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How methodically you’ve organized your ecommerce web site design will make or break its success in the world of Internet marketing sales. There are key elements common to nearly all web sites that you must integrate carefully and creatively to maximize the all-too-brief time that the average visitor spends on each site as he surfs the Web. Successful ecommerce companies, whether large corporations or one-man online merchants, spend a lot of time in the planning stage before exposing their product or service to the buying public; you must expect to do the same to achieve your goals.

In The Beginning
To build an ecommerce website, you must have some web design knowledge and a lot of patience. A working knowledge of HTML, which formerly was all you needed to know, is necessary if you are planning on doing a very basic site yourself. However, today’s interactive and media-driven websites used by Internet retailers mean that a more robust and technically challenging ecommerce Internet solution is required. There are turnkey ecommerce providers who can give you an out-of-the-box “Internet storefront” if you lack the necessary technical skills.

Put Your Plan in Motion
The Internet has become the world’s largest shopping mall; much like a “brick and mortar” store, an online store must be informative about the product or service offered, attractive to entice “lookey-loos,” set up to make the shopping experience as convenient as it can be, and lead the customer from the selection to the checkout as quickly as possible. The elements below are pivotal to meeting these goals:

Design – the design or look of your web site should represent your business and what you want to market. Remember the website is the only representation that your customers will see as they peruse Internet sellers, and through it you must be able to convince them to buy your product. It should at the same time not be too aggressive towards sales and thus scare away visitors.
Text – another very important feature. When you build an ecommerce website you need to use as many relevant keywords to your product or service as possible. Note that “keywords” are those words through which the search engines bring visitors and possible clients to your site as they do their online shopping comparison. This technique will help ensure that the search engines bring your store up when the visitors are looking for the items you sell.
Cross Browser Compatibility – with more that 100 different brands of internet browsers currently available you need to ensure that your site is compatible to be picked up by all of them. So you need to build an ecommerce website that is viewable in at least Internet Explorer 4.0+ and Netscape 4.0+. This is imperative in getting traffic to your site.
Using images – The pictures used on your site should describe the merchandise clearly when selling products on the Internet. Be original, try and shoot your own pictures or scan similar ones when you can; don’t just copy and paste. Also be sure to optimize your images for fast download; one loses a lot of customers whose interest simply wanes as they wait for the picture to show up.
Site Navigation – This should be easy for visitors to understand and use. Make an FAQ section where you should list any and all questions you think visitors may have. The easier your site navigation the more sales you will have. Buyers hate to get stuck on a site that leads them nowhere and on an ecommerce web site, poorly planned navigation means lost revenue

Reaching your goal to build an ecommerce website is not an easy task, especially if you try to do it all by yourself. There are many website hosts out there who offer step-by-step help and assistance. Because they can handle everything from ecommerce site design to online shopping cart software, they are a great tool to have on your side if you’ve never built a site before

You must have patience and creativity in order to successfully build an ecommerce website. It may take a while if you do it all by yourself; however, no matter how you created it, once ready to launch you can proudly say, you’ve built your store yourself!
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