The shop front is the part of your eCommerce web design system that visitors to your website actually see, whether it be the home page, an individual product page, the checkout page, a login page for returning customers or an automatic email confirming a customer purchase.
By contrast, the back office is the part of the system that only you and your company can see. It is the suite of administration pages that allow you to perform tasks such adding, changing and removing products, viewing and dispatching orders and processing sales information. We’ll look at the core features of the back office in more detail later on in the guide.
The design of the shop front end is integral to the success of your eCommerce site. A poor visual appearance can turn off customers in an instant, so always make sure you get it designed professionally.
Customers also want to know whom they’re dealing with and that they can contact you if things go wrong. So it’s absolutely vital that you provide information about your business and full contact details that are easy to find.
Poor customer support can also seriously undermine customer confidence. Therefore you should make sure you provide a comprehensive FAQ section, so that visitors can get answers to the most common queries directly from your site. You should also provide good telephone and email support to back up the information you give online.
Ease of use is the hallmark of any good eCommerce web design system. Your customers should be able to find the products they want quickly and easily or they’ll go elsewhere.
What’s more, usability is also the most important part of the shopping experience and, as a result, strongly influences how your brand is perceived online.
Navigation should be intuitive and clearly show the customer exactly where they are in the buying process. Items should be grouped together in logical categories and subcategories and allow the visitor to reach the product in as few clicks as possible.
Your site should also offer the user a search box so that they can find products by entering keywords or other search criteria.