on the web. Think of us as the digital marketing extension of your company. Our motto is "we do digital, so you don't have too." We focus on increasing website traffic and conversion rates so our clients can achieve web dominance. We are a small team composed of 2 web designers, a copywriter, social media specialist and Amazon specialist. We offer our clients in-depth knowledge and offer deep skill-sets at "maximum value."
Digital Web Agency
A digital design agency is a business that delivers services for the creative and technical development of internet based products. These services range from the more generalist such as web design, e-mail marketing and micro-sites etc. to the more specialist such as viral campaigns, banner advertising, search engine optimization, podcasting, front-end development, etc.
Freelance or Independent Web Designer
A freelance web designer or freelance worker is a term commonly used for a person who is self employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance web design workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or use professional associations or websites to get work.
Which Ecommerce Website Design Option is Best for Me?
There are pro's and con's for each model.
Typically agencies are more expensive and getting work completed can be a lengthy process.
Web Design Freelancers
Typically when you hire a freelance professional, the level of work you get is dependent upon the talent level of the freelancer. The costs are usually lower, but often times the caliber of work matches the lower cost. This can be a great solution for small companies with little capital investment.
Palmetto Digital Marketing Group
With PDMG you get a balanced approach. We offer skilled labor at a fraction of the cost of a digital design agency. Think of us as a middle ground. We specialize in building Shopify and Bigcommerce stores. We can also complete projects in days vs. weeks or months.
Choosing an Ecommerce Selling Platform
One of the first steps in writing an e-business plan is to decide what kind of web platform you want to use to sell online. You have several choices: Shopify, Magento, Big Commerce and WordPress with Woo Commerce Cart Functionality.
Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders — all with a few clicks of the mouse.
Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. The software was originally developed by Varien Inc., a US private company headquartered in Culver City, California, with assistance from volunteers.
Big Commerce, often referred to as BigCommerce (oneword), offers a simple solution to start an online store. If you have a product or service to sell online, you will need build your store on some type of shopping cart software.
Wordpress is a free publishing software and content management system (CMS) that is popular in America. The software is open-source allowing developers to create a wide array of plug-ins, themes and widgets. Wordpress is widely considered easy to use and is the CMS of choice for almost 75 million websites.
Ecommerce Website Design and Development Strategic Planning & Services
A solid ecommerce strategy utilizes many components and, in the always changing environment that is ecommerce, your strategies need constant refinement. Your ecommerce strategy must define your goals, provide a roadmap for moving forward, and allow you to keep up with online competition.
Whether you are an online retailer, brand manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor, Palmetto Digital Marketing Group's ecommerce consultants work with you to develop a comprehensive, data-driven strategy across ecommerce marketing and technology assessments.
Ecommerce Website Design & Development Best Practices
1. Create a Clear Value Proposition
Your value proposition is the #1 thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product or hit the back button. If I could give you only one piece of conversion advice, “test your value proposition” would be it.
2. Make Sure Your Product Descriptions Are Clear and Accurate
We all know that product descriptions can be extremely important, but oftentimes ecommerce store owners include or remove them at abandon.
As it turns out, these descriptions mean different things when you are selling different products. Check out the study conducted by the Nielsen Group below:
3. Use High Quality Ecommerce Website Product Images
There is also the matter of image quality. As this study mentions, one of the best ways to sell a physical good is to get it in somebody's hands. Since you can't do that online, the best alternative is to get them to imagine it in their hands.
4. Make Sure Your Ecommerce Website Looks Trustworthy
When competing against the big boys of ecommerce, there is one thing you need to realize: their brand recognition means that they don't have to prove to people that they are trustworthy.
5. Customer Testimonials
The perfect testimonial is typically found through a well known customer, or a customer that perfectly represents one of your persona. In other words, the source of the testimonial often matters just as much as what was said, so put your best foot forward by selecting the praise you received that will be most comforting to prospective customers.