Building a decent eCommerce website is easy, but growing a successful eCommerce business is much harder. To make an eCommerce store profitable, you need to constantly improve it based on your past experience. You can do that by applying web design best practices on a continuous basis.
Compromising on the design aspects of your website may lead to immediate and long-term effects. Modern eCommerce websites are not just about offering a great user interface (UI), but also great user experience (UX). If the UI/UX is too cumbersome, the visitor will abandon your site, never to be seen again.
User Experience (UX)
The term user experience (UX) is used to describe how a person feels when using a website, a mobile application or software. People want to navigate smoothly through a website and the different products on offer. Make sure to classify all products into specific categories. The website menu should show all the product categories that your website offers.
Unique Design Elements
The eCommerce niche is very competitive, which is why it is important to create a website that stands out from the crowd. A unique design can draw attention and bring more visitors to your site.
The design of your site should present your visitors with useful and simple features, to help them browse, navigate, and purchase easily and efficiently. People, who are new to online shopping sometimes tend to have less patience for complex web navigation. They often shift their focus towards an attractive and simple-looking design.
Effective Product Descriptions
Product descriptions influence your buyer’s purchasing decision. Attractive fonts, descriptive text, high-quality photos, and videos will make the buyer relate the product to his buying needs. Paying attention to these details can increase your Return On Investment (ROI) in the long run.
Note that while a professional and unique web design can make your products look more enticing, it’s important to keep it as close to reality as possible. If the image and the description do not match the quality of the product, your customers will be displeased. This is when you’ll get bad reviews and sustain reputational (and possibly financial) damages.
High-Quality Product Images
Shoppers want to see multiple angles of the product. They want to be able to zoom in and get a feel of the product in different environments. Providing your customers with detailed product images can increase your sales rates. Technical considerations for images are also important. Visitors don’t have the patience to wait more than a few seconds for your site to load. Optimized website images make your site load faster and are responsive.
People also want to see what they can do or achieve once they purchase a product. That’s why putting a product in context and displaying pictures can help visitors to purchase your goods. For example, a jewelry eCommerce website should post pictures of how to combine jewelry with different outfits, and children’s clothing stores should post photos of children because they are the target audience. People intuitively associate high-quality images with a professional and trustworthy website, so be sure to avoid grainy and pixelated images.
Mobile shopping accounts for 50% of online transactions, which is why the mobile version of an eCommerce website must have the same effect on visitors as the desktop version. The design of the mobile version of a website has to be responsive, the content should adapt automatically to any device and create a mobile-friendly experience for shoppers.
Privacy is the biggest concern of most shoppers. Visitors want to be sure that the site will protect their personal data by providing a secure transaction. If the website does not feel trustworthy, they will simply choose to shop elsewhere.
Make sure to use SSL certificates to authenticate the identity of a website and encrypt information that needs to remain safe. It is an essential indicator of secure checkouts. Another important security best practice is to use a trust seal. A trust seal verifies the legitimacy and security of a website.
Site Search Option
Make sure a clearly visible search field is within reach at all times. Visitors will get the feeling that they can get whatever they want on the website without constantly having to navigate from one place to the other. This is particularly attractive to visitors who already know what products they are interested in.
People use product reviews to decide whether they want to make a purchase or not. A neutral review helps prospective customers assess whether a product is suited to their needs and expectations, or not. A positive review typically turns a prospective customer into a buyer, and a negative review often steers customers away.
According to Yotpo, the most common words mentioned in negative reviews are “disappointed” or “disappointment”. It emphasizes the fact that negative reviews are often about meeting consumer expectations, not necessarily about bad products. Negative reviews sometimes encourage users to make buying decisions. For example, a great product that got negative reviews about the price, might not be a problem for other consumers.
When designing an eCommerce website, make the product reviews easy to find and follow. Include a star rate option in your design, use an easily readable font, and display the average review score for the product.
Clear & Short Calls to Action (CTA)
eCommerce websites visitors look through products quickly and decisively. To help them find what they’re looking for, make your calls to action (CTA) as short and clear as possible.
A well-designed eCommerce website can appeal to a wide range of consumers with engaging visual content and interactive visual experience. There are lots of eCommerce solutions out there that you can use to build, design and manage your online store. Solutions like Shopify, which is a good choice for beginners, BigCommerce is a good choice for small companies, and Woocommerce is popular among WordPress users. Be sure to implement the above fundamental design elements as you build your eCommerce store.
Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Imperva, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership.