Indian startup scene has been flooded by ecommerce ventures, majority of them are doing quite well and also managed to raise Venture Capital. Now seeing the success stories you also want to take a plunge in online shopping space and plans to sell a product which could be either books, electronics, travel, holidays, clothes, accessories etc. so the first challenge is how to design such store which will enable users to look for products of interest and potentially purchase them.
Users are very comfortable in offline shopping and understands its nuances, so aim should be to create an online experice that would simulate the offline shopping experiences. Shopping involves several fundamental activities that apply to both online and offline shopping activities.
- Allow users to discover the products in the store easily, Products that are on SALE has to highlighted, there may be products that should be brought under the users attention because of other reasons e.g. very popular.
- Most people like to browse through the store for seeing what they have and whether something attracts their attention. Browsing is made easier when products are categorized in ways that customers expect them to be. Use structured navigation such as a Double Tab Navigation with Breadcrumbs.
- Often people aren’t clear which product they want to buy. They may have several options that they want to compare before buying. So, enable a Product Comparison tool which can address this need of a online user.
- User wants to see the product, try to assess the look and feel of the product though online products can’t be felt but effort should be made to get closer to it. User should very well know how it looks from all sides. Implement Gallery and capture all views and important aspects of product.
- Many shops have shop assistants that help customers to find the right product for them. Online this is difficult to do so best thing to do is encourage users to recommend, rate, comments on product they have bought. Collect these recommendations and implement them smartly. Users tend to buy products on other users recommendations.
- Needless to say Shopping cart is one of the most critical element of an online shopping site. Shopping cart allow users to choose the products and give them the flexibility of buying products. Choosing an item and buying an item is altogether different use case.
- Many times when people shop they do not find anything for themselves but they find something that might interest a friend or relative. In that case they want to recommend it to others or letting others know about the existence of the product. Provide them “Send a link” feature.
The essentials of shopping should be taken into account for online shopping as well since they have little to do with the medium itself.