Want to increase sales from your e-commerce website? Here are some practical web design tips and best practices that you can make today to maximize revenue from your online store.
Web Design Tips for Your Ecommerce Website
By focusing on goal-driven web design and enhancing the user’s experience, you can help your e-commerce website maximize conversions, increase sales and stand out from the competition. Follow these ecommerce website design tips and start growing your online business today!
1. Make a Great First Impression
Remember the old way of shopping? You’d walk into a store and see everything neatly laid out, organized into sections. After opening the store door, you’d get an immediate feeling for the store and either continue walking in or you’d turn right around.
The same is true for your e-commerce website. You want customers to keep walking in to speak (meaning not exiting), get an immediate feel for your store and be instantly engaged.
Since visitors will make a first impression within 0.05 seconds of your page loading, you want that first impression to be positive!
At first glance, your customers should:
- Have your page load quickly with no major shift in content
- Not be bombarded with an immediate popup (except a small cookie notification)
- Be able to instantly see your navigation and search bar
- Get an immediate sense of what your website offers
- Be directed to the first step in their customer journey
2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
A proven advertising principle is that repeated exposure to a brand will increase the likelihood of the customer selecting that brand when making a purchase. The same can be true on an e-commerce website. Every element should be branded and consistent to help increase converstions.
All fonts, graphics, dividers, headings, buttons and image styles should be consistent. This consistency helps with continuity, organization and navigation. It also helps ensure your site looks professional and generates trust in the potential buyer.
Looking for more tips on how to best design your website? Read this Website Design Checklist.
3. Use Contrast
Using contrast in web design helps create focal points and direct the user to where you want them to go.
It’s important to ensure the contrast colours you are using have a high enough ratio to pass the minimum ratio recommended for proper web accessibility. You can use this free contrast ratio checker to test your foreground and background colours.
4. Minimize Choices
There’s a principal called the Hick’s Law, which has found that the time it takes to make a decision increases with the amount of choices available.
To help increase conversions, a good e-commerce website doesn’t overwhelm the user with too many choices. And the choice you want users to make, should stand out the most.
You can also apply Hick’s Law with your checkout form. Instead of having the user required to complete 30 fields on one page, break down your checkout form into multiple steps with for example, name and email on one page, address on the next, and payment on the next.
By breaking your automations down into smaller, more manageable steps, you may also see a reduced abandoned cart rate. This can be equated to the user feeling more committed to the purchase as they have begun the checkout process. Think about shopping for a shirt at a store and looking at the line at the cash register. You’re much more likely to abandon the sale before ever lining up versus lining up and then leaving when it’s almost your turn.
5. Follow the Crowd
According to another well-known principle called Jakob’s Law, e-commerce web design is not a time to be a trendsetter. Jakob’s Law states that user’s want your website to function like all the other websites they’ve been on. Your abandonment rate is likely to increase if your website doesn’t do what the user expects it to do.
Having your e-commerce website behave likes others also increases the user’s trust in your site.
6. Check the List for your Checkout Page
Your checkout page is one of the most important pages on your e-commerce website and the page that will make or break a sale. Make sure your check-out page has these must-have elements:
- Recommendations – testimonials, reviews or social proof showing that others love your product
- Security – details of how you will be securing their payment to ensure a safe transaction
- Satisfaction guarantee – what happens if a customer is unhappy with their product (refund policy, shipping, etc)
- Contact information – how can a customer easily contact you with questions prior to making a purchase
7. It’s all in the (Product) Details, Pictures and Reviews
Because you can’t physically touch and hold the product before buying it, your product page needs to include as many details as possible. If it makes sense, keep the zoom function enabled for your product so visitors can see your product up close.
On that note, saying that images are important is the biggest understatement of the year. Your product images are absolutely vital to the success of your store! They should be clean, professional, bright and include both product photos and lifestyle photos.
And lastly, reviews have a huge impact on purchases. It’s funny because if you’re in a store buying a soap container, you’ll probably never get someone else’s opinion on that soap container. But if you’re looking at the soap container let’s say on Amazon, you’re probably scrolling down and reading all the reviews and will decide whether you will purchase it based on what other’s have said.
8. Emphasize Security
Security was mentioned previously on the checkout page but it should a tip on it’s own. Many potential customer’s won’t make a purchase because they don’t know and trust your website and don’t want to give out their credit card information to a stranger.
How Can you Create Trust?
Make your site look professional. Your store needs to be professional in order to generate trust. Many of my clients start out making their own DIY websites only to discover that it’s not as easy as the DIY website builders make it seem and it does take an experienced web designer to achieve the crisp, branded, professional look an e-commerce website needs.
Show yourself. Now I have that song in my head! People buy from people they know, like and trust. One idea for generating trust is to show a picture of yourself throughout your site so that your customer’s know there’s someone at the other end who they can contact with questions and concerns. Humanizing your site not only helps with your brand but also can crush any feelings of “is this a scam?”
9. Guests are Welcome!
One of top reasons customers abandon their cart is because they are forced to create an account at checkout. Yes, it would be great to have all your customers have their own accounts but think about the sales you could be missing out on by having this feature enabled.
If you don’t absolutely need your customers to have accounts, consider allowing them to checkout as guests as it can play a huge role in your abandoned cart rate. Your web design can then highlight guest checkout.
10. Make it as Easy as Possible
The key to designing effective e-commerce sites is to make a purchase as easy as possible including:
- Reducing the amount of form fields if they aren’t absolutely necessary
- Ensuring that entering information is as painless as possible – especially on mobile
- Making your products easy to find through categories, search and menus
- Being accessible for questions or issues (by phone, chat or email)
- Directing your customers through the sales journey every step of the way
I hope this has helped you enhance your online store. If you’re looking for a web designer to assist with your ecommerce website, let’s connect!