Having been asked to review a couple of new websites recently where the aim had obviously been to re-invent the wheel I really wanted to write about this.
Two things I hear all too frequently;
1) I really wanted to do something different from all the rest
2) A friend of a friend developed my website for me, what do you think?
Brand impact is very important when you’re launching a new site and there, with logo and brand message, you can be both different and idiosyncratic. But frankly that’s where the trying to be too different should end. There are so many tried, tested and extremely successful e-commerce websites out there, plus so much knowledge and information about how we, browsers and potential customers read websites and what is most likely to make us click, that to try and be really different can be an enormous risk if not downright foolhardy.
Which ever route you want to go down, find a website (or several) that you know is already well established and successful and use that/those as a guide for your own. Look for sites that you find attractive and disregard the product. Do not stray down your own flights of fantasy and try and start from scratch.
Alternatively and much more preferable use a well established e-commerce template such as www.shopify.com and know that you’ll be including all the bells and whistles such as tested designs, SEO benefits and email marketing. You will be tied in to them, but then you’re tied into anyone who hosts your website and this is a much better option.
That brings me onto another subject, that of ‘friends or daughters of friends as models’ don’t get me on that one, at least not that time.