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Whether you are establishing a new online store, or re-platforming an existing e-commerce enterprise, securing the right web build is essential. Not only does your website need to be engaging, searchable, and intuitive, it also needs to appeal visually and functionally to your audience.

Commissioning a web build for your business is an important part of your brand identity. As such it is vital to ensure that your design decisions are in line with the needs and expectations of your audience, as well as the aspirations of your business.

Here are the essential steps for creating a coherent and impactful web design, and securing the involvement of the right individuals to enable you to make that vision a reality.

Plan Ahead To Manage Budgets & Scope

Before you do anything else, you will need a plan. This may sound elementary, but it is surprising how many otherwise successful businesses fail to plan effectively and end up wasting time, money, and resources as a consequence.

Development projects can be eye-wateringly expensive unless they’re properly managed &mdash, and designs need to be signed off before development work kicks off in earnest.

In order to commission a high-quality web build for your business, you will need to carry out extensive research into your niche, competitors, keywords, and target demographics. Building your design around these findings, you will then have to create an ironclad brief, so you know exactly what you require, and how you wish to implement these features.

This brief will need to cover every detail of the project, including potential obstacles. Factors to cover include the following:

  • Your budget for the project - Setting a clear limit on your costs allows you to refine your choices more effectively, and immediately identify whether any initial aspirations for your website are too financially ambitious for the time being.
  • Possible setbacks - By identifying anything that could go wrong, you will be able to plan ahead, and budget accordingly.
  • Technical specifications - Your brief should cover every technical requirement of your web build. This could include factors such as mobile optimization, automation, and integration with other platforms.
  • Scalability - Be sure to specify that you want to be able to scale up as needed, and ensure that this can be done without disrupting your website’s functionality.
  • Timescale - Your web design team need to know how long they have to complete the project so they can schedule effectively, and set aside sufficient time for testing, feedback, and optimization.

Consider Your Technology Options

Your enterprise is founded on the strength of your brand. This means you’re not just building an e-commerce site, you are building a product that allows you to present your business in the strongest possible light.

  • Do you require integration with a particular shipping provider or payment gateway? 
  • How easy is it to migrate existing traffic to your new website? 
  • How customizable is the platform and does it allow for business expansion? 
  • What are your content management and delivery requirements from the platform? 

Your plan will outline your precise requirements, so while you are deciding on a platform to use, investigate how well that each can fulfill those needs:

For example, Magento Enterprise operates as a “self-hosted” platform, meaning that you are responsible for all aspects of data protection and security for your store. In contrast, Shopify Plus offers Level 1 PCI DSS compliant hosting packages.

Learn From The Best

Review your brief against the enterprise e-commerce giants and see where they have focused their energies when building their sites.

Some great examples of enterprise company e-commerce web builds include:

Nike

Credit: Nike

This global titan doesn’t “just do it.” They have built their e-commerce site with their global reach and audience in mind, by segmenting their audience by region and nation. They have then designed a different site for each audience to tailor it to suit the different buyer agendas and requirements of each nationality. 

Apple

Credit: Apple

Simplicity is everything for the world’s most valuable company. Apple’s site is uncluttered, brutally precise, and arrows for their USP’s: popularity, vibrancy, inclusivity, and technical mastery – presenting simple slogans that allow their product to do the talking. 

Fender 

Credit: Fender

It’s not by accident that people arrive at the site of this musical goliath: Fender know that their customers are seeking specifics – music equipment from one of the industry’s most recognizable brands.  They present a; the different equipment categories clearly and concisely so that customers can quickly find what they need.

It’s essential your enterprise e-commerce web build provides your brand with a site that clearly markets your brand's USP while taking account of your size and appeal. These three enterprise companies did just that and it’s no surprise they continue to enjoy immense success.

Embrace Custom Software

While there are countless tools and applications already available that can help you achieve the web build you have in mind, sometimes the best option is to develop custom software built to your individual specifications.

Ultimately, this is the best way to ensure that your precise aspirations are met, while also facilitating the expansion of the software’s functionality should you need to adapt its use in the future. Having full control over your software’s build also makes scalability far more attainable, which is vital for the unimpeded growth of your business.

Once you have determined the features you require your website to include, you can begin working towards a future-proofed, robust design, that is tailor-made for your enterprise. Custom software can also be less vulnerable to hacking attempts, in comparison with widely-used alternatives which may have known vulnerabilities.

Plan for the Future

The world of e-commerce is forever developing. Because of that, scalability is one of the key considerations for any ambitious entrepreneur. You already know that your business has continued growth as its goal, so it is important that you make provisions for that expansion.

Create calculated projections of your business growth over the next several years, and use these estimates to form a basis for your plans for long-term expansion. The rate of growth can impact the range of features and depth of functionality that may be required to keep your website running smoothly.

Don’t be afraid to run your ideas past your web design team and hear their advice on the sort of features that might be required, and how the growth of your business might impact the functional requirements of your e-commerce site – for example, you need to consider the UI and UX of your site not just now, but for when you have achieved the next step in your growth.

For a successful e-commerce enterprise, your business deserves a carefully-crafted, user-focused website that shows off your brand and continues to keep your audience coming back.

The implementation of a robust, feature-rich e-commerce site is not a simple process. Nevertheless, with careful consideration, and continuous consultation with web design experts, you will be able achieve the build you have envisioned.

Thereafter, you will be able to grow and evolve your business with confidence that your website will be  able to keep up. This means you can focus on building upon that success, without the concern that your business might plateau due to the constraints of a poorly-optimized design.




This guest blog post is by Victoria Greene, a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on e-commerce and digital marketing. She is passionate about using her experience to help e-commerce brands develop.


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