Webshops: A journey begins
Entering a new area of profession I'll soon start to work as part of a designer team in a professional webshop developement and E-Commerce company. To be honest, my experience with webshops hasn't been the best so far. It's a pretty complex area that seems to have it's own rules when it comes to marketing and design. But it's certainly an interesting challenge with much to learn from as well, wich is why I decided to write down some of the experiences I'm going to make about it in the future.
Now before I'll get the chance to digg deeper into webshop design, let me give you a quick summary of what I think makes good E-Commerce good.
First of, what exactly is E-Commerce to me? Pretty simple: Selling stuff on the internet. Thinking of that, who are the biggest players in the selling-stuff-on-the-internet-business? What are the first websites I (and you may too) think of, when it comes to buy stuff on the web?
Amazon and Ebay. I guess there's no doubt about that.
Now I won't do the research of when exactly those two started their success or how they did it. But the fact is they are first choice when it comes to buy stuff on the internet, and certainly for some good reasons:
- you can find almost anything there
- they're easy to use
- they're (most of the times) safe to use
- they're quick to use
- they're fun to use
- sometimes one can make money by using them
And if you want to explain to somebody, what eBay or Amaazon is, those 6 answers would probably be the best explanation anyway. Of course, we as web designers already know that there are much bigger mechanisms working behind the curtain to make those shops go so well. So let's lets take a closer look and show off only a few of the features, that make those E-Commerce platforms a lovely choice to spend money at:
The direct comparison
Open the two websites in seperate windows to look at both of them at the same time. You will notice a couple of things that both have in common. You may excuse my little sarcasm in giving you the tour in the plural form:
1. The top deals
Before you even dare to touch that search options, why not take a look at our big top deal banner at the front. Yeah, "at the front" means literaly that this big fancy pictured product jumps right into your face before you even can say "sold".
2. Big search input
Let's be honest: it's pretty obvious that somebody wants you to search for something here. And analyzing the site from top to bottom this will probably be the first element besides the top deal banner that grabs your attention. So go ahead buddy - search for something!
3. Category select
Looking for something specific? Right beside the search input you'll have a select field with a whole lot of categories to choose from. Don't know what to search for? Well, let us help you out. If you just want to look around, you may consider to move your mouse to the left collumn, where there is already a collection of subjects that may catch your interest.
4. Customer choices
That's right. Down here we show you stuff, that most of the other visitors already bought or looked at. It's cool, it's top of the line, it's not that expensive and we thought you may like some of that too.
Just some random special offers and promotions. In case you want to save some money and make a real good deal.
6. Cart and Account
(You may excuse that there is no screenshot here, unfortunately I haven't been shopping online for quite some time and my account data somehow... wen't lost. That's why I can't give you a view of the logged in state right now.)
Oh, haven't noticed it yet? All the account and cart functions are collected right at the top of the site. If you want to check out your account settings or the items in your cart, just click the link.
I think I got the most common functions of good webshop homepage covered. And you can guess why they're working so well. We'll go deeper into the selling stuff psychology in future articles. Until then - be my troll and tell me if I got something wrong here.