Saturday, July 7, 2007

How To Choose A Web Design Company For E-commerce Website

When you're searching for the right web design firm for your E-commerce operation, it's important that you leave the task to a service you can trust. You need to trust the right web design firm that can give your e-commerce the kind of quality and attention it needs.

Website Design Company India - For an e-commerce web site, the website itself is the essential marketing tool that must be in top shape. When you are replacing the traditional brick-and-mortar retail shop with a Web 2.0 e-commerce site, you'll need your website to work well. You don't want your website to have a bad web design that detracts potential visitors from staying for very long. This will result in fewer sales, and this one tiny thing will severely hinder your success.

Before shopping for web design firms to work with you'll need to ask yourself a few important questions first. What kind of budget are you working with, and how quickly do you need your web site created? Do you like the convenience of hiring a local web design firm or does it not matter? Do you already have a rough idea of what your web site should look like, or do you need your selected web design firm to come up with concepts for you? All these questions will help set you on course to the right web design company for your e-commerce operation.

When hiring a web design firm, really the only thing you need to know is the domain name and what you want it to do. All other elements like development, colors, and graphics a good web design company will be able to easily handle for you.

It might be a smart idea for you and your selected web design company to go over competitor websites in the same industry as yours. Analyze these websites for strengths and weakness. What makes them effective and what could be improved on? With this knowledge in hand you'll be able to build a better website.

An important aspect of operating a growing e-commerce operation is internet marketing. You web design company may or may not be able to help you with internet marketing, so be sure to inquire beforehand. Boston Internet Marketing has grown in a big way, so finding an internet marketing service to help you shouldn't be much of a problem at all. Web design is one of most important aspects of online marketing. Boston Internet marketing often covers Boston Web design too. With e-commerce operation, local small businesses are able to compete with large corporations.

Example: Website Design Company India

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Friday, July 6, 2007

Choose The Right E-commerce Solution For Your Website

More and more businesses these days are beginning to sell and distribute their products and services via the Internet. It’s a win-win situation – consumers get the best selection at the lowest prices, and retailers get access to markets outside their geographic location. But depending on the type of e-commerce website the business is pursuing, the cost to implement the project could range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. There are some less professional but more cost efficient solutions, as well as some high-end solutions that will have your website rivaling the best e-commerce sites around. In this article I’ll discuss the different options available to website owners as well as the costs associated with those options.

E-commerce on the Cheap

It’s a common misconception that in order to conduct business over the Internet you have to have an expensive merchant account that will allow your customers to pay you by credit card. This used to be the case, but today there are a number of services available that make e-commerce a very affordable option. These services come in the form of third party credit card processors.

A third party credit card processor acts as an intermediary between the customer and your website. Generally, a customer will click on a link to purchase a product and be taken to the third party’s website to process the credit card information in a secure environment. The payment for the purchase is deposited in your account, and the order information is forwarded to you. The only cost to the e-commerce retailer is usually a small fixed fee and / or a small percentage of the sale.

This is a good beginner option for any business looking to make the e-commerce leap because the upfront costs are very low. 2CheckOut ( is a good choice for a third party credit card processor - they only require a $49 setup fee, and then $0.45 per transaction and 5.5% of the sale amount. An even cheaper route would be to use PayPal ( to receive payment over the Internet. The only downside with PayPal is that the consumer must have a PayPal account in order to use this payment method. The upside of both these products is the fact that they will provide the shopping cart system and associated codes to that are necessary to integrate into your website.

Although using a third party credit card processor can be cheap, it does have its disadvantages. The shopping cart system may not seamlessly integrate with your website because it’s not easily customizable. Also, it looks a little less professional when the purchaser must leave your website in order to enter their credit card information. But, when weighing these disadvantages with the costs associated with building a professional e-commerce website they really don’t seem like a big deal.

Really Taking the Plunge

Opening a fully functional online store with the ability to process credit cards on-site can be a pretty costly production. Here is a list of elements that all need to be integrated: a shopping cart system, secure web server, payment gateway, and a merchant account.

There are some shopping cart systems that are available for free, and many web hosts offer the ability to integrate a shopping cart system into your website. But, if you’d like your system to be fully featured, easy to use, seamlessly integrate with your website, and include advanced functions such as automatically calculating tax and shipping charges, the cost could run several hundred dollars.

The most expensive and difficult part of the process is obtaining a merchant account to process credit card numbers. These accounts usually have monthly and transaction fees associated with them. Fortunately, most businesses already have merchant accounts, and these can be used to process credit cards over the Internet as well. But, in order for the shopping cart system to communicate with a merchant account, they need to be interfaced with a payment gateway. Payment gateways usually require a setup fee of a few hundred dollars and a percentage of each transaction. Lastly, all the communication needs to take place over a secure server. This means that your website hosting package will need to be upgraded to include Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. An SSL certificate is billed on either a yearly or monthly basis, and the cost can total in the hundreds of dollars.

In addition to the extra costs associated with processing transactions right on your website, there is also a significant difference in the price your webmaster will charge to setup the different solutions. Using a third party to process transactions usually just involves inserting a few lines of code into the website which shouldn’t cost very much. On the other hand, implementing a fully functional e-commerce website can easily add another thousand or two dollars on top of all the other costs.

As with any project, it’s probably best to start small before shelling out big bucks for a professional e-commerce solution. And don’t forget, even after you’ve spent thousands of dollars getting your e-commerce website launched, you’re probably going to have to spend thousands more marketing your website in order to recover your investment. E-commerce is not cheap!

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Web site design for an Online Property Rental Business

The property market in the UK is a huge industry and online property web sites are becoming increasingly popular. Estate agents are capitalising on the online market to advertise their properties on either their own web sites or on other property portals. There are also a number of portals that enable individuals to upload their own properties for sale or for rent online. Either way, there is a demand for web site design for the online property business. What is a standard property web site design package and what are the interesting web site design add-ons that work?

Online Property Rental Business Website Design Company

Let us consider the estate agent that requires a web site to upload their own property portfolio, for sale or for rent. The web site design here consists of the front end or the online client interface and the backend or the admin section that enables the estate agent to easily upload their properties online. Let us configure the front end from a web site design point of view. In terms of design, some graphical elements depicting some nice properties is a winner. The web site must instantly be recognised as a property web site. It is best to determine from the outset which end of the property market the web site is targeting. Whether it’s the low end or the most expensive end, the web site design must reflect the market needs. Do not try to kill several birds with one stone. Identify your market segment and target it with a focussed message.

From a web site design feature set point of view, a property search is essential. Most online visitors will expect to be able to search for a property online using a number of search criteria like number of bedrooms, type of property, area. The graphical side of the web site design must present the search box and fields very prominently as these are a key feature. The online visitor chooses his or her search criteria, drop downs are handy, and results pages matching the search criteria are displayed with a list of properties. Each property featuring on the list will have at least one image, a title one line description and a more details area with a button to read more. The web site design will present the list in a way that the page does not look cluttered and hard to read. Click on the read more button and the web site page focuses more on the property with more images, a location map and a contact seller or estate agent button.

Property search sites are database driven web site design packages. Properties are uploaded on the database through an admin area and online clients search the database through the search criteria described above. Let us look at the back end or admin area of the web site design used by the webmaster, in this case the estate agent, to enter properties on the web site. Simplicity is the key here. Estate agents are not only busy people but the personnel are not IT professionals. If the web site design system is too complex and tedious to use, they will not keep the web site up to date and in time this will be the downfall of the web site.

Basically, any member of staff from the estate agent should be able to upload information, i.e. property details, on the web site easily. From the web site design angle, the system must be simple, user friendly, robust and secure. Start with a simple access to the admin area. The web site will have a url where a username and password allows direct access to the property upload feature. Fill in the information fields with the property information that will appear on the web site, upload a few photos in the admin area, click a button and the whole lot is instantly online. The web site admin area will feature a list of properties with a delete and modify button next to each property. This will allow staff to keep the properties online up to date.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Shopping Carts: 5 Usability Problems

The usability of a shopping cart refers to the efficiency with which a user can achieve their goals on a website. Many of the larger online shopping carts, like and, are continuously striving to make their buying process as fluent and as effortless as possible. Knowing you can buy a book or film in just 3 or 4 clicks encourages you to return to the same, reliable website.

Having read numerous articles and white papers dedicated to best practice shopping cart design and usability; below I have highlighted five potential design problems in shopping carts that I'm sure many users have encountered.

1. Shopping carts that ask a user to register before knowing if the product is available or not.

It could be quite irritating for a user if they have spent 10 minutes entering their credit card details, home address, telephone number etc etc. only to find out during the checkout process that the product they want to buy is out of stock.

Many shopping carts enable you to present users with live stock availability before the user places their product in the shopping cart.

2. Suggesting the user buys similar products before adding the main product to the shopping cart.

It's often helpful when a website recommends additional products you may want or need after adding your main product to your shopping cart.

However, I think you'll agree that it could be slightly confusing if these additional products were offered to you before even adding the main product to your shopping cart? You press "Add to Cart" and suddenly you're offered batteries, or insoles or travel cases. Many users would be left feeling confused, wondering if their product had been added or not, or if they'd pressed the wrong button.

Best practice guidelines would indicate offering your user the extra products after the user has finished shopping and they're entering the checkout process.

3. Shopping carts that ask a user to register before they have even added a product to their shopping cart.

Asking for a user's personal information before they have even added a product to their shopping cart is not a good move.

Customer registration can offer some big advantages to you as a merchant including recovery for abandoned shopping carts, customer loyalty and email contact. However, many users may be browsing a number of websites, adding products to numerous shopping carts for the main purpose of comparing prices and features. If a user has to register personal details before using the shopping carts, a large percentage are likely to abandon the website.

4. Requiring a user to delete and add the same product to shopping carts just so they can change its colour, size or variation.

Editing a shopping cart should be as simple as possible and shouldn't require the user to delete anything from the shopping cart.

If a product comes in different colours and different sizes don't make them delete it from their shopping cart if they want it in a different variation. Users should be able to select from within their shopping carts the different options.

5. Websites that do not clearly show the user the contents of the shopping carts.

Have you ever been on a website and added the same product to your shopping cart 3 or 4 times because you're not sure if it worked the first time?

Many users that can't see the contents of their shopping cart in the same browser as the one they are shopping on can often feel confused about whether or not their item has been added successfully.

As a merchant it is understandable that you don't want to take your user away from the page they are shopping on every time they add something to their shopping cart. Best practice guidelines therefore indicate displaying the contents of a users shopping cart in the same browser, in the right hand corner for example.

To summarise, the design of the entire shopping experience is of utmost importance. These 5 potential design problems highlighted are five of many common problems found on shopping carts.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ecommerce Website Development – exceeding expectations

Ecommerce stands for commerce conducted electronically, meaning over the Internet. It represents one of the most advantageous types of commerce, both for the buyer and seller. Lately, a large percent of the business owners have started to run their line of work online, turning for assistance to web designers. Many of them are interested in ecommerce development, considering it far better than traditional trading methods.

Due to the fact that we live in a competitive world, it is important to have all the attributes possible. The Internet and its specialists present us with well-informed ecommerce development solutions, helping to the growth of the business and online promotion. Aside from the constant updates, there are also plenty of other options for ecommerce websites, including presentation of existing market trends and efficient promotional tools.

The success of a business is assured by its constant promotion and unique approach for various business types. Experts apply their skills into providing solutions tailored to every business, trying at every step to fight the competition. They ensure only the highest standards of quality, especially when it comes to ecommerce development and other kinds of web applications.

The complexity of the techniques used by specialists when it comes to ecommerce development cannot be denied and this is why many business owners resort to their services. They constantly develop and provide solutions to their clients, designs business specific websites and helping clients to attain their goals.

Specialized in diverse applications, these experts can help one with database development, including business design and effective ecommerce solutions. They start from the bottom and work their way up, offering the perfect web system, suitable for every business. Their customized database applications are easy to use and implement, appealing to a lot of customers.

Database applications are extremely important for the success of database development, especially in case of data tracking, combined sources of information and constant updates. If you are interested in succeeding, then you should go for a team trained to work with powerful database applications, such as SQL server and Access. You can always benefit from the knowledge of true experts, particularly in the case of database systems.

Their database development experience is highly significant when it comes to database services such as: database design, table creation and domain assistance. They can also help you purchase or renew a domain name, not to mention set up your own domain email. With a customized database application, you will have the possibility to handle the information as you consider right and define your business.

The services and technologies used by website designers are recommended to anyone looking for database development solutions and not only. They provide useful solutions and update your website constantly. For them, it is important to promote the right image while supporting the customer throughout the entire period. The development team is always ready to ensure a positive online presence, coming up with new and innovative ideas on a daily basis.

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