Questions Your E-Commerce Web Designer Should Ask You
Your web designer is the architect as well as the mason to your e-store.Hire a web designer who understands your need but, this is not a one-sided story be prepared to give details of your business to make sure your web designer understands your expectations with the website and goals.
There are a few questions that good e-commerce web designer asks their clients so that they leave no stone unturned to help to build an exceptional e-commerce store. Most importantly, your web designer would want to know if you want a new website or just redesign the old one.
It is important that before you decide which web design agency to hire you are all set with your homework done. We have curated a few comprehensive questions that you must be ready to answer to your e-commerce web designer.
Do you want only a section of your website to be redesigned or need a fresh new site or the complete redesign of your existing site?
Whenever you contact a web designer his first question will be – Do you want new site/complete re-design or redesign a specific section of the website. If you want a specific section of your website to be redesigned then discuss the drawbacks that you face with that section and share your ideas about the changes you want. This would give your web designer more clarity about your expectations with the section and the solutions that can be implemented. If you are looking for a complete redesign, please tell him that upfront and reasons.
Who is your Target Audience?
This is important information that your web designer must be aware of. A website’s design depends a lot on the target audience and how they would utilize the functionalities and operations on your website.
Like, if your website sells stuff related to kids it would be aimed at parents. It is important that parents not only find your website attractive but also well sorted and easy to search from. Parents have so much juggle to between so it’s a need of an hour that they can find the products quite easily and check out quickly. Also, your site must tell that product is safe for kids and if you have any certification from the health department that would be easy.
There are different things the designer can help you with, based on your target audience so make sure you tell him about your audience.
What is your specified Marketplace?
It is not only the audience but also the marketplace that may affect your e-commerce stores’ functionality. If you are planning to sell on Amazon or eBay or any other marketplace, please tell this to your designer so he can plan about the integration of your website with these platforms beforehand rather than changing everything in the later stage.
This information in the middle of the development can off-track the development process and also shoot your website development budget to the moon.
Have you finalized the Host for your website?
When you have decided to launch your website you must be set with a website host too. If you have not decided on the host yet your web designer can always help you to decide that.
In case you are planning to redesign your website your web designer can help you to decide about web host that meets all the needs of your website like space, bandwidth, databases, etc.
Have you decided the Domain name or need help?
If you have decided to go digital you must have decided a cool domain name to represent your store in the digital world. If you are not decided yet ask your web designer to suggest something cool and interesting domain names which are available.
Your domain name should relate to your industry and at the same time memorable. People share amazing sites to other people but if your domain name is something like this yoga1-pants2-aus.com, it would be difficult for your customers to recall the name correctly and even sharing that with their friends or family. Here is a great blog about domain name selection.
Can you provide a rough e-commerce site structure for the new e-commerce store?
If you can provide your web designer with a site structure, don’t panic with the word site structure. You just need to tell them how many product categories, subcategories, and content based pages you would need. If you can share the list of products under each subcategory that would be awesome.
It would be easier for the designer to implement and alter the functionalities and options before getting started. This makes the task simpler and easier for your web designer. This would also give a clear idea of what are your expectations with the website.
Do you want your site to be multilingual?
If you are targeting different countries or country with many local languages then it will be good if you tell your eCommerce web designer that you need X languages for your website. He might suggest you better e-commerce platform which has this functionality built-in. You might want to take a look at our guide to pick best e-commerce platform for your business.
Do you have specific company colours that are to be included on the website?
Your web designer would definitely want to know if you have any particular colour combinations that represent your brand in the physical retail space. This helps your customers to identify your brand and company easily online. Also if you have any Company Logo, do inform your web designer that it is to be incorporated in the website.
You can also request your web designer to create a logo for your company if you need one.
Do you have any specific style to be used?
There are a different type of e-commerce store styles available and if you have any specific design style in mind for your business, please share that with your designer. Some of the most popular e-commerce store design styles
- Material Design
- Hidden menus
- Rich animations
- Card Design
- Large and Flexible typography
- Large backgrounds
- Dynamic Search
If you want to know more about these design styles, please take a look at the blog post about popular e-commerce design styles.
Does your company have a specific TAGLINE?
It is important to inform your web designer about your company Tagline if you have any. Your tagline is your identity for your customers. It is important to mention it on your website that helps you get your customers online too. Companies get recognized by their taglines so it’s critical for you and your web designer to use that effectively in your website design.
Some great examples of catchy taglines
- “Just Do It”
- “Think Different”
- “Shave Time. Shave Money”
- “Because You’re Worth It”
- “Got Milk?”
- “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
- “Designed for Driving Pleasure”
- “Every Little Helps”
- “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”
- “The Quicker Picker Upper”
- “A Diamond is Forever”
- “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One”
- “Advancement Through Technology”
- “America Runs on Dunkin”
- “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It By Name”
- “I’m Lovin’ It”
- “All the News That’s Fit to Print”
- “Imagination at Work”
- “Can You Hear Me Now?”
- “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There”
- “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”
- “The Few. The Proud. The Marines”
What details are to be displayed in what priority?
Things become easier for your web designer if you are specific about your needs and expectations with the website. Be very particular about the details that you want to be displayed in the footer of your website and on the homepage.
Also, describe clearly what information must always be displayed, and which sections, features, and information are to be emphasized on.
Do you have some other mediums to support your website?
Keep your web designer updated about any brochures, newsletters or press materials that you need to support your website with. It would be great if you can ask your web designer to put a digital version of your brochure, newsletter or any other press material online so people could check them on your website itself and stay updated.
What are the best features of your existing website or would like to have in the new website?
If you already have a website, your web designer should know about the best features of your existing website in case these can be incorporated in the new site. Even if you are planning to redesign complete website be ready with the list of features in your existing website to be compulsorily included in your new website.Explain your designer very well about your needs and the expectations.
If you are starting a new eCommerce business you should do some research on your own to find out must-have features for any e-commerce business. Your designer can also suggest some good features to you.
Any website that you like and what features of that website do you like?
It’s common practice among web designers to ask about the website you like most and why. Discuss the websites that you like and their features that you appreciate. Your web designer can incorporate these details into your website or find a better alternative for putting the same features.
Will developing content also be a part of the job?
Don’t assume that your designer will do the content and it’s a part of web design as most of the web designers aren’t good with content so they ask this question upfront to know if you will provide the content or they need to do the copywriting for you.
Would you provide images to go to the website or the photos available to him would be used?
Majority of the web designers use stock images in their designs so they assume that they need to find the images on their own and bill you for those purchased pictures but if you already have got good number of stock images, let your designer know about that and share them with your designer.
Does your website ask your customers to LOG-IN to buy or they can buy as a guest as well?
Working on the forms for log in section is also your web designers’ job. Be very sure that you clearly instruct your web designer about the details they should mention while your customer attempts to log in to the website. Also, define how guest visitors would shop through your website. Many B2B businesses give special discounts for registered users so it’s important for designer to ask this question specifically B2B e-commerce business.
Does any section of your website needs Passwords? If yes, then why so?
You must keep your web designer well informed about the sections that require passwords and the content that is to be displayed in the password section. The forms and other details are also a part of your web designer’s job.
Do you want to include wish-list?
It is important to share minute details like these with your web designer. Sometimes customers may not buy the product immediately but save it to check further details afterward. It is important that the wish-list of your customer is saved so that it saves time and efforts of your customers when they visit your site again.
Do you want any third-party apps or plugins?
Your web designer should ask you about the third-party apps or plugins that are to be included in the e-store. Some of the basic services that you must ask for our payment gateway integration of your choice, multi-channel marketing apps/plugin to sell your products on Amazon, facebook, google store, eBay etc, live chat feature, exit intent pop-ups with offers etc.
Would you like to include Social Network Sharing options?
Buyers sometimes prefer sharing products they are planning to buy with their loved ones. If you want to include social networking sharing features on your website, inform your web designer about the mediums you want to share it on and where should these buttons appear on the website.
Do you want newsletter subscription system?
It’s a very common practice that your designer might ask if you want newsletter subscription system in place so you can send weekly or monthly newsletters to your customers or subscribers. It can prove vital for e-commerce business as you can always tell your customers about new products. Tell them if you need that and also tell him if you need newsletter design created by the web designer. A good designer will make sure that it works well with MailChimp, VerticalResponse, constant contact or any other platform of your choice.
How many web pages do you estimate for your website apart from shopping cart?
Your web designer needs to know about the number of web pages that your website may include other than product catalog and checkout pages. These pages can be about your company, team, news or anything else.
Do you want to offer any subscription plans to your customers?
Your designer might ask if you want your customers to have any sort of subscriptions either to any of your product or bundle of products. It’s very common practice among e-commerce business which is selling products of daily use such as cleaning supplies, groceries, makeup products etc. People use them frequently and don’t switch between brands very often.
Will your team need training about how to manage content and other web functionalities?
The web designer may want to know about your budget so he can suggest features and functionality which will be best suited to your budget and get the job done perfectly instead of spending tons of money on optional features which can be rolled out in the second phase once you start making money.
If you are not ok with sharing the budget, you should still keep some budget in mind for your e-commerce project and the same amount of money to promote it through digital and offline marketing.
“Good marketing can sell a bad product but bad marketing can even fail to sell a very good product.”
What time frame is required?
It is important that you discuss how long will it take to deploy your website with all the details and functionality that you want.“Good Designs are Obvious. Great designs are Transparent”.
What offers you want to give to your customers?
Your design might come up with a question like what offers you would like to offer to your customer so he can install the appropriate that can do what you are looking for.
For example BOGO and giveaway promotions such as:
Buy One Get One Free
Buy One Get 1/2 Price
Buy 4 of Something Get a Free Gift
Buy 3 Get one 75% Off
Spend $100 Get a Free Gift
… the list goes on and on!
Do you want Google analytics and webmaster setup?
This is more of the SEO part but these days most of the web designers have a good knowledge of SEO and they make sure the web solution they present brings heavy traffic and gives high returns on investments.
Different prices for a specific set of customers such as wholesale customers and retail customers?
Though it’s not very common for small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses but there is a good chance that some customers might want to show different prices to a different type of customers. Good e-commerce knows this and always ask this to its customers because there are few good e-commerce available in the market but don’t have good apps or plugin to make this possible.
Do you want any other feature or functionality that is not discussed?
There could be some functionalities that you might have missed on while discussing. Make sure to discuss them with your web designer before moving ahead with the project. A good web designer always understands the effect of minute details on your website. So, make sure before winding up you leave no details undiscussed so that it becomes easier for your web designer to give you results that replicate high conversion rates.
As been in this industry for good 7 years we have always asked these questions to our customer to better understand their requirements and come up with awesome ideas without drying their bank account. It also reduces the time spent going forward and backward with functionalities and designs thus reduce the extra burden on clients’ pocket.
Here, at DesignOmate we have a team of good e-commerce web designers who excel in different e-commerce platforms and with their creativity, help you get a win-win situation over your competitors.
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