With millions of e-commerce stores selling a plethora of products online, competition is fierce, and staying ahead of the competition is vital for success. Merely having a Web presence is never going to be enough to hold up against so many competitors. If the design and navigation are poor and landing pages do not show clear intent, visitors will simply leave without making a purchase. Good e-commerce Web design will, on the other hand, improve profitability significantly. Here are some of the elements that need to be perfect for an e-commerce site to fulfil its purpose effectively.

When it comes to e-commerce, simplicity of design is invariably the best choice. Colours and graphics are without a doubt important, but so is negative, or white space. White space is excellent for drawing visitors' attention to important items or areas of an e-commerce Website and can be used effectively to guide the eyes of consumers. While it is, of course, important to make the best possible use out of available pixels, this does not mean they have to be packed with content that ultimately overwhelms potential customers. It is far better to focus on a few well chosen, important elements.

Most consumers enter Websites with one of two things in mind: they are either wanting to browse, or they are looking for something specific. Whatever the reason for their visit, it is of utmost importance to ensure they can find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Browsers can be assisted through simple, easy to follow navigation, and those looking for something specific can be guided efficiently with calls to action, promotional banners and similar elements.

Customers should also be able to search for specific items without having to wade through pages and pages of products. A search box offering consumers the option to narrow down and filter selections is therefore vital.

The raison d'ĂȘtre of e-commerce sites is conversion. Without conversion of visits into sales, there is no reason for an e-commerce site to exist. This, of course, means the most important element of such a site is its shopping cart. In essence, the shopping cart's design is imperative to creating and securing sales. A good shopping cart allows customers to add several products, change quantities and revise selections without having to go back and start over. In other words, they must be able to do so within the shopping cart.