E-commerce website design is about persuading your visitors to buy from your website! Your site should be aesthetically appealing, and every element should be geared towards making the process – from landing page to purchasing – as simple and quick as possible.
The following design tips, when implemented properly, will help boost your online store’s success.
The Top 9 E-Commerce Website Design Elements
Navigation may be the single most important E-commerce website design element. Nothing frustrates a potential customer more than wasting time searching for a product, shopping cart or checkout. Most will click away rather than spend time trying. Therefore, make the path from landing page to checkout, via the shopping trolley, as clear as possible.
Think about the pages carefully, and arrange your products accordingly. For example, clothing is usually divided into Categories – Men’s, Women’s, Kids etc. Then divide sub-categories logically so customers can find products, such as Pants, Jackets, etc. under the correct heading. These can be presented in ‘drop down’ or fly away’ menus to keep the toolbar from looking crowded and confusing.
Having a ‘search’ option can be handy for quick navigation for those looking for a specific product. A filter option so the customer can refine their search to a specific size, colour or brand, can also be a useful tool.
Getting your customers to the checkout is the first part of the battle. However, customers can still click away at this stage. Keep your checkout process simple, and avoid other images or content on this page. Integrate delivery charges into your website before checkout as this can annoy customers at this late stage.
2) Responsive Design
Nowadays, shoppers are more likely to begin their search on a mobile device rather than a laptop or pc. Your customers need to be able to view your products properly and navigate your site on whatever device they are using.
With all devices having different screen sizes it is important that your e-commerce website design is responsive. This means that the design will automatically adjust to fit the size of the device it is being viewed upon.
Search engines such as Google have recognised the importance of responsive design and have made it a ranking factor – they will penalise for a non-responsive site.
3) Loading Time
Approximately 40% of online shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Not only does this mean a lost sale, search engines will see that your customers are clicking away and will penalise your site in the rankings accordingly.
Therefore, when designing your site ensure that all elements load promptly. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have big beautiful images, there are tools and plugins to assist with this issue. A good web developer knows how to design an aesthetically pleasing e-commerce website that loads directly.
4) Photos and Layout
Product images are extremely important on an e-commerce site. Customers rely on the images to help them decide whether the product is what they are looking for and if it is good quality. Avoid blurry or pixelated images, or as mentioned above images that take too long to load. Instead, aim to have clear photos with a plain background that have been compressed to load quickly. If possible have several images of each product from varying angles for customers to see.
Plan your page layout carefully; there are lots of ways to display your products in a concise and appealing way, so choose one that suits your product.
Placing photos of products on other pages of your website can encourage cross-selling and tempt your customers to view more pages and products.
5) Branding and Styling
E-commerce sites can all begin to look the same to visitors so make your branding clear. This goes beyond simple logo and colour scheme – instil personality so that you are more memorable than competitors.
When designing your site think about your target market and aim to choose a style that will appeal to them. For example, a product aimed at over 50’s will be different from a site aimed at 20 to 30-year-olds.
6) Seo and Social Media
Don’t underestimate the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in e-commerce website design. There is no point having any website if it can’t be found in search results.
Elements such as the page and product headings should be optimised. A web developer or SEO strategist can implement a strategy to help rank your website above competitors’.
Social Media has become a huge part of E-commerce so give yourself the best opportunity and choose the platforms that suit your product. Pinterest and Instagram are the best Social Media platforms for E-commerce as they are image based.
Ensure your Social Media accounts are accessible from your website so your customers can follow and like your products after they leave your site. Linking to Social Media platforms should be part of your SEO strategy as it is looked upon favourably by search engines.
Testimonials can be a great tool for developing trust, but be sure to be authentic. Add details to your testimonials beyond just a name – details such as age, location or job description can make claims more legitimate in the eyes of your customers.
A sign-up option is a great way to build your database which can be invaluable. Once a visitor has signed up you can send out regular newsletters informing them of upcoming sales and promotions.
9) Contact Details
People still like to know they can contact or speak to a human if needed, so make your contact details easy to find and personalise them with your name.
These elements are essential for all e-commerce websites. However, there are more elements, design trends, and strategies that can be utilised to set you above your competitors in both rankings and customer satisfaction.
F1RST have the experience and knowledge to develop a contemporary E-commerce website that is aesthetically appealing and functional to help you sell online successfully. We offer a range of Website Management Plans to suit Coffs Harbour Businesses of all sizes maintain a high ranking and prosperous online store.