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What you need to know about designing an ecommerce website

Taking your business online by turning it into an ecommerce website is an exciting business step to take. From designing the aesthetic to developing a strong user interface, there are lots of things to think about and that’s where Foundry Digital can help.

With this article, we aim to shed some light on the process of building an ecommerce website; the different aspects that need considering, and how to make the strongest impact as you enter the online world.


As an ecommerce website is more complex than a typical “look book” website, there are more elements to consider when planning and executing the ecommerce design and build.

So what factors must you consider to make your ecommerce website a success?

Ecommerce Web Design and Structure

When considering the look and layout of your ecommerce website, you need to think about how you are encouraging visitors to take an interst in, and eventually purchase your product or service. You are most likely to get a high visitor to customer conversion rate if you have an attractive site that encourages and guides them through the ecommerce user journey in a streamlined fashion.

This starts with creating a site structure designed around the user experience. Dreaming up an ideal navigation trail that a visitor would follow will help you confirm the ecommerce site map that your store should follow.


Foundry Digital’s designers are experienced in using layout and colour scheme arrangement to encourage a site visitor to explore product ranges and continue on to purchasing. Creating wireframes is a helpful part of the design process in which both the design and development teams can visualise what the final ecommerce website will look like.

Our designers always make sure to incorporate branding into every stage of the customer journey, ensuring that your brand’s personality extends throughout each stage of the buying process.



cost-icon-02There is no clean cut, simple answer here and each project is completely unique. The cost of your ecommerce website is going to be dependent upon many factors, including its levels of functionality and structure design.

Your ecommerce payment processing system (also referred to as a payment gateway) is not too costly itself, but it is the surrounding elements that should be carefully planned, organised, and budgeted for.  The platform you purchase needs design work to make it a user-friendly ecommerce store that is fully branded and reflects your company’s identity.

Therefore, a realistic budget will include spend for branding to be incorporated throughout the website and for design work to be completed by a professional graphic designer. Professional standard product photos are also a must in Foundry Digital’s opinion as images that present your product in an appealing way are far more likely to attract and engage a potential customer.

Setting up a merchant accountmerchant-account-icon-03

To make the shopping experience as hassle free as possible for your customers, you should set up a credit card merchant account.  It is important to make the payment stage as streamlined as possible, as they are more likely to place an order if the process is easy and efficient. This can also help to boost customer trust in your brand too, meaning that they’re more likely to come back again.

When deciding upon which payment provider to use, it is worth doing your research. There will be differing fee structures and per transaction fees to suit a range of company types and sizes. Be sure to pick one suited to your business needs and requirements.



Store security

store-security-icon-04Now, a scary looking security guard might be able to protect your high street shop, but he can’t protect your online shop. Online security is crucial to ensuring that your customers feel comfortable and confident making transactions on your website so this part is really important. It is generally considered a huge mistake to overlook the security of your website as you will lose a lot of potential orders.

An SSL certificate is a worthwhile investment as a security certificate reassures customers that your website has encrypting technology. This means that they payment and personal details are safe once they have entered them into any forms you use on your website. Users are typically in-the-know that a website that encrypts any data they share makes it very difficult for hackers to access their details, so this can go a long way to boosting trust in your brand.


Keeping current

Foundry Digital ensure we provide clients with a management system that is easy to grasp. A simple user interface allows you to easily update your website to reflect stock, which is key to maintaining an ecommerce website. Aside from uploading or editing products, you’ll be able to alter content and add blog pieces by following easy to navigate steps. A clean and user-friendly back end enables you to make website updates without requiring any HTML expertise, and prevents you from having to seek costly assistance unnecessarily.

getting-noticed-icon-06Once an ecommerce website is live, the next important step is getting it noticed and making it stand out amongst competitors. Without people knowing you exist, you stand to lose customers and miss out on conversions. A digital marketing campaign should accompany the launch of your ecommerce website to announce your online arrival.


Consider SEO

consider-seo-icon-07An SEO campaign can also contribute to your website being found more through search engines. Solid SEO will help you rank better for your key search terms in search results, and this in turn will help to boost the amount of traffic arriving at your ecommerce website.

Instant results aren’t entirely realistic, but by implementing an SEO strategy or running an SEO campaign, your ecommerce website has more chance of being read fondly and ranked by the likes of Google. This improves the likelihood that your website will be found though ‘organic’ searches.


Everything we’ve touched on in this article is what we cover with our clients in our initial discovery sessions when designing ecommerce websites. We have over 7 years of ecommerce experience under our belts, and combine our ecommerce expertise and knowledge of digital marketing to design and develop user friendly ecommerce websites.

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