Post by CUSTOM_UK » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:56 pm

Opencart like all other ecommerce offerings is essentially there to create trading shops. Folks put their goods for display on the 'net and hopefully the customers come along and part with their hard earned cash. Well that's the theory.!! 8)

Apart from good navigation, a clear description of what is being sold and a convenient way to pay for those goods, what do you guys think makes a good shop on the web?

To start the ball rolling, I hate deep headers where I have to scroll down the page to see what is being sold and masses of advertising links on the home page. (Sorry, but if I want to buy a book I'd just go straight to Amazon etc.).

Your thoughts, ideas, pet hates and suggestions are all welcome. Hopefully the feedback to this thread will help us all build better shops, by incorporating things folks like to see and avoiding those elements that drive folks to despair. :-\

New member

Posts

Joined
Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:28 pm

Post by JAY6390 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:15 pm

Do you want things in general that are good for e-commerce or a lis of OC things it has going for it?

Image


User avatar
Guru Member

Posts

Joined
Wed May 26, 2010 11:47 pm
Location - United Kingdom

Post by CUSTOM_UK » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:46 pm

Things in general, rather than anything specific to OC.

Looking at web sites from a shopper's perspective. :)

New member

Posts

Joined
Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:28 pm

Post by JAY6390 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:07 pm

Personally, I like a site that doesnt't have anything too "in your face" or too busy with effects. Navigation should be clean and simple to use. I don't mind css menus, but what I don't like is when you have to fight with them to get them to show properly and allow you to select the item. Also for categories keep the number small and concise. Don't go having ridiculous amounts of subcategories unless you've got thousands of product and need it to filter the results.
Don't have a huge header is definitely something I agree on. You want to keep as much screen real estage as possible for displaying your products.
Navigation should be at the top/on the left. People are naturally drawn to the left of a webpage due to reading L to R, and putting the nav on that side is more comfortable in general
Don't use banner ads - Seriously I don't understand the point of them any more. So many people have pop up blockers and ad blockers that it can make your site look wacky when they visit your site. What would you rather, a customer that likes your site and buys a product, or a non-sale and a chance of someone clicking an add for a few cents

Image


User avatar
Guru Member

Posts

Joined
Wed May 26, 2010 11:47 pm
Location - United Kingdom

Post by Karen » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:32 pm

CUSTOM_UK wrote:Looking at web sites from a shopper's perspective. :)
Actually, your question is mostly my answer.

I've built very shopper-friendly websites by paying close attention to how *I* shop on the web. Anything I come across that annoys me, I make sure my stores don't have or do that.

That's the simple answer, but it's really all you need.

My personal pet-peeves:

(1) Don't make me go to great lengths to figure out what my shipping cost is going to be, or what method you use to ship. If I have to give you billing and shipping info before you even give me the shipping costs, I'm gone.

Also, this isn't true for very many people, but you can't send stuff to my street address by US Mail. So before I even start to give you my shipping address, I need to know how you're going to ship.

(2) Like Jay said, lose the banner ads. It makes you look tacky, and like you're there to sell ad space, not product.

(3) Are you a professional web business, or are you an amateur or scammer? You're probably the latter if I can't see a phone number immediately visible.

Plus, without a phone number you're going to lose all those people who: a) are afraid of not having someone to contact if something goes wrong, b) don't even have a computer (they do their searching at the library, or their friends do it for them), or c) won't enter their credit card details online, or know how to search but not really how to shop online. Most of my phone orders are from the latter two categories.

(4) I'm not a big fan of Paypal, but there are some folks out there who are really wary of shopping online, and only feel comfortable using it (just a word to the wise, since I know I lost a few orders early on when I didn't offer it as a payment method).

OTOH, we've all run across businesses who offer Paypal Standard as their ONLY payment method. That, too, looks really amateurish. Unless your site just solicits donations, play with the big boys and get a merchant account.

(5) Don't assume I know the details of what you're selling. Try to look at the product you're so familiar with, with completely new eyes. Ask yourself: what information could my customer get from looking at/handling this product in a store, that they can't get from a little photo on my website? And then give it to them.

If you're selling downloadable product, I'm going to want to know how and when I can download my product before I give you my cash.

(6) I seldom check this out, but I know there are people who've been burned and will always want to know how you handle returns.

(7) For most people this goes without saying these days, but just in case: if your website plays music or sound as soon as it loads, I'll immediately close your browser window. Don't care who you are or what you're selling.

(8) And for god's sakes, if you can't ship something immediately, do us all a favor and CALL your customer to let them know. I've heard a lot of complaints about other websites from my customers. The more webstores that don't treat their customers right, the more it hurts all of us, because people will just get more and more distrustful of shopping on the web.

Using OC version 1.4.8b
http://catandcaboodle.com/


User avatar
Active Member

Posts

Joined
Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:51 pm
Location - WA State, USA

Post by Xsecrets » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:53 pm

ok here's a few of mine.

Unless you are a huge already established brand you are not going to compete with amazon/walmart/etc. don't try to pick a niche market and only sell a few items. Like mentioned before keep your site nav to a minimum not many categories.

Make sure you have the main products you are trying to push on the front page "above the fold" I worked with one company that was very community oriented which is great, but you had to go through two pages before you could even see one product. We changed the site around so that the categories and the main new featured products were above the fold on the homepage and they immediately saw a 15% increase in sales.

I agree you should have product details as mentioned before, but don't make me read them before I can buy. This one may just be me, because I seen some very successful businesses that do make you scroll through about 10 pages of crap before you get to the buy now button (mostly herbal medicine sites), but I know I would never order from them even though they manage to get alot of other people to.

OpenCart commercial mods and development http://spotonsolutions.net
Layered Navigation
Shipment Tracking
Vehicle Year/Make/Model Filter


Guru Member

Posts

Joined
Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:51 am
Location - FL US

Post by CUSTOM_UK » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:21 am

These are all good ideas coming through and give an insight as to different people's perspectives on web sites. The original idea that came into my head, was that many site developers often put so many 'bells and whistles' into an ecommerce site, that it loses its original purpose, which is to promote, or sell products.

I am in two minds about telephone numbers, as it is never something that I really look for myself on a site. One thing I do find majorly annoying though, is when I see 'Call for prices' plastered across an ecommerce site. I want to place an order online with having to endure a halfwit salesperson trying to achieve their monthly targets. I also want transparency in the prices, therefore if the prices are clearly displayed on a site, I know that I am paying the same price as everyone else.

Keep your thoughts rolling in folks.... :)

New member

Posts

Joined
Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:28 pm

Post by qahar » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:14 pm

I think this is interesting questions,i loved to buy when:
1. Can i trust the store? any info about address, phone, email atc will considered.
2. I got as much as posible information about a product, including description and picture.
3. What about the guarantee? or maybe after sales service?
4. Can i make pre-sales questions about product or certain customisation product? (optional)

I just want to make an sort description, but my english is not to good to write in long text :laugh:

User avatar
Expert Member

Posts

Joined
Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:24 pm
Location - Indonesia

Post by GotLiveChat » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:42 am

It can be annoying when an e-commerce site wants you to 'register' before allowing you to check out/pay. Though I've noticed that many sites are now making it an option (instead of a requirement).

Live Chat Software for E-Commerce Sites
GotLiveChat.com (white label/reseller opp. available)


Newbie

Posts

Joined
Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:49 am
Location - Upstate NY

Post by CUSTOM_UK » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:17 pm

GotLiveChat wrote:It can be annoying when an e-commerce site wants you to 'register' before allowing you to check out/pay.
That was the primary reason why I ditched Zen Cart. The folks over there live in a bygone age where identity theft doesn't exist. ???

Whilst Open Cart still generally requires address information off customers etc. , at least the guest check out option is far less intrusive and gives customers a (perceived) choice.

New member

Posts

Joined
Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:28 pm

Post by Purebeads » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:34 pm

Animations drive me crazy, but now that I use Firefox and have several plug-ins, I can usually delete them. But not always -- sometimes the site's links are part of the Flash script.

Certainly, not knowing how much shipping will be until I get to the end of the order process is annoying. But there was one time when something even worse happened: The checkout process told me I was paying $9 for shipping, but then they charged my credit card $13. I got really steamed at that, and I exchanged a bunch of notes with the store owner, who was not apologetic!

It also irks me when a business doesn't make an effort to use inexpensive shipping methods. For example, some businesses use only UPS for shipping, though postal flat-rate boxes are now much cheaper than UPS charges. Or businesses that sell very small items but ship them all in a flat-rate box when a bubble mailer by First Class would do.

Advertisements on an e-commerce site strike me as insane. Why would any business which is selling merchandise to the public let other businesses advertise on their site? Actually, the U.S. postal service has been doing that lately. They are strapped for cash, so they periodically allow movie companies to plaster their home page with movie ads. It strikes me as extremely unprofessional. I pay thousands of dollars to the post office every year, and I don't want to go to their site and have to look at cartoon figures from some animated film.

When searching the sites of companies that offer financial services, it is always irritating to me when I have to search page after page to find out what their fees are.

It is interesting to me how shopping carts have all evolving with the same basic layout: a logo in the upper left, a bar with options across the top, categories on the left, modules on the left or right, a greeting in the center under the bar, with rows of product photos underneath that.

I just realized that I took the topic of the thread as an opportunity to list my gripes, though the topic is supposed to be about what makes a good shop. I guess that what makes a good shop for me is the lack of irritations that distract me from my purpose. Of course, a good search function, easy navigation, detailed descriptions, and good pictures are all key. (The number of sites that have small or blurry pictures is astonishing.) Also important is a clearly described return policy and shipping policy and fees.

Active Member

Posts

Joined
Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:07 pm

Post by CUSTOM_UK » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:26 pm

Purebeads wrote: I just realized that I took the topic of the thread as an opportunity to list my gripes, though the topic is supposed to be about what makes a good shop.
Eliminating the bad things from a shop, leaves a good shop (hopefully) ;D

Whilst it is true that sites have evolved with a similar layout structure, I guess on the plus side, folks know they are generally going to find the navigation links in a 'regular' place.

Not knowing what the shipping is till checking out, is a problem with the majority of cart structures. Sadly many shop owners attempt to charge excessive shipping to balance out low product prices.

New member

Posts

Joined
Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:28 pm
Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 28 guests