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An ecommerce site is primarily a store front. Visitors are window shoppers. Your site must be attractive and easy to navigate but also entice the visitor to come inside the store and shop. Your store front or home page should represent the feel you want your shoppers to have and also your products. It should be obvious that your site is a store and while it can provide content, that's not the primary objective.
Think of a store in a brick and mortar shopping mall. Everything about the storefront is designed to let customers know what products are available, the affordability of the products and the quality. The products are framed and attractively arranged in the windows on a color coordinated seasonal background. The architectural details of the windows and the door add to the ambiance of the store. Even the lettering on the store sign is incorporated into the theme. The home page of your ecommerce site should communicate the same message to visitors.
A disadvantage of an online store front is that the visitor can't see inside the store, which makes your entry page even more important. You do have the navigation bar or the header bar to help customers find what they want. The navigation bar should include links to 'about us,' 'contact us', and 'FAQ' (frequently asked questions) pages. Good ecommerce design makes your store customer friendly.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|