How Web Design Expanded the World of Online Shopping

Posted by on Oct 5, 2020 in Website Design |

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has changed the way we do things. In particular, the online shopping world is booming thanks to its instant, no contact concept. The ever-changing world of website design and development is to thank for this solution, but just how big of a role is it playing in today’s world? With everything from groceries and beauty essentials, to other items like books and even children’s inflatable pools, online shopping seems to be the answer to the pandemic’s clampdown on social distancing.  Even more interesting than that is the fact that online shopping has been around for years, yet it only recently became mainstream. A great example is Amazon, an online shopping company that’s been around since 1994. In 2010, online shopping in the US made up just 6% of retail sales. Now, online sales as a total percentage of sales in the UK jumped from 2.8% in November 2006 to 18.9% in February 2020 and skyrocketed again to 30% in April 2020 due to the pandemic. In May 2020, sales from online retailers in the US went to 30.8% from the same time last year. What once was a novelty has now become an increasingly popular way to get your goods without the hassle of leaving your house. So, how did we get to this point? Where it began The first person to buy anything online was a 72-year-old grandmother named Jane Snowball from Gateshead, England in 1984 from the comfort of her couch via her TV remote; buying margarine, cornflakes and eggs. This was done via the Videotex system developed by English inventor Michael Aldrich, according to Jonathan Reynolds, associate professor in retail marketing and deputy dean of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. The technology was used to generate a shopping list on Snowball’s computer which was phoned into her local Tesco, and the items sent to her door. According to Reynolds, the service was created for the elderly and disadvantaged but gained momentum.  The next milestone took place in 1994 when a 21-year-old web development wizard called Daniel M Kohn created an online marketplace called NetMarket. This was the first digitally secure transaction, with the first buy being a Sting CD that cost $12.48 (£10). After that, the early internet became more and more common in households.  At this early stage in what we now know as e-commerce, only a handful of companies were involved in what was considered cutting-edge technology at the time. Pizza Hut was one of those companies. In 1994 the US franchise sold pizzas online via their PizzaNet portal. It was basic, with a grey colour scheme and fields only for a customer’s address and phone number. 1994...

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4 Web Design Trends of 2019 – Are You Up to Date?

Posted by on Dec 19, 2019 in Website Design |

A lot has changed in the world of web design this year. The question is, have you been quick enough when it comes to embracing the latest web design trends in order to reap the benefits? If not, here is what you should be doing before the year-end.  Go Big or Go Home  Research has shown that wide designs for desktops promote higher user engagement numbers. These wider designs allow for quality, eye-catching imagery and a crisp, clean aesthetic that makes a brand all the more relatable.  Adopt a Mobile-First Policy  Ensure that your website is able to adapt to any device that may be used to browse it – mobile phones, in particular. It is a fact that mobile phones accounted for more than half of all website traffic in 2019, and these numbers are set to continue to climb year upon year.  Video Content 2014 saw blogging take off as the most important type of content any website could have. In 2019, the focus has shifted over to video content. Video content, from product demos to testimonials, is sure to have a positive effect on any consumer interested in what your business has to offer. Do your best to post new video content on a regular basis to see a drastic improvement in your website’s SEO rankings.  Black and White Palettes  Minimalism has taken over the world. We see it in food, décor, fashion and, now, web design. Many on-trend websites are embracing the simplistic, yet impactful black and white palette. The overall aesthetic is striking and daring, ultimately drawing more attention to textures and shapes in the design.  Need assistance with a website redesign so that you can start afresh come 2020? Get in touch with the digital marketing experts at WSI OMS today! We specialise in web design, web development, SEO and...

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Preventing Common Web Development Missteps

Posted by on Dec 10, 2019 in Website Development |

You’ve recently commissioned a web developer to assist with building your new website. At the face of it, your site is aesthetically pleasing. However, you are not attracting any website traffic or leads. Web development may not be your forte and, furthermore, you don’t necessarily understand the ins-and-outs of what happens behind the scenes, which makes meetings harder. If it makes you feel any better, you are probably just one of the many business owners who are dissatisfied with their websites.  How Do I Know It’s Time to Strategize? If you can identify with at least one of the common complaints below, it’s time to strategize: Your website’s content is poor. Your website is not unique, which means your customers won’t be able to differentiate between your website and your competitor’s website.  Your website is hard to navigate. Your website is slow to load on different devices and browsers.  Your website is not secure, it is unstable and/or expensive to maintain.  How Do I Avoid Issues Down the Line? To avoid issues down the line, we’ve listed three important key steps for your website development project: Set Clear Goals for Your Website Make a list of the priorities for your website, and ensure that your web development team is on the same page as you to avoid any misunderstandings. You need to establish what you want to achieve and by when, providing everyone with strict outcomes and deadlines.  Request a Work Proposal  Whether your website is being developed in-house or you’ve outsourced the project, you should ask for a written proposal before starting on the project. Take the time to read through the proposal carefully, making sure you understand all the content (it is important to ask questions if you don’t understand a certain point or section). The proposal needs to specify your project’s deadline, the scope of work, the roles and responsibilities as well as the approach and the detailed work plan.   Don’t forget to request and to review the web developer’s credentials, experience and reputation before making a final decision. The cheaper quote may not always the better option.  Assign Someone to Manage Your Website Project If you don’t have the time to completely focus on your project, consider engaging a project manager who will handle everything for you, especially if you lack the technical skills. He or she will oversee your project on a day-to-day basis, providing the necessary leadership and decision making required.  Post launching your website, have you given thought to who will be managing and maintaining your website on a regular basis? Assigning an internal project manager or an outsourced project manager would be recommended.  Careful planning, communication and attention to detail are...

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Web Development Trends You Need To Take Note Of

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in Website Design, Website Development |

Are you a website developer (or are you thinking of having a new website designed?) Then consider these interesting web development trends:   Push Notifications Push notifications started as a way to prompt people to take action, but they have evolved to become much more. You will notice the push notification permission box on many websites that you visit. If you have clicked on a box that has asked you whether the site can send you notifications, then you have approved push notifications. If your site has been designed in WordPress, then you can use One Signal to add push notifications to your site. Alternatively, you can also consider a dedicated push notification platform such as the PushCrew.   Responsive Design In 2017, 50,3% of website traffic came from mobile searches instead of computers and tablets. This means that the most successful developers will focus their efforts on responsible web designs and mobile-first web design. In December last year, Google announced that it is getting ready to launch its mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of the content or indexing and ranking to better help their (primarily mobile) users find what they are looking for.   CSS3 Animations Animations are used to make websites more interactive. These animations can range from micro-interactions and scrolling effects to motion graphics and background videos. Impress your clients by incorporating these types of animations into your next designs!   Headers In Videos Putting a light header on top of a dark video has become the norm in videos that are embedded on websites. Consider the tone and shades of your videos to choose an appropriate header when you embed the code from YouTube on your site.   Need help with your web development or design? Then contact WSI OMS...

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Choosing a great domain name for your website

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Website Design |

Choosing a domain name for your site is a big deal. Not only does it impact your search visibility, but ideally you will be keeping the domain name for a long time, so you will be building brand equity along the way as well. Here are a few tips to make sure you get it right: Brainstorm keywords Many companies are shocked to learn that their chosen keyword phrase or even their brand name has already been taken. Before you hit a frenzy, brainstorm a few keyword alternatives that you can use for a domain name. Also consider relevant prefixes and suffixes that you could use. You could end up with something like superfastplumbers.co.za or compellingcopywriterssa.co.za, for example. Make it different Your domain name is one of the many things that sets you apart from your competitors. Make sure that your domain name doesn’t closely resemble another company or brand, because you don’t want to confuse searchers. Make it quick and easy to type  Words that are often misspelled should be avoided. You should also avoid very long URL strings or anything that your users could find frustrating to type into a browser. Choosing a great domain name is only the first step of your web design and web development project. If you need help with your site, contact WSI OMS...

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