Best Ecommerce Website Design

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Choosing The Best Ecommerce Framework

Choosing an appropriate framework for the needs of an up and coming web storefront is more than just a question of ticking boxes in a checklist. There are three categories of evaluation points:

– Features
– Necessities
– Luxuries

Features are those parts of the system that make it stand out from other offerings. Necessities are the core functions of the framework that enable it to do its job; lose one of these and it becomes difficult to argue for a particular framework, despite any features it might otherwise have.

Luxuries are those items which need not be there, but which make the case for a framework that comes at a premium price. The luxury components expand the system so that if feels worth the extra price paid to be able to take advantage of them.
Small Businesses

Typically, a small business framework will have some basic core functionality, no luxury add-ons, and features will vary between packages on offer. When a small ecommerce venture is starting out, money will likely be part of the decision making process, and as such, those systems (like CRELoaded) which offer free versions will always appeal.

Once the store is established, and the vendor becomes more sophisticated, one of the for-pay versions can be purchased, and the extra features taken advantage of. The free version supports all the core functionality one would expect:

– Checkout and cart management
– Content template system
– Reporting

In addition, the for-pay versions add features such as credit card blacklisting, encryption for credit card details, the possibility to manage special offers by category, and multiple product support built-in. These features make the for-pay versions attractive, because they take some of the manual work away from the site creator.

Search engine optimization features might fall into the luxury category, but the framework should at least support content management in a search engine friendly way. The bare minimum should be URL rewriting and image tag customization, to allow descriptions in image tags.
Larger Businesses

For those with a larger cataloge, more customers, and sophisticated requirements, something akin to the BV Commerce package will be more appropriate. Besides a similar core function offering, these packages add modules for marketing, loyalty, affiliate management and powerful design features.

Generally speaking, given that the client base, product range, and business volume will be higher for larger ecommerce sites, ecommerce frameworks in this category need to take almost all the manual processing away from the site owner. If they do not, then the tasks associated with order management (returns, shipping, tracking, etc.), and basic site maintenance, will quickly become unmanageable.

Subsequently, those items which are luxuries for small ecommerce site owners become features, and even necessities once the site in question grows much larger. The potential for larger ecommerce sites is much higher and so the site owners will want to offer affiliate schemes and the like to their visitors.

Marketing modules are of more importance in a large ecommerce framework, because the site has to be able to generate income to offset the purchase price of the framework. Of particular note are the features which make the site search engine friendly, coupled with cross-selling possibilities.

The cross-selling aspect is important, because it allows the system to suggest companion products to the customer. These will be suggested at the time of purchase, either when adding an item to the cart, or when the cart is being checked out. A framework that allows automatic and manual cross-selling should be seriously considered, even when some other features might be lacking.

Summary:

So, the three most important points to look for in any e-commerce framework are:

– Template management
– Core framework functionality
– Search engine features

The framework needs to be adaptable enough to be able to cope with future evolution of the site and market, whilst making this as easy as possible. The functions must be able to support existing business, as well as take away as much of the manual processing as possible.

Without good integration with search engine optimization functions, the framework will not create content that will be suitable for direct submission to search engines. Subsequently, the site creator will spend valuable time preparing submission pages, time which would be better spent creating extending the site itself.

So long as the balance between cost and benefit can be kept, it is worth paying the extra fees to have a framework that takes all the grind out of maintaining the infrastructure and processing payments. The end result is profitability, as expensive manual work is taken out of the loop.

About the Author:
CoSource is a reputable Ecommerce software developer who provides the best Ecommerce website design solution for busy webmasters. Learn more at the Ecommerce store SEO consulting firm.

Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Choosing-The-Best-Ecommerce-Framework/183405


10 thoughts on “Best Ecommerce Website Design”

  1. What do you think is the best ecommerce web designing software that you can create your own website?
    I’ve already found it but want to know your answer. Here’s what it will do: Besides the company having a great success track record, the owner is a wealthy Internet marketer; The software tool is great for everyone, even a teenager uses it and makes over $2000/mo.; It’s a pre-signed, automated, income generating website. You don’t need any technical skills; It’s user-friendly, customer-friendly and search engine-friendly, meaning it’s SEO-ready (can get you high page ranking and free traffic); it’s for beginners and advanced users- can customize any of the many templates — and personalize it; hosting is included; it has many Internet marketing software tools, including keyword software for niche marketing; you get many free ebooks; forum membership; there are many success stories and testimonials; the owner/company OVERdelivers; great customer service and teach support; Teaches everything you need to know about Internet marketing, advertising, PREselling, making additional money, etc.

  2. really, depends on the purpose of the website. I’m joomla.org fan. open source, free, what else!?

  3. Where is the best place to find interns for website design. preferably willing to work for free initially?
    this is for an eCommerce website

  4. How can I have a website design coded for ecommerce?
    I have Photoshop design of a website I would like coded so that it becomes an ecommerce website where customers can purchase my products online, log into a ‘wholesale’ area and manage their purchasing. What is the best way to do this? What software/programs/services? Thank you!

  5. Coding a site for e-commerce can be done in many different ways. One of the biggest factors is how payment processing will be handled. For example, if you choose to use PayPal – as many do that are starting out – your costs will be lower for your hosting. (Can usually avoid purchasing a security certificate.) This is because all the actual transaction data is handled on PayPal’s secure servers.
    https://www.paypal.com/
    Even better, assuming you know how to write your own HTML code, etc., PayPal offers a lot of help in their documentation and tools in getting you started.
    Google Checkout is another payment processing company that works similar to PayPal:
    http://checkout.google.com/
    Google has more restrictions over the kinds of products you can sell, so read through those sections carefully.

    This is assuming you want to code your HTML and so forth yourself. I’ll get into software that provides support for such things in a bit…

    In order to take advantage of EITHER company’s fraud protection services, you will need to provide various terms and conditions statements – such as your returns policy – on your site. Again, read over the requirements and advice. (Good stuff, even if you never use their services!)

    The next level of an e-commerce site, where the transaction process would occur on your site, involves a lot more stuff and cost. You’d need a security certificate for the site, and arrange payment processing through a combination of services including a merchant account setup through a local bank. Costs for doing such a setup is significantly higher, which is why I suggest waiting until you know your sales will produce a steady profit of at least $1,000 per month. Then again, such services will automate many of the details you will be handling yourself going the other route. (Thus saving you time and effort.)

    As to what kind of software you might want to run on such a site… Again, there are a lot of choices out there. Rather hard to make a recommendation unless I knew more about what you were selling, how you planned to handle the transactions, your level of expertise in so far as handling coding, databases, etc.

    Another issue in choosing the software is if you are looking for a commercial solution or open source (License free). Let me warn you, there are a LOT of opinions on which direction someone should go. Developers, such as myself, will always tend to go in one direction in this area over another. I’m not going to get into explaining the pros/cons of either methodology here, as I’m spending a lot of time on this answer as it is. Suffice to say, that’s a good question to ask on its own!

    Good news for you is that software designed for ecommerce use may have plug-ins, or add-ons available to integrate with PayPal, Google’s Checkout, etc. (If going open source, avoiding the cost of licensing too.) But, this again is very dependent on the exact software in use.

    Finally, assuming the design you have isn’t too complicated, a good developer should have little trouble converting that for use as a theme, skin, or template set for use with the software you plan to use. I would certainly ask the developer to give you links for similar setups that they have done somewhere before hiring them! (So you can check them out to see if they look nice and actually work.)

    Good luck with your project!

  6. What is the best Ecommerce shopping cart to use for a bew website?
    Hi, what is the best ecommerce shopping carts out there ?

    This is my first ecommerce website. When I try to download demos they dont work. DO I need hosting first?

    and how do I change the layout design on the shopping carts ? PLEASE HELP, this is new for me….

    Thanks so much 🙂

  7. Yes, you need some kind of server to run the demos. The easiest way is to get a hosting. The best shopping cart is the one easiest to install and use. Most webhosts nowadays have one-click shopping cart installation to make your life easier. If you are having problem choosing a reliable and cheap web hosting to use, I suggest you do the following:

    1. Go to the webhost review sites such as webhostingjury, hostingsthatsuck.com or webhostinggeeks and list down about 3 common top hosting companies.

    2. Next, for each web hosting X, do a “X sucks” search on Google. Read some complaints and see if you may encounter the same problems like them. Some of the complaints may relate to certain groups of users only such as VPS, dedicated server users or resellers. So you may not be affected if you are not from these categories.

    3. Eliminate those hostings you feel uncomfortable with, and look for the best bargain hosting for your money.

    You can try Fatcow, InMotion or Justhost. They all have 1-click ecommerce installation via Fantastico.

    Good luck.

  8. Best place/way to set up an ecommerce website that includes shopping cart?
    I want to set up a website so I can sell things. I am no that experienced with web design, but I still want a very modern and catchy design. What are some of the best places that help you design a website and offer a shopping cart?

    *By the way I already have a domain I want to use.

  9. eCommerce (Some Free):

    ShopSite Shopping Carts (Trial): http://www.startlogic.com/product/shopsitestarter.bml
    Mal’s e-commerce is a FREE Shopping Cart Service: http://www.mals-e.com/
    Free Shopping Cart Software for Joomla! & Mambo: http://virtuemart.net/
    Create your own Online Store for Free with Free Webstore: http://www.freewebstore.org/
    eCRATER.com is both a free web store builder and a free online marketplace: http://www.ecrater.com/
    Ubercart is an exciting open source e-commerce package that fully integrates your online store with Drupal: http://www.ubercart.org/
    Free Shopping Cart Software: http://www.1freecart.com/

    osCommerce Online Merchant is an Open Source online shop e-commerce solution that is available for free under the GNU General Public License: http://www.oscommerce.com/
    Zen Cart™ truly is the art of e-commerce; free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart software: http://www.google.com/search?q=free+ecommerce+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    35 Free High-Quality E-Commerce Templates: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/25/35-free-high-quality-e-commerce-templates/

    Ron

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