Ecommerce refers to buying and selling products or services electronically on the Internet. By extension, an ecommerce website is how and where the online transaction takes place for buying and selling these products or services.
Before the Internet, we were limited to the goods and services we could offer and purchase by our location. But as the invention of exchanging money online evolved, so too did the business opportunities.
As a web designer, you are uniquely positioned to help clients launch their ecommerce business. New brands and businesses start up every day, each one can benefit from a well-designed website they can use to offer their product or service and increase sales.
Check out this video where Ran walks you through how to stand out when it comes to designing ecommerce websites.
Ecommerce is a transactional relationship between a consumer and a business. But there are many ways this transaction can take place, take a look at this list, each one is the basis for millions of online businesses.
In retail, a product is sold directly from a business to a consumer at a store without any intermediary. This is your local grocery store or department clothing store.
Wholesale refers to buying products in bulk, usually to another retailer who then sells them directly to consumers.
In dropshipping, a product is manufactured and shipped to the consumer by a third party. An example of this is print-on-demand sites like Printful.
Crowdfunding is when you collect money from consumers in advance before the product is available to order, to help raise startup capital to create and bring it to market. Kickstarter is a prime example of crowdfunding.
Subscriptions are automatic recurring purchases of a product or service billed on a regular basis (usually monthly) until the consumer chooses to cancel. An example of this is a Netflix subscription.
Physical products are tangible goods that require inventory that need to be replenished. Orders need to be physically shipped to customers as sales are made. This ranges from clothing to food items and everything in between that you can buy online.
Digital products are downloadable digital goods, templates, and courses that a consumer can purchase to consume or license for use. An example of this is purchasing design templates from sites like Etsy or Creative Market.
Services are when someone provides their skills in exchange for compensation, whether it’s a one-time fee, an hourly basis, or other. An example of this is if you hire a personal trainer three times a week or a tax accountant to do your taxes once a year.
There are four different types of ecommerce models that encompass every transaction that takes place between businesses and consumers on the Internet.
Business to consumer, also known as B2C, is when a business sells a good or service to an individual consumer. An example is you purchasing a pair of Nike tennis shoes from their website.
Business to Business, also known as B2B, is when a business sells a good or service to another business. Most software-as-a-service (SAAS) products are for businesses. An example is Zendesk, a customer service software.
Consumer to Consumer, also known as C2C, is when a consumer sells a good or service to another consumer. An example of this is when you sell your old electronics on a site like eBay to another consumer.
Consumer to Business, also known as C2B), is when a consumer sells their own products or services to a business or organization. An example of this is an online influencer who uses their audience to promote a business's product or service in exchange for a fee.
Webflow is a zero-code visual website builder. But it’s more than a web design tool, it’s also a CMS and hosting platform with ecommerce capabilities. The Webflow editor empowers designers to build professional, custom websites in a completely visual way. Create a completely custom ecommerce website from the ground up.
Here are some of benefits and features of using Webflow to build a truly custom ecommerce website experience.
Now you might be wondering, why choose Webflow to build an ecommerce website versus a platform like Shopify? Here’s an example.
Have you ever visited a website, browsed for a bit, found what you wanted, added it to cart, clicked through to check out, and suddenly it looks nothing like the original website?
This is an example of the generic Shopify checkout page. It’s plain, looks like any other checkout experience, there’s absolutely no branding and design involved. This is what happens when you use sites like Shopify and Squarespace to host your ecommerce business. The checkout experience looks completely different from the rest of your website. But what if you want to customize this experience and make it seamless with the rest of your website? Well you can with Webflow.
Another opportunity for customization on your ecommerce website is the shop layout or gallery page. When a potential customer is browsing your online store, trying to find the right product for them, this page helps them decide. When you use Webflow, you can customize the homepage and gallery pages and make a good first impression.
Keep your design and branding in sync with your transactional emails by uploading a logo, setting your brand accent colors, and choosing a background color. Easily remove Webflow branding from the footer of your emails by upgrading to an Ecommerce plus or Advanced site plan.
You can also customize the labels and other text strings in your email templates. Some of these dynamic fields are “customer name”, “store name”, “store URL”, or “store owner name”. When you’re ready, send yourself a test email to see a final preview of what your potential customer will receive.
One of the best features of Webflow is how easy it is to create complex interactions and animations that make your website stand out.
Create custom hover animations like this one.
Achieve complex scroll animation effects like parallax, precise reveal animations and progress bars. Check out this tutorial for how to create a parallax movement interaction on scroll.
Transform designed element sizes, styling, and position based on scroll progress over a specific element or the entire page. Create fun animations that piece together as you scroll, like the one on our homepage.
With Webflow, you have so much control over your animations, down to the easing curve editor.
Create micro-interactions that shift and move as you hover over elements.
Create intricate, timeline-based animations that are as easy to set up as PowerPoint or Keynote animations.
Create reveal on click animations. Show popup modals, panels, and other hidden elements on click to give your site another level of interactivity.
Short on time or new to interactions? Use any one of Webflow’s 20+ preset interactions and animations to add a surprise and delight element to your site, in just a few clicks.
If you’re curious exactly how to create interactions like these and more, check out some of the in-depth tutorials from this course on Webflow University.
With Webflow, you’re not confined to selling only physical or digital goods, you can do both. From t-shirts to prints, templates, and courses, you can launch any type of ecommerce business.
You can offer custom delivery options like shipping, takeout, or via email. Whatever type of product you offer, you can customize this checkout experience to suit your needs. And if you do ship physical products, you can easily sync orders with your shipping software to create labels and automate order tracking.
While some ecommerce providers might limit your payment methods, Webflow accepts payments from 200+ countries via credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
You can easily connect your Webflow ecommerce site with native integrations like Zapier, Printful, Shippo, Quickbooks, Mailchimp, and more.
Think of all the other features Webflow offers that can help you build and grow a successful ecommerce business. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important to help your potential customers find you organically through search engines. Check out this article, How does Webflow SEO work? for more information on how you can use Webflow to increase SEO.
Connect your ecommerce site to Google Analytics through Webflow’s built-in integration. Or you can easily add code to connect marketing tools to pull insights and run experiments.
If you’re curious how Webflow stacks up in comparison to other platforms, check out these articles next.
Looking for some ecommerce web design inspiration? Check out this video where Ran walks you through some of the best ecommerce website designs.
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