How Do I Choose the Right eCommerce Template?
Choosing the right eCommerce template can be a pretty hard process, especially because there are so many great options to choose from. Increasingly, designers are no longer treating eCommerce websites like the second-class citizens of web design. Instead of sticking to the rather uninspired designs of years past, they're applying today's trends too eCommerce websites. From hand-drawn graphics to interesting typography, a number of great options are available. Picking the right one, while sometimes difficult, will actually be easy when a little care is taken in assessing the needs of the operation versus the features and appearance of the template design itself.
Consider Who the Website is Targeted To
It's really great that web designers are starting to create innovative and trendy designs for strict eCommerce websites, but that might not be the best approach when choosing a template in some cases. Keep in mind that eCommerce websites, just like their more traditional counterparts, have target markets. Some target markets might include entire demographics that aren't in the mood for "innovative" or "trendy" designs. They simply want to log on, shop, and log off. These customers don't want to be confused by new design elements or new ways of doing things.
For older customers, especially older male customers, this is almost always the case. For websites that deal specifically with products that target these two groups, it might be a good idea to choose an eCommerce template that is relatively traditional. Leave the hand-drawn logos, social media "share" buttons, and HTML5 embedded video to those companies that target a more youthful and dynamic group of buyers.
For Most Other Demographics, the Name of the Game is Social
The key to owning a successful eCommerce website in 2013 is to go social whenever, and wherever, it is possible. The best eCommerce template designs, then, are those that actively and repeatedly engage social networks on behalf of their customers. Be sure to choose a template that integrates the Facebook "like" button, as well as buttons for posting new tweets, sharing to Google Plus, or emailing a product to a friend or family member.
When it comes to shopping, most people prefer to do it in a social way. That's why going to the mall is generally considered a group activity full of plenty of time to gossip, exchange stories, and consult each other on opinions about various products. Bring this functionality into an eCommerce via a socially-enabled template, and the site's success is likely to increase accordingly.
Choose a Product-Specific Template
While there are a number of great eCommerce with a more general design, a larger number of templates include a design that is specifically tailored to sites that do business with outdoorsmen, shoe-buying addicts, or electronics geeks. An eCommerce that sports a product-themed design just looks more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about its product. That resonates with consumers, and it builds a certain amount of trust that a more general design might not convey very well at all.
Finally, Choose Something Usable
Whether the design is forward-thinking or traditional, socially-enabled or walled off, or even product-specific, it must be usable. Before deciding on any specific design, be sure to see it in action and use it yourself. If it's easy to use and quick to load, it's likely a winner for consumers, as well. If the opposite is true, the template should probably be left behind in favor of something that is better designed, more efficient, and more easy to use for a broad cross-section of buyers.
And, as always, be sure that any chosen eCommerce template enhances a business' relationship with its customers and target groups. Together, it will help form a single, cohesive package that will propel the business toward success.
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