Having an eCommerce site is a great way to move products for your business. However, with innumerable sites online and those numbers only increasing, how can you make your site stand out from the rest? We’ve organized ten helpful practices that will make your site functional, beautiful, and valuable to your users.
Utilize Simple Website Design
It’s universal truth that minimalist web design is more visually appealing—and easier to navigate—than cluttered and visually complex sites. When you’re designing your eCommerce site, simple is always better no matter what product you’re trying to sell.
When a potential customer arrives at your site, they have already formed an opinion of your brand before they blink their eye. In 0.05 seconds, the impression of your website has already communicated to users how highly they you trust and respect your brand. The more simplistic your web design, the more trustworthy and authoritative your brand will seem to your visitors even within the first second of being on your site.
But simple design is about more than aesthetics and a good first impression. The simpler your design, the better the user experience, and that’s one of your goals for your site: building an enjoyable and valuable user experience.
As your customer is looking through your products and making purchases, you want to make that process as easy as possible to encourage more spending and buying. If a customer has to dig for what they want or if they’re overwhelmed with clunky or cluttered design, they will get frustrated and bring their shopping dollars elsewhere.
Use Quality Photos
Having high-quality images on your site serves you in two major ways: it solidifies your credibility as a business, and it gives customers a clear and accurate depiction of what they are purchasing.
One of the drawbacks of an eCommerce site is that your customers don’t have the opportunity to see your goods in person. It’s your responsibility to do whatever it takes to give customers the most complete possible picture of your products—literally and figuratively.
High-quality images of the items you are selling will allow your customers to see, in detail, what they are committing their shopping dollars to. Showcasing your items from multiple angles is also a draw for customers.
High resolution pictures make your business more credible and show customers that you are serious about investing money in marketing your product in a professional manner.
Include Reviews and Testimonials
Positive reviews go a long way for eCommerce sites. Because customers can’t hold and inspect a product themselves, they rely on the words and experiences of others to inform their buying decisions. Ninety-one percent of 18-34 year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. These numbers are to your advantage as you are designing your website.
Include with each product well-written, positive testimonials or reviews. Customers will see that others have had excellent experiences with your product and won’t have to hope that they’re buying something that they’ll love. If your products are similar, you can have all of your testimonials together at the bottom of the page or on a page devoted entirely to reviews.
Keep Your Product Organized
You want to make browsing and purchasing your products as easy as possible for your customers. Keep your products organized into intuitive and easy-to-find categories. One effective way to get into the mind of your consumer is to hold a card sorting exercise. This helps you organize your site in a way that flows naturally for your target audience.
Your menu bar should make finding your different products and product categories easy. It should also be designed in such a way that all of your categories are exhibited, giving users a glimpse of your inventory—even the things they weren’t necessarily looking for.
Know How to Use Color
Website design is about so much more than making a website easy to navigate. Color use plays a huge role in your eCommerce design. Color is a powerful tool that taps into the psychology of your customers and can subtly influence their perception of your brand and their shopping decisions.
For example, red is a color that is linked to heightened feelings of excitement and passion. A study by Dmix shows that you can increase conversion rates by 34 percent when you choose a red call-to-action button versus a green one.
Attractive color schemes also play a role in your branding. Be mindful of what colors complement each other and which clash, or which color combinations represent something familiar to your users. For example, orange, black, and purple bring to mind Halloween for many people. Think about color associations like this when choosing the color palette for your site.
Organize Products in a Grid Layout
Grid layouts are ideal for eCommerce sites because they give customers everything they need at a glance. You can include a picture, the name of the product, the price, and even a brief description. We recommend keeping your row size small, so the content is manageable for your users and doesn’t overwhelm them.
Make Customer Service Accessible
If customers have questions while they’re on your site, you want to make your contact information accessible and easy to locate. Most customers know to search for a “Contact Us” page or look near the bottom of your homepage for your information. Customers are more likely to trust your product, even if they don’t recognize your brand, if you provide a lot of contact information and reply to them in a timely manner.
Consider making contact with your company even easier by including a “Contact Us” tab that will allow customers to send an email directly to you. They will appreciate the ease with which they can present their questions and concerns.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
In 2019, 67.2 percent of eCommerce shopping was done on a mobile device. That number is expected to jump to 72.9 percent by 2021. If you haven’t already optimized your site for mobile users, take care of that today. Your customer base is mobile; you should be too.
Make your layout responsive to any type of screen or operating system so you don’t have to juggle a mobile version of your site along with your standard site. Ensure that your images work on all platforms, and you’ll see your mobile sales follow the growing national trend.
Brand recognition is huge. It’s why some companies are trusted and preferred over others and why customers choose to spend their money with the business they do. Brand awareness and recognition means your customers know who you are, what you offer, and they trust your products.
Having consistent branding is important for your eCommerce site. Make sure your logo is visible on every page and color schemes and fonts are consistent. Your customers should never travel to a new page within your site and wonder if they’ve accidentally clicked themselves to another site entirely.
Keep Text to a Minimum
When customers come to your eCommerce site, they aren’t interested in reading. They want to first visually check out your products. Your site shouldn’t be so cluttered with unnecessary text that you site is no longer simple, as mentioned above, or that the texts distracts from the beauty of your product images.
When a customer clicks on a specific product, use that page as a space to relay information about the item. Even then, keep the text to a minimum. Concisely communicate product details, but be thorough so there are no questions about what your visitor is about to purchase.
Ecommerce sites are the best way to get your product inventory organized in one place and accessible to customers literally all over the world. By utilizing these best practices for your eCommerce site design, you’ll have a beautiful site that provides a fantastic user experience and increases your sales.
Thanks for reading "10 eCommerce Web Design Best Practices to Create Great eCommerce Websites", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.