Ecommerce isn’t new, but its likely to be older than you think. It was actually invented way back in 1979 by Michael Aldrich, an English inventor, innovator, entrepreneur. If you want to allow online transaction processing or transfer of funds between consumers and businesses, or between one business and another, you can thank Mr. Aldrich.
Speed, responsiveness, and usability of an e-commerce site directly affect conversion rates and customer retention. That’s why Imagination Factory applies the same attention to detail to the user-experience of an e-commerce site as we do our informational sites. Customers must easily find, select, and complete the buying experience seamlessly. Any hiccup in the process can cost you the conversion. This is where the rubber meets the road. We build focused, informed, secure shopping experiences that make it easy for customers to shop and purchase—and easy for admins to ship and manage .
What’s The Difference Between E-Commerce or E-Tail?
If you are looking to get paid for your expertise, have visitors subscribe to your online service, get people/companies to donate to your issue/cause – that’s all fine and well, but understand the principal purpose of your website, then, IS a form of E-commerce. However, integration of payment can range from simple, third party solutions up to and including full carts and subscription processing.
If your company sells products online, that’s a special form of E-commerce we’ll refer to as E-tail – the cyber twin sister to bricks and mortar retail.
We design and develop websites for both E-tailing and E-Commerce … sometimes all within one site. But each type of online selling requires special consideration. During the research and planning phase, we take the buying cycle and user flow under careful consideration—as well as the client’s everyday admin needs.
Common E-Commerce Pitfalls
Many e-tail or e-store sites aren’t the most attractive websites. There’s often a lot of clutter with little to distinguish the design from any other e-tail site. All too often the goal of selling products becomes more important to an e-tail site than having a pretty, logical and searchable design, but that doesn’t or shouldn’t be the case.
While user experience is important on all types of websites, it is especially critical for e-tail websites where visitors will be making purchases. A poor user experience will result in visitors having difficulty finding what they want, frustration during shopping, and many lost sales.
Just as with retail layout and traffic flow management, there’s a logic to online merchandising. How the products are arranged, categorized, photographed, displayed, described, priced and ultimately delivered to the customer are all part of the e-tail equation – even BEFORE you decide how you want to take the purchaser’s money.
Selling online opens your business to a global marketplace 24/7, but there are many things to consider when designing an e-tail site. It’s not just throwing up a shopping cart system and stuffing products into it.
Imagination Factory has designed numerous E-tailing and E-Commerce systems over the years, from hard-code to CMS plug-in. In the early days of the web, we were cited in Frank Feather’s book, Future Consumer.com for our work on a 1999 interactive Quixtar table setting selector. We designed hard-coded franchise purchase systems for Guardsman Woodpro products.
As such, we’re comfortable and capable in myriad programming approaches E-tailing and E-commerce, including conversion to function as an online showroom that drives to reseller sites.
We frequently use Woo Commerce to power the online shops we build due to its seamless WordPress integration and user-friendly interface that dovetails with a custom framework we have built. We adhere to PCI compliance regarding security and facilitate other measures beyond PCI compliance.
We are experienced and extremely comfortable integrating:
- Payment Gateways
- Variable sales tax
- Inventory and third-party tracking
- Product variations
- Pricing models
- Dynamic shipping and tracking via UPS, FedEx, or USPS
- Wholesale Pricing
- Membership systems
- Recurring billing
- Food Service/Menu Ordering modules
Need assistance from an experienced ecommerce design team? Talk to us, we’re here and ready to help.