Doing web design for a commercial website, meaning one where the visitors will be able to purchase something or order a product or a service, is a very particular area in web design and one needs to be very careful how to approach it. This article will be aimed more at business owners who are looking to get their first commercial website designed and developed but readers who do web design will also be able to take a few things from this article, hopefully.
Less is more
The first goal of every commercial website is to sell stuff (it does not matter in what form this purchasing will be) and it is the most important aspect that should influence the web design of such a website. What this means is that on the surface, a commercial website should never be cluttered and “overdesigned”. We are not saying that it should only feature blocks of text and a few pictures, but it should still be very easy to navigate and quite simple.
Go easy on the colors
Colorful sites are perfectly fine for personal blogs or sites that have to do with art and fun. In the case of a commercial website, going overboard with colors might project an image of a business as an informal, not-serious one. This can have detrimental effects on the sales. The best way to approach this is to start off with a toned-down color theme that will be only slightly varied across the entire website. Very rarely will the brand itself and the business itself require bright and aggressive colors. It is always better to go with something that is easier on the eye.
Speed is everything
One of the essential characteristics of every successful commercial website is the speed at which it operates and loads individual pages and elements. People who are wishing to buy something do not have the time to wait for a single page to load in more than 3-5 seconds. Speed is of paramount importance and unless the commercial website is fast, the potential buyers will go elsewhere. This means that the web design for commercial websites should always be simple, without unnecessary elements that would slow everything down.
Make it mobile-friendly
The percentage of people who buy stuff online on their mobile devices is growing with each month and the number of people who almost exclusively use their mobile devices to shop online is soon expected to reach 50%. Two thirds of all online shoppers also use their mobile devices to shop. In short, your commercial website needs to be mobile-friendly. This does not mean that it should be just accessible on mobile devices. This means that it needs to be fully functional and just as easy to use as it is on a desktop computer.
Enable customer interaction
One of the reasons why people love shopping online is that they do not have to visit an actual physical location. However, they also want to be able to ask questions and get answers in reasonable amounts of time from the owner of the commercial website. It is therefore recommended to include a chat option for the visitors, besides the more traditional email and messaging services. Of course, this will require additional staff, but it can be a great investment.