Building a flagship ecommerce website

Long before we saw the light (digital marketing) some of us worked in ‘off-line’ a mystical place where marketing does not need a wi-fi connection and long before Google had started to rule the world with an iron fist.

Whilst we finally find our way, ‘on-line’ we have never forgotten some of the elements we learned about merchandising, creating a wow and the ‘flagship’ store from which best practice stemmed and were rolled out across the country.

Recently we were visiting a client in Leeds and we wondered through the new Trinity shopping centre, whilst we’re very biased towards digital marketing you can’t be anything but impressed by how major brands dress up their stores to wow customers and entice them into the stores. This made us wonder, when are website going to adopt the ‘flagship’ approach to merchandising their online stores?

With web design technology developing all the time, the beauty of css3, html 5 and content management systems such as WordPress able to support ever more complex, visually stimulating website design now is the time to create the flagship website. So what should you consider if you want to create the website masterpiece. Our thoughts are:

• Understand your brand – ok so we’re encouraging you to create something amazing, however if your audience aren’t ready for it then it could be more detrimental than good. In this instance stretch your boundaries and adopt an agile to your development, this means launch something great and then make better every week, learn from the reaction and evolve how people engage with you

• Innovate – adopting the ‘Apple’ mantra of using tomorrow’s technology today. Sure this might cost more in web development costs but if you’re going for the flagship then you want to create that ‘wow’, this means pushing the boundaries and creating an experience on desktop, tablet and mobile.

• You got it, flaunt it – you’re special (there’s always something amazing about you). Decipher what makes you shine and then ensure this plays a major role in the design of your site.

• Mix and match – design is important, so is visibility, remember the age old saying, ‘why have the best site in the world if no one visits it!’. A classic but so very true. Mix and match design with the technical and content requirements of SEO.

We’re guilty of creating the ‘standard’ layouts for websites, indeed if they work for your brand, products and audience why change it? However, we believe that websites are going to start being much more than a presence online and being more of an experience, much like high street stores.

Author Gyles Seward

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