In a way, a good ecommerce website is a work of art. Form and function working together. An intersection of intuitive navigation, usable information architecture, an appealing look-and-feel, and attention to detail. An experienced web design company is more likely to have the skills necessary to deliver on that promise. When sites are developed by companies with little experience creating e-commerce sites, it usually shows.
What makes for good ecommerce site design? That’s hard to answer, because it’s so subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You could survey “the man on the street” and see what he says about your site. We’ve all seen plenty of sites where the design looks shoddy, amateurish, cluttered, hokey, or otherwise lacking. Here’s a random example that I just happened across while searching Google; the site definitely needs some attention.
Sometimes it could be that the design just needs some finessing rather than a total gutting. It’s amazing what a bit of detailing work can do. Consider this before and after that I discussed in a recent Practical Ecommerce article. It still looks like the same company, but it’s an attractive facelift (IMHO) with SEO and conversion optimization built-in.
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