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How Ecommerce Websites Are Evolving

ecomm-holidayAs you are no doubt aware, there is a real increase in the number of people that are now purchasing items from the Internet all around the world. It seems that we have finally managed to rid ourselves of this fear about buying things online and, instead, have become used to the concept of going online, filling our virtual shopping basket, and then waiting for the items to be delivered to our door.

There is no doubt that the practicality of it all is impressive, but the one thing that you are perhaps not aware of is the need for owners of ecommerce websites to keep on top of the evolution of this type of website. Indeed, if you were able to go back in time just a few years you would see how far these websites have come in a relatively short period of time and you would probably be shocked at how basic they used to be in the not too distant past.

However, just as with other types of websites, things are still constantly evolving and it is always useful to refresh our memory as to what is expected from these sites in order to predict what the future is probably going to be like.

The All Important Homepage.

If we begin with that all important homepage, then it used to be the case that ecommerce websites would have a plethora of products blasted all over it and you could see the sense in this approach. They were clearly trying to catch the attention of each visitor by showing them as many products as possible in order to tempt them into buying.

However, it is different now as typically the number of products that appear on a homepage has been reduced by a considerable amount. Now, the top of the homepage tends to be taken up by what could only be described as a virtual billboard with large adverts for products that are for sale with the items themselves hidden inside the various links.

This shows a change in attitude and an increase in the belief that there is no longer the need to do the immediate sale with an ecommerce website. Owners are quite comfortable in the knowledge that people know how to navigate these websites and that the visitors will indeed do that if they want without being hit by product after product.

Large Category Lists.

One change that is rather interesting is how the website is structured when it comes to the list of categories. Some websites are now looking at initially providing the visitor with a shop button that then leads them to an in-depth category list all on the one page, but rather than being listed down one side it acts as the central content for that page.

What will tend to happen is that there will be a main image for a particular main category heading followed by sub-categories being listed below it. That page will then open up its own tab showing all of the products and it then means more space on the page can be dedicated to the items rather than constantly having a long list of categories down one side.

Dynamic Products.

If we now look at the most important part of the ecommerce website, the products.

It is fair to say that the layout and design of the product listings is one area that has really come on leaps and bounds in recent times as website owners have realized that potential buyers need as much information as possible to help them to make their decision as to whether or not they will buy the product.

Due to this, there is no doubt that each product listing becomes like its very own advertisement. Now, it is common for products to have a number of images to really sell it and, where possible, a short video clip in the product listing can also work wonders.

There is also a tendency to include far more details about the product in question and one interesting development is the realization that the cross sell is also important. That has led to the use of prompters at the bottom of the product page that show you other products that could go with what you are looking at or, in the case of Amazon, it will tell you other products people have been looking at when they have bought the initial item.

The one thing that we have to say about ecommerce websites is that they are now far more professional than ever before and getting around them is also easier with the knowledge that they need to take tablets and smartphones into consideration as well.

There is less a sense of them being disjointed as websites and the flow is far superior to earlier incarnations and perhaps it is the improved design of these websites that has also led to an increase in online sales.

The future of ecommerce websites is certainly secure and it is difficult to see how there can be any wholesale changes that can improve the experience that is had by visitors. Things are smooth, product listings are fantastic, and buying online is safe, so it is impossible to see how anything could go wrong.

5 Ways Your Site Could Be Impeding Your Business

Every business is aware of the importance of having a website. Without it, there is no doubt that you will not be noticed as much and in actual fact there is also going to be a certain lack of trust in you as a company as well. However, there is more to it than simply having a website and believing that this is all that you need. Instead, there are actually a number of ways in which your site could be inadvertently impeding your business, so surely this is a bad thing and something that needs to be avoided?

1. The website design makes your business look old

One of the major ways in which your website could be impeding your business is that the design is out of date and it then makes your business look old and as if it is stagnant. This is never a good thing because people will take that first impression and feel that there is no way that they should use you because you seem to just not care about keeping up with the times. Some people will actually assume that the services or products that you offer will also be outdated and obviously that will not really be the case. However, this can all be changed by simply making sure that your website has a design that is sleek, modern, and most importantly works.

2. The website does not allow a customer to contact you

By contacting you, we actually do not just mean giving them the ability to send you an email. Now, you have to link up social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook to allow potential clients or customers to link up with you via their own account. This linking between accounts is now seen as being essential as people are using these sites in order to not only find you online, but to also connect with you before hopefully spending some cash. If you do not have the links on your official website, then you could be missing out on a wonderful opportunity.

3. If you can sell online, but do not have that option

You would be surprised at how many businesses could actually sell their products or services via the Internet, but they simply do not provide their visitors with that option. This is crazy because the world of ecommerce is growing every single year and people no longer have that same fear about spending money via the Internet that they did before. In other words, invest in having your own online store and take advantage of this huge market because other companies that offer the same kind of things as you do are taking advantage, so why should you be missing out?

4. The website does not offer enough information

You need to look at your website as being like a constant advert that is available to be viewed 24 hours a day. This is your online shop window and is a perfect opportunity to really sell yourself to potential clients or customers, but of course you are not physically there to do the selling. What this means is that your site needs to provide them with everything that they need to know in order to decide if they are indeed going to spend money with you. This then boils down to you providing them with the information that they need to make that decision, so if you have next to nothing on there, then how can they decide?

5. You do not bother to go beyond the holding page

Believe it or not, but there are a number of companies out there that register a domain name only to then have a domain holding page and nothing else. This is complete and utter madness because this basically combines all of the previous four points together into one horrible mess and the damage that it will do to your business is going to be very, very difficult to repair. Just think about it for a second. People will automatically search for your name online, they will see a link, they will expect to see information about your business, and then they get nothing. How would you feel if that happened to you? Would you then feel compelled to use that company?

The five points listed above may be very basic, but it is surprising as to how many times this kind of thing happens. Everybody knows that a website is now seen as being one of the key marketing tools that a company can have, so to not have even a basic website with a couple of pages crammed full of useful information is really a case of you letting not only your clients down, but more importantly your own business.

The only thing that you can do is to contact a company that can not only build you a wonderful website, but also tell you what is wrong with your existing one. In next to no time, and with you spending less money than you expect, your business can have the website that it deserves and your customers will then feel more compelled to spend their hard earned cash with you.

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