Ecommerce Website Design and Development: The Definitive Guide (2021)

This is the definitive guide to Ecommerce Website Design and Development in 2021.

What you will learn in the ecommerce website design and development guide,

  • What is Ecommerce Website?
  • Ecommerce website design and development Content Mapping
  • Ecommerce website development Exact Process
  • Much more

If you are looking to build your own ecommerce website or become an ecommerce web designer, this is a perfect guide for you.

Let’s get started.

Ecommerce Website Design and Development
Ecommerce Website Design and Development

What is Ecommerce Website?

An ecommerce website, by definition, is a product website that showcases digital or services product to customers and allows to buy or sell products or services online and people can make a transaction via Internet. 

Many of the sites that are launched expect a stampede of customers following. 

However, it is not the case we come to encounter. All they have are a few stray   customers who casually browse or stroll by without buying anything.

Many budding entrepreneurs don’t know what is required to make e-commerce sites successful.

In this complete guide of Ecommerce Website Design and development, we will explain that what it take to make an eCommerce website tick while other just fall apart and end in disarray. 

Moreover, though out this guide, we will shed some light on eCommerce industry giant— Amazon and develop a base for a better understanding that what makes an online business so alluring for the online consumers and how you can mimic their approach to get more customers coming in to your site with purchasing intentions. 

Ecommerce Website Summary

Connectivity and online consumerism continues to grow and so does the need for brands to have an effective e-commerce site. 

In a study by Custora, the mobile e-commerce market has grown 19-fold from 2010 to 2014, and sales are expected to surpass $50 billion by the end of the decade.

Your brand must have a well-designed (and mobile-responsive) e-commerce site in order to capture its share of this growing mobile pie. 

This means that customers must have access to a site that is not only simple and elegant, but that they can also utilize to browse and purchase however, it has the ability to inform without jargon, inspire without being inauthentic, and be helpful without being patronizing.

To attract a fickle and discerning consumer audience—to succeed—your brand’s e-commerce site must fulfill all these requirements, and do so better than its rivals. These four main characteristics of a successful e-commerce website will be discussed in this definitive guide. 

Customer goals, making shopping easy and creating the perfect product page all contribute to the perfect shopping experience and reliability of an online store. 

Ecommerce Website Design and Development Content Mapping

  1. Customers Goals
  2. Online Shopping Made Easy 
  3. The Perfect Product Display Page 
  4. Buy Now and Checkout 

Let’s dive into this definitive and explore each component that contributes to the success of an ecommerce website development and design.  

Ecommerce Website Design and Development Process

1) Customers’ Goals

The goal of a race is to start with the end in mind and work backward. It is the same for e-commerce. It’s time to build a strategy to make your brand site efficient for serving your customers once you understand your branding and customer goals.

Along the way, test the site for areas where content and performance are lacking and listen to Customer Service representatives to find out the pain points of your customers.

  • Know Your Customers and Get into their Shoes 

Ultimately, understanding your customers’ needs and demands, and aligning them with your products or services is the quickest route to success in e-commerce. 

It is always possible to tweak site performance, content, and navigation, but in the end, when your value proposition and consumer’s intent are aligned, you will be on the right path.

There is so much talk about internal politics and prioritizing that it is easy to lose focus that your site is designed to help your customers accomplish something real to them.

A customer-focused approach (and a process that aligns customer and business goals) can deliver dramatic results. 

We have observed an increase in conversion rates, an increase in sales, and a decrease in customer service calls after implementing our services. 

The potential for improving business results can make alignment customer and company goals challenging at first, but well worth the effort.

  • Online Services Provide Self-service Approach 

Online services provide self-service. A visitor arrives at your site already anticipating a goal. If the content and organizational structure does not convey this natural support, they may leave the site and never return.

If your site doesn’t already focus on saving people time from the things that matter to them, it’s going to lose sales and frustrate customers.

To learn what matters to customers on a store website, we have interviewed and surveyed thousands of them. 

We’ve learned from this survey that there are only two (and only two) objectives online that consumers want: evaluate (research) and buy (purchase).

  • Consider Your Site as a Store

Customers do not have to walk into your store and ask for assistance because your website is both a point of sale and a product display. Thankfully, it serves both roles well with the right supporting content.

In fact, the most common business goals for e-commerce sites are conversions and sales. The top two priorities of customers are to research products and purchase them. 

You will achieve greater sales numbers if you build a website that lets customers easily find and buy the product that suits their needs.

  • Understand what Your Customers Want

The ecommerce website plays an essential role in the research process for a user, and these users have high expectations about the online shopping experience.

There are countless brands with infinite products, so making it easy for customers to find what they need is critical to the ecommerce business success.

  • Improve Your Results

Most ecommerce businesses have a relationship with their development agencies that are not structured to produce and maintain websites of constant improvement and testing. 

Agencies make a terrible mistake by not testing because, with careful testing and analysis, these aspects can be found, fixed, and continually improved, starting from the site’s efficiency, user behaviors, and customer support hassles.

Unfortunately, most e-commerce sites on the internet fall victim to the same mediocrity and poor performance. 

A lot of brands struggle with their sites so much that they return to a new agency within months in search of a new solution, which often means a complete redesign.

  • The Efficient Test

If you create a baseline for your site (i.e. a style that hasn’t changed in months), then comparisons can be made with multiple versions of your site’s interface, copy, images, navigation, etc., using your baseline to see what performs the best.

The A/B testing was the traditional method by which a single design was compared with the baseline.

However, Multi-Arm Bandit testing has improved this concept by allowing multiple designs to be tested simultaneously.

  • Analyze the Behaviors of your Customers

It’s important to remember when looking at your site analytics that hits, visitors and other metrics aren’t just numbers, they’re real human beings with the capacity to become new or returning customers. 

You can improve the site’s structure, content, search results, and conversions by segmenting this data intelligently.

A few examples of custom reports and segments that provide actionable insights include:

  1. Mobile
  2. Desktop
  3. Transactions and conversions from visits
  4. Visits related to search
  5. Searches that occur on these pages
  6. Quality of search results vs conversion rate
  7. Site time
  8. Pageviews after the search

2) Online Shopping Made Easy

Conversion rates are higher on sites where it is easy for customers to navigate from landing pages to checkout pages with convenience. 

The temptation is to make your site persistent with links to everything. It makes sense for users to have all their content in one place. Most websites fail to place the appropriate content in the correct places in the beginning.

It’s more difficult to take on the challenge of navigating through content, searching for content, managing content, and keeping content current. 

From a content maintenance perspective, this quickly becomes overwhelming, and the quality content becomes dispersed across the site. 

Quite often, sales decrease as a result of stale product descriptions and imagery, unresponsive videos, losing relevance in a sea of videos, and deactivated customer service representatives.

It is still important for an online store’s website to make sales even with a reduction in the quantity of content on the site. In order to accomplish this, your customers must be able to locate the right products and evaluate their choices intelligently.

  • Navigation

The best sites have clear navigation since they guide customers to the product detail pages to ensure that they have the information they need to make an informed decision when it comes to checkout.

Content navigation is always a site’s greatest challenge, and it often arises because the industry has a backward, brand-first mindset about content production.

On the constant quest for relevant conversation, content producers are typically more concerned with quantity than quality. Meanwhile, the content on the website ages quickly and will not contribute to the purchase decision of customers.

A site that has intuitive navigation makes it simple for visitors to find what they’re looking for, leading them from their landing page to product detail pages with exceptional information.

It is important to display popular content prominently on the home page, especially if you intend to drive leads in that direction.

  • Content for Key Landing Pages

  1. Links to best-selling products
  2. Videos of featured products
  3. Listed by popularity, descriptively named product categories
  4. A search bar for products
  5. Locator of stores
  6. Contact information for customer service
  7. A link to the shopping cart

There’s more content, so it’s more complex. It is difficult for people to accomplish their evaluations or actions caused by complexity. Customers and managers alike find it frustrating. 

Therefore, it is beneficial for a task to be completed in a simpler way. Increase revenue with easy fixes like product filtering by 76% and navigation that’s sticky with 22% faster speed than scrolling to the menu at the top of the page.

  • Website Search

The search feature of an e-commerce site will differ according to its e-commerce site. Generally, the more inventories available, the more important search becomes. Unfortunately, it is the search options on-site that consistently frustrate customers.

The customers who find exactly what they are searching for often use the site search in the expectation that this will provide them with what they seek quickly than browsing the site. 

For e-commerce customers, exact product names are searched from SKUs down to brand names.

  • Products Comparison Attributes  

In our research and interviews, we have found that users like to compare and contrast products to see which will be the best for them. 

Then they’ll compare every fact, up to and including user reviews, until they narrow their options down to their top two or three choices.

We conducted tests with over half of the customers and found that they left the site because they could not find enough information about a particular product to be sure they wished to make a purchase. 

It’s impossible to compare detailed product information without its presence.

  • Online Store Locator

Regardless of how good of a shopping experience an online store provides, there will always be clients who prefer conducting their transactions in a brick-and-mortar store. 

The need for an easily accessible store locator is crucial to any e-commerce website because 90% of customers seeking a nearby location shop within 24 hours of searching for one.

From Nielsen Group research, users found a location near the 96% of the time, but 32% stated they had difficulty finding local listings. 

Most users had trouble finding the store locator feature, so 73% found a nearby store using a search engine instead.

When a store locator doesn’t work it usually falls short in the following areas:

  1. Searching for search terms
  2. Locating a store with the store locator
  3. Knowing where you are
  4. Incorrect information – a store’s inventory is outdated or a brand is not available in the store

3) The Perfect Product Page

Perfect product pages are similar to perfect plays in basketball. This method is simple, efficient, and always successful, resulting in a basket.

  • Content that is Useful Drives Sales

The Internet provides customers with the information they need to make purchase decisions. 

You cannot understate the importance of content that is useful to consumers. Customers will let you know if they do not want your products, if the quality of your content or service is not satisfactory.

Salespeople who deliver great content stand-in for knowledgeable agents. The way your customers operate it is the way they can get the most out of your products.

They can compare benefits across product lines and among brands and confidently make a purchase decision based on what’s right for them.

The information people want to know won’t be visible to them at a glance if you don’t have it. It’s hard to get a price by calling. 

Online sales are accomplished only when all the right information is available so that the customer can evaluate the products themselves.

  • Checklist for Quality Content

An informed purchase is a result of quality content. If customers can determine whether they should buy from you online through video (64%-85% of online shoppers who watch product videos make purchases), photos, reviews, and guarantees, they will do so.

We provide a comprehensive checklist that guides customers from evaluations to actions.

  • Detailed Descriptions

  1. This product description is in plain English and jargon-free
  2. Sell benefits instead of features
  3. Tell the brand’s story through its products
  4. Provide clear product differentiation
  5. Explain which products are best for
  6. Different products within the same line have different characteristics
  7. For more detailed product descriptions, click Read More
  • Images

  1. There are multiple high-resolution angles
  2. Close-ups at the detail level
  3. Product-in-use and lifestyle photos
  • Customer Reviews

Reviews play a significant role in the buying decision process. By incentivizing user reviews published after purchase, you’ll build brand value and customer community, making it more likely for future purchasers to make purchases online.

4) Buy Now and Checkout

Getting out of your customers’ way is the beginning and end of helping them cross the finish line. Increase your conversions and profits by reducing the number of steps they need to take to complete their purchase.

  • It shouldn’t be so hard to check out

You cannot improve sales without improving checkout. You can have great content, but still, lose the sale at checkout.

There is a direct relationship between the number of fields a form has and its conversion rate. 

The conversion rate of a form can increase by 20% when just two fields are removed. Consumers must feel assured that their data is being securely sent. 

You need to make it easy for them to enter the same information multiple times or create an account. A lot needs to go right; it all needs to be easy.


We hope that this eCommerce website design and development guide has been insightful enough, and served its purpose in helping you understand the success and failures associated to ecommerce business.

How a website must function, design and develop in order to reach out to its full potential in the growing online consumerism.

Now it’s your turn,

What do you think about Ecommerce Website Design and Development?

Please, let me know in the comment.

FME Extensions

FME Extensions is popular ecommerce web design Dubai based company, offering up-to-date industry insights, foster innovative website solutions and develops ecommerce store plugins and extensions to enhance user interface and online shopping experience. 

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