If your small business is selling its product online through your ecommerce website, the design and layout of your site is very important to the customer. If you it’s too bland, too bright or too confusing, you could easily loose customers. In 2012, online retail sales are projected to reach $226 billion according to the US Online Retail Forecast. So, to better your chances of being a part of this money-making system, here are 5 tips to building a successful Ecommerce website. Keep Layout Simple You don’t want to overwhelm the customer who visits your website. If you main page is too busy, has a lot of colors, or uses small print, it might make it difficult for the customer to navigate your site. Though you may think you’re giving it an artistic flair, don’t always assume the consumer will be able to follow. Use clear and consistent typography, and if possible have an option to enlarge font size for elderly customers. It is also important to avoid making your site too “heavy” with loaded HTML and graphics. Consumers usually have a short attention span when shopping online, so make sure your page can load within 10 seconds. Use “Trail” Navigation Trail navigation involves listing a path or “trail” at the top of the page that show the customer how they have gotten to the product they are viewing. A general example of this would be: Home> Category> Sub-category> Product. This allows the viewer to have a clear understanding of where they are on your site, and lets them navigate the site easier without the overuse of the back button. It also allows them to take shortcuts or skip sub-groups if they want to. Include Specifics When a customer is deciding on a product, they usually consider all of the available information before purchasing. Be sure to include all of the basics such as sizing, color options, and pricing, but also consider including savings (as compared to other sites) or customer ratings (4 out of 5 starts) from people who bought the same product. This will give the buyer extra information about the product that may influence their decision to buy. Analyze your Visits It’s important for your business’ success to monitor your customers’ activity on your website. Google offers free analytics to help you track and view the habits of visitors. This will help your company see what products are in high demand. It will also let you know what area or products on your site are being overlooked or are relatively difficult to find on the site. Also make sure that your site is search engine-friendly and fully optimize each page (not just the homepage) for better bot crawling. Make Checkout Secure Don’t make the customer suspicious of entering their private information; be sure your security certificates are easy to see and understand. They should be from a credible security service. Your ecommerce website is integral to the success of your business. With more shoppers taking their business online, a messy ecommerce site leaves your business out of the picture. Be sure to consider each and every aspect to make the most sales. Author’s Bio: Kate Webster is a small business writer, touching on a variety of topics such as ecommerce web design, for lead generation resource, ResourceNation.com.