E-commerce web design is important for any business that wants to be successful online. If you own or manage a company, then you may want to create an online presence from which you can expand your sales operations, or promote your business to a new audience.
In either case, it is important that you approach this task carefully. Make sure you are fully aware of the features and considerations that are essential to the process and plan ahead so that you can create a B2B e-commerce site that is as successful as it can be.
Your B2B E-commerce Platform
The definition of e-commerce is broad and includes a number of operations and platforms. If you are interested in creating your own online B2B marketplace then it’s important that you have some understanding of the website creation and maintenance processes.
The design choices you make and the functionality you require will depend on various factors and there are several basic considerations that you should bear in mind:
Industry & Competition
Certain industries require specific online functionality. Knowing what is common amongst your rivals could indicate what kind of e-commerce software and tools you need to implement.
Functionality & Purpose
Is your site a sales tool? Is it for branding? Knowing whether you will be selling directly, or just advertising products and services will impact directly on the design implementations you consider or make. Bear in mind your audience too, as well as the ease with which these functionalities can be implemented.
Design & Appearance
Website design is overlooked far too often, with many owners or managers assuming that a site will look fine without any planning. This is rarely the case. If you have a logo already, or some sort of company branding, then it’s likely you will want to use them, but you need to make sure it is done properly, in a way that does not ruin the quality of your B2B platform.
Once you have a complete site you need to maintain it and promote. There is a chance that your website will perform well just off the back of the initial publish, but more often than not you will need to put in the further marketing effort. SEO is essential, and things like email marketing can be the difference between successful months and bad ones.
A Unique B2B E-commerce Platform
Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that a completely unique website that works in a completely different way to any other will be a success story. If you are planning on creating one of these unique sites, think about it again. Ask yourself why no one else has done it.
Standing out in a busy marketplace is always great if you can do it, but trying out unique, untested methods is probably not the best way to go.
If all of your competitors share a certain functionality or design feature, then the chances are that you should too – it’s rarely a coincidence when the same design idea appears across a range of sites. Indeed, this usually indicates that that feature works – take this to be best practice and reuse this feature and functionality on your own B2B platform.
Maintaining a B2B Marketplace
Website maintenance requires several services and features, which are present regardless of whether you work in B2B or B2C. Something like website hosting, for example, is utterly essential to the success and day-to-day running of your site – indeed, without a sufficient hosting service, your site will not function at all.
Aside from the essential services, there are several other tools and features that you will require to bear in mind.
Shopping Cart Software
If you are selling products or services over your site, then you need a function or system to facilitate sales.
Having a way for your customers to pay is obviously vital. There are some ways to set these up using companies like PayPal and Google, but this won’t always be suitable. Looking into your payment gateway options is the best way to ensure a successful transaction process is implemented.
Problem Solving and Content Creation
If you don’t know much about web maintenance, then it may be worth keeping a web designer or agency handy to help out if things go wrong. Sometimes your site will be struck by a problem that isn’t easy to fix, and in these situations, you will want professional help. Likewise, if you want content or functionality implemented after the initial design and publish, then you may need to look for help from professionals. It’s not always necessary to have someone working for you full time, but it is worth remembering that, on some occasions, you might need to get help from trained experts. At Prozack, we offer all our clients support and maintenance packages that meet their requirements and budget. If your looking to create a new e-commerce platform for your business, chat with us today and see how we can help.