Websites are what primarily differentiates an e-commerce business from a traditional one. The number of players in the e-commerce industry is steadily growing, but not all are making it big. One of the factors that are affecting the growth of some e-commerce business is not having a great e-commerce site to transact with. With this, great importance should be given to how an e-commerce business’ site is designed.
The following are some of the most effective practices that e-commerce businesses should apply to their sites in order to achieve success:
1. Set Design Standards for your Brand
When you come up with a plan for your web design strategy, the best way to start it is by setting design standards that your brand will adhere to. It’s a good idea to stick with consistent design rules so that throughout your site, you will be consistent with your design. It would be great if you would have one and the same color scheme, font, and other design elements within your site.
Just make sure that you also implement the fundamentals of web design such as decluttering with the use of whitespace, avoiding long paragraphs, and bombarding your pages with one too many objects.
2. Design for Mobile Users
You should also give grave importance to designing your site to be responsive on mobile. Google has already implemented a mobile-first policy, where sites are ranked by their mobile sites. If you do not design your sites well, you will risk losing a lot of traffic because you are not adopting a crucial SEO strategy. Mobile responsive e-commerce websites are now more important than ever because a lot of traffic is now coming from mobile users as compared to desktop users.
Ease of navigation is another aspect of your site’s design that is often left behind but is actually very important. Users often judge a site’s navigability at first visit. If your site has a complicated navigation scheme, then you risk losing a lot of customers. The general rule is that the fewer clicks, the better. So make use of a navigation scheme that can make going through your site an easy thing to do.
4. Optimize your Site’s Performance
Design plays a huge role in your site’s performance. You do not design visual aspects of your site only, but with consideration of your site’s overall performance. This being said, make sure that you are able to achieve the 3-second acceptable page load time. Any longer than this will affect the perception of your site. Bounce rates would also increase.
To ensure that your site is fast. Keep it light. Avoid including too much graphics at the expense of site speed. Keep only essential visual elements, and make sure that these elements work together in an efficient manner with the biggest impact.
5. Make the search bar visible
One good way to improve your site’s navigability is by making use of the search bar. This can definitely make finding specific products a lot easier as compared to having to look for it through your product pages.
Just make sure to implement a working search bar, and that this is actually visible. Place this where your users can see it even without trying. Also, make sure it works best by making use of keywords that would really lead customers to relevant product pages. There’s no use of a visible search bar that doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.
6. Make it easy to filter through your product offerings
Search bars are great if your customers already know what they want to buy. But when your customers don’t exactly know yet, then you should still provide options to make it easier for them to choose.
One thing that can help is providing options to filter through your wide product offerings. Aside from the basic product categories, you should also allow filtering by price range, by brand, and by rating. Sometimes, filtering by material and size can also be helpful.
Make sure though, that you make the most of your filters by placing them where your users can find them. Filtering is a good function, but it would not do much if it’s not seen.
7. Checking Out should be Easy
After going through your site, you should reward your customers with an easy way to complete a sale. There is no place for a complicated checkout process in the world of e-commerce.
Some of the things that you should consider are that you should only ask necessary information such as shipping address and payment information. Don’t require your customers to sign up before making a purchase.
Also, provide a number of payment options that your customers can choose from. Just make sure that all these forms of payment are secure so that your customers are never placed in jeopardy.
8. Design to Build Trust
One of the challenges of e-commerce is how to gain the trust of customers – especially at the first transaction. Your site’s design can help you do just that. To help build trust, consider the following:
- Implement a feedback section where customers can leave out their reviews. Potential customers would appreciate uncurated feedback from actual customers before they buy
- Show your business’s contact information such as business address, phone numbers, and email addresses. These can help prove that you are a legitimate business and that you can be reached when the need arises
- Being consistent with background colors, fonts, button styles, and good product photos are an important factor to build trust.
- Also, ensure to show that you abide by a strict security protocol to keep customers safe from any risk. And don’t just do it for the show, do implement security measures.
Design your E-commerce Site for Success
Design truly pays a crucial role in the success of your e-commerce business. Again, the design is not just about visual stuff, it’s planning everything about your e-commerce site. Always remember that your e-commerce site is what your customers will face so make sure it’s designed at its best so that you can really achieve success with it.
About the Author
Juliette Anderson is an Outreach Community Specialist for an e-commerce fulfillment company that specializes in partnering with online sellers who have an average parcel weight of 5+ pounds or greater. She works hand-in-hand with e-commerce stores to achieve optimal sales for four years already. Her specialty lies in social media marketing and paid promotions.