philipjterry - 10:27 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
topr i had a very similar strategy modelling from amazon until i came up against the following argument from a designer... His words below just to make us think a bit more about that :)
Firstly, you obviously appreciate the success of amazon and how effective their method is. With your sites best interests in our thoughts, making an Amazon-clone could be damaging on several levels for your site. a) if on a long shot amazon noticed and took offence the could report your site to google and damage your reputation and listings, b) some potential customers WILL notice the similarity and make an instant judgement about your business (is it reliable, are they trustworthy) . We believe it is fine to take inspiration from an existing site, but we know that customers prefer to experience a unique journey when visiting a website.
I think there are 2 initial considerations to take into account when thinking about the design.
Firstly, what will be the primary aim of the site. Is it a webshop with information about the products (mainly for SEO but also gives the site a more credible and reputable standing), or is it information driven site with the option of purchasing the products.
Most of this can be answered by your physical business model, ie. are you holding stock or buying as orders come in, do you have dedicated support staff etc
Second, who are the intended audience/shoppers. If you are envisaging single sales (small orders) from households/private individuals then it is best to go for a niche style design which would reinforce that you know what your talking about and lead people through to a sale.
Alternatively, if you are pitching more to a corporate (large orders) audience then they would be more interested in an easy sale with best cost savings for multiple purchases. So a design that has less fluff, and a more corporate flair would be suited.
It can always be tricky to pitch the design without knowing how you are planning to operate but I hope these give some thinking room for you. Another thing that would help in terms of the design phase would be to know the scale of the business, ie. how many products, what geography is being targetted (just uk? europe etc).