eCommerce With Style
1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Jan. 20, 2006
The Site Type
Not many of us will ever get the opportunity to work on an ecommerce site the size of amazon.com. There are many other medium sized ecommerce sites of course that will probably employee many developers, but I believe it is the small sites that have some of the most potential for creative and beautiful presentations. The tiny specialty shops that work in a small niche.
Large sites tend to die in committees, where groups of people determine how things will work and look. In many ways this is great, I am sure Amazon excels in terms of usability and accessibility and it certainly has some advanced features. The site does have a distinct look, but it is really more of a standard design. Sites such as this have set our expectations to low I believe.
Small ecommerce sites present an awesome opportunity; the product and market are much more focused and can be much more accurately addressed. Consider Amazon again, their customer base includes just about anyone using a computer. They sell books, music, computers and even groceries. That is a pretty broad market! On the other hand take a look at the custom cloths found on
. They have a small niche product that a much smaller demographic will be shopping for.
This opportunity to create a more focused marketing plan is very empowering, it is so much easier, and I think more fun to design within constraints such as this. Other wise you are left floundering trying to find a direction. So if your market is teenage girls or seniors in retirement embrace your market and capitalize on what appeals to them.
With tools such as Yahoo! Stores and eBay it is all to easy to fall into the default template. For some this might be ok, but if you are reading this I am sure you expect more. These samples all rise above the rest and stand as superb inspiration for what can be accomplished on an ecommerce site.