How Ecommerce Websites Are Evolving
As 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.
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.