A lot of people who have websites for their business often don't realize how important their web development is to the success of their sales online. Many don't realize that their storefront designs from the actual landing page to the shopping cart can and does have a direct effect on the sales they generate. Even the smallest of elements can either improve or harm the sales.
One of the best things to do is to think about the website from the shoppers point of view when improving your web development. As a shopper you are going to want your shopping to be intuitive and easy, but often online storefronts don't offer this. Often online stores are far too cutesy or artsy in design. While others might use flash that will often slow down the shoppers browsers. Then there are some that may use certain colors that can send the wrong signal to the shopper.
When considering your web development it is important that you first consider your shopping cart. So, it is very important that you make sure that the shopping cart is visible to the shopper. When customers add items to their carts, they definitely want know for sure that their items were actually registered as being chosen and put in the shopping cart. So, this means that some place on the page during the shopping process there should be an area that lists the number of items that are in the customers shopping cart and checkout information.
If you have the checkout information visible and easily available to them will also help them transition from their shopping to the checkout a lot easier. It is always important to have a quick link back to the shopping cart for the customer.
To make the cart more visible it should “pop” so it is easier to find. The best thing to do here is to make sure that it stands out from the rest of the color scheme on the website.
Make better use of your “add to cart” buttons that you may have on your website. Customers respond differently to various “calls to action”. For example if you button happens to say some like “for more details” or “learn more about” they usually don't react too well to those kinds of commands. However, if the button says something like “Buy Now” you are going to get a far better reaction.
Also be careful of the colors that you use for the “add to cart” buttons. Orange or red are colors that don't usually fare well and you might want to consider using blues or greens because they are gentler colors that usually encourage people to follow up.
Another very important part of your website are your product pages. You product pages need to be well organized and have good product images. Shoppers definitely want to see what they are getting for their money. So make sure you have very good photos of your products. Next would be the product name, then the description and finally the price of the product. Always make sure to try and keep items such as customer reviews and links to products that are similar closer to the bottom of your product pages.
Make sure your navigation paths are easy and effective. Hidden menus and other hidden elements will frustrate shoppers. It is best to avoid these types of elements. However, if you happen to have too many categories this can be a more difficult task to accomplish and can clutter the site if all categories are listed. So it is best then that you use fly out menus, ones that “fly out” at the shopper when they run the mouse over them. This keeps the page from getting cluttered and it gives the shopper the ability to access other categories easily.
When it comes to the checkout page, the simpler the better. Remove sidebar navigation and define a clear path for them. Try to avoid the urge of continuing to try and sell them items during the checkout process because this can sometimes cause the loss of a customer. Also make sure that your checkout is a single page, these tend to keep the customer and assure you of a sale. The easier it is for the customer to checkout the better it is for your business.