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Navigating The World Of E-Commerce Web Design: 14 Tips And Tricks

Dec 12, 2023 | Blog, Marketing, Website Design

E Commerce Blog Post

If you’re in the retail business or planning to become an entrepreneur selling the next big thing, investing in an e-commerce website will shift the odds of success in your favor.

An e-commerce website makes running a trading business more viable because a lot of consumers – 33.3% of the global population – shop online. In the United States alone, there were 268 million online shoppers in 2022. This number is expected to hit 285 million in 2023.

Global e-commerce sales are estimated to grow from US$14.30 trillion in 2021 to US$58.74 trillion in 2028. That’s a 310% increase in sales in just seven years!

The numbers supporting the growth trajectory of e-commerce and validating consumer demand for the service are staggering. They also show that it’s not too late in the race to launch an e-commerce version of your business.

14 Top Tips And Tricks In Designing An E-Commerce Website

Did we get your entrepreneurial engine running? In this article, we’ll share with you our best tips and tricks for designing an e-commerce website that will keep your checkout counter busy.

Let’s lead off our list with the obvious number one tip that’s always worth repeating…

1. Prioritize User Experience

None of the 19 other tips on this list will work unless your e-commerce website can assure users of an excellent experience every time.

Put yourself in the shoes of the user. What features on an e-commerce website would create an excellent user experience? You can start out with the qualities listed below.

  • Mobile responsive design
  • Fast download speed
  • Easy to navigate
  • Fully functioning features
  • Complete and updated product descriptions
  • Accessible to all types of users
  • High-quality content

You would want to explore an e-commerce website that sets up properly on your mobile phone regardless of screen size and downloads completely in under 5 seconds.

As the site user, you don’t want to be inconvenienced by defective or malfunctioning buttons, a layout that triggers migraines, and product descriptions that provide more questions than answers.

Lastly, you want to come across high-quality content that’s accessible to everyone regardless of physical limitations and nationality.

If your e-commerce website isn’t good enough for you, it’s not good enough for your customers.

2. Get Started On Your Business Brand

A common mistake made by startup entrepreneurs is to set aside their branding strategy until such time that the business gains traction.

It will be hard for your startup e-commerce website to get going if you don’t give interested consumers a reason to become paying customers. That “reason” is your brand – the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) that defines who you are, what your business is, and why consumers clicked on the right link.

Your branding strategy sets the design of your e-commerce website into motion and gives it direction.

It’s not possible to establish your brand on one page. Of course, the Home Page is the obvious choice of where branding strategy starts because that’s the primary landing page.

But an effective branding strategy must capture the message of who, what, and why your business is such, on every page.

For experienced retailers who have amassed a database of customers, the branding strategy can be determined simply by analyzing the market demographics and business numbers.

For startups that have yet to ring up a sale, don’t worry. You can come up with a branding idea by establishing how you want your business to be perceived by your target market.

Keep in mind that as you grow, your brand itself will undergo changes. Branding is a progressive process; it evolves in parallel with your market.

Over time, you’ll be able to gather enough data to have a better idea of who your customers are, where they’re from, what their online behaviors are, and how they like to shop.

Changing a branding identity isn’t a crime but not starting a branding strategy from the get-go won’t do justice for your online business.

3. Keep the Website’s Design Simple

A person who lands on your website is there for a reason. And he made the decision to click on your URL instead of others because he saw something in the content that compelled him to act in your favor.

The last thing you want is to distract him from his purpose of visiting your site by having the page adorned with a hundred and one elements. Make it easy for him to find what he’s looking for.

You don’t need a complicated-looking web page that’s overloaded with unnecessary images, features, and functions.

Keep your website’s design simple but efficient. Focusing on efficiency means having only the important design elements on the page. Simple design will help organize the contents of your website and improve navigability and productivity.

And that’s what site users want.

4. Apply Color Psychology

Colors are used to enhance the aesthetics of the website and to attract the attention of the site user. But choosing the right color isn’t about what colors you like. Rather, it’s about choosing the color that will trigger the desired actions.

Psychologists have long researched how colors stir up certain emotions in people. The studies led to the introduction of a new field of Psychology called Color Psychology where research is performed to identify how each type of color and its different hues influence human behavior.

Colors maximize the power of visuals in affecting the decision of consumers to buy a product. Research has shown that visuals influence 93% of a consumer’s buying decisions.

To find out the best colors for your e-commerce website, consult the Color Wheel. Identify which types of colors are associated with your industry, business, and category of buyers.

Again, please keep the design simple. You don’t need to use a spectrum of colors to initiate the correct responses from your site users. Remember, each color is associated with specific behaviors.

Choose only 2 colors at most. Using too many colors only creates more distractions. Keep in mind that in web design, white isn’t considered a color but is used to create space and organize content.

5. Implement SEO Best Practices

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of using different techniques, tactics, and strategies to make your website more visible to search engines.

How important is SEO? If your website isn’t optimized for search, it won’t matter how beautiful and functional it is. Your target market won’t find it.

Here’s a rundown of standard SEO best practices.

  • Incorporate high-volume keywords in your content and website tags – image, alt, meta, and description – as well as in your URLs.
  • Hyperlink facts, statistics, and key figures to relevant sources.
  • Internally link information to proprietary content or content that you’ve created and published within the website.
  • Consistently create high-quality content or content that is unique, useful, informative, well-researched, compelling, and engaging.
  • Integrate the User Experience (UX) qualities we discussed above.

Lastly, harness the power of social media to promote your e-commerce business. Although social media isn’t a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm, frequent postings in relevant networks will help create awareness about your brand and drive more website visits.

We reiterate that SEO is an important, crucial component in establishing a successful and profitable e-commerce business.

But SEO requires time and experience both of which are best dedicated to the core functions of your business. The best solution is to sign up for SEO services from a company that’s proven to deliver results.

6. Highlight Social Proof

If someone posts a wonderful review about your product, flaunt it for the whole world to see!

Social proof is evidence that validates the quality of your product. Examples of social proof include:

  • Reviews
  • Ratings
  • Testimonials

Think of social proof as word-of-mouth advertising except that it’s for free. People willingly – and sometimes enthusiastically – share their feelings about a product and that’s why it’s so powerful.

Consumers view social proof as organic; a sincere, honest, and authentic opinion about your product.

Gather as much positive social proof as you can and showcase them on your website. You can also ask loyal customers to provide testimonials or to give you good ratings on popular review sites.

The home page is an ideal location as it’s the primary landing page. But another option is to create a specific page for social proof under “Testimonials”, “Product Reviews and Ratings”, or “What Our Customers Think”.

 

Website.That .Will .Grow .Your .Business

7. Build Up Your Products Page

Site users will almost immediately go to your Products page to learn more about the merchandise he’s interested in.

A guaranteed deal-breaker is to have a Product page with poor-quality pictures, insufficient information, and helpful resources. This page can fast-track the conversion of interest into sales. It must be properly built up and loaded with comprehensive information.

  • Provide complete product details.
  • Give detailed information on how the product is used, its benefits, its specifications, and hazards, if any.
  • Support product information with high-quality, high-resolution images.
  • Include a “View Cart” button that allows the site user to add the product to his shopping cart.
  • Have a chat support button available.

Once you get a site user to your Products page, close in on him and seal the deal. Don’t give him a chance to change his mind and click out of your web page. A weak and inadequate Products page will do just that.

8. Invest In Next Level Security

We’re 100% certain that online shoppers are well aware of the dangers of buying products on the Internet. They know that the threat of having their information stolen by cybercriminals – including credit card numbers – is very real.

Assure your site users of safety by investing in next-level security programs and protocols.

Start out with the SSL certificate. Otherwise, Google will add “Not Secure” to your URL and this will put off users. If your e-commerce website doesn’t have SSL certificates, we can get this done for you.

9. Use High-Quality But Relevant Images

In the restaurant business, there’s a saying:

“Customers eat with their eyes first.”

What this means is that excellent plating as well as beautiful food images will greatly stimulate appetite and influence the decision to patronize the restaurant.

Similar to color, images have been proven effective in influencing the purchasing decisions of consumers. Some studies have shown that high-quality images can increase conversion rates from 10% to 40%.

But choose images that aren’t just beautiful. Ensure they’re relevant and that site users can easily associate their meaning to the UVP of your website.

However, high-resolution images can weigh heavily on your website and slow it down. You can still use these types of images as long as you have them compressed.

10. Create Strong and Compelling CTAs

CTAs or Calls to Action are commands that you give to site users.

Yes, commands. You’re telling site users what to do next. Trust us, they won’t take it against you. In fact, they’ll love you for letting them know what the next step is.

The obvious CTA for an e-commerce site is to get users to buy. So, tell them.

“Buy Now”.

Do you want to get more subscribers to your monthly newsletter? Tell your audience that but include an incentive:

“Sign Up Now and Get a 50% Discount on your First Purchase”.

Add the CTA to a button that takes the user to the e-portal where they can proceed with the purchase.

Don’t create weak and vague CTAs that allow the site user to second-guess his decision. The CTA must be definitive, direct, and to the point.

11. Address Cart Abandonment

A study conducted by Baynard Institute revealed that 69.99% of online shoppers abandon their carts before checkout. The rate of cart abandonment peaked at 71.98% in 2012, and fell to 68.07% in 2014, but has been on a steady climb since then.

Here’s where we ring the alarm bells:

The highest rate of cart abandonment originates from mobile phones – 85.65%.

Here are 8 reasons why online shoppers abandon their carts at the checkout counter:

  • Lack of payment options
  • Insufficient security protocols
  • Multiple types of add-on costs
  • Inadequate information about the products and pricing
  • Lack of shipping options
  • No return policy
  • No customer support
  • Slow loading website

If you don’t address cart abandonment issues, you’ll be leaving potential sales in the shopping cart. Seven to eight foregone sales out of a possible 10 sales is a lot of money!

So how do you address cart abandonment issues?

  • Offer a wide variety of payment options including COD, Buy Now Pay Later, Deferred Payment plans, and additional digital wallet services.
  • Secure the site with SSL certificates that are developed specifically for e-commerce businesses.
  • Include a virtual calculator feature.
  • Provide a well-defined and properly articulated return policy.
  • Entice shoppers with discounts, freebies, and other benefits on repeat purchases.
  • Be clear about shipping dates and make sure the correct channels are in place for customers to follow up on their orders.

Lastly, have the web developer include a feature that sends out an email to shoppers reminding them of items they left in their shopping carts.

According to a study by Barilliance, cart abandonment emails can reduce the rate of cart abandonment by 10% to 30%.

12. Keep Your Shoppers Happy

Why do certain coffee shops become regular hang-outs or meeting places? Why do some malls generate higher sales per square meter even if their tenants sell pricier merchandise?

That’s because shoppers are happier transacting with those establishments.

A customer’s state of happiness could be influenced by a host of factors including convenience, ease of shopping, ambiance, availability of goods, excellent customer service, and a wide and diverse variety of products.

Here are 3 tips on how to keep your shoppers happy and coming back to your online store:

  • Add a filter feature that allows users to narrow down the search parameters.
  • Let them know which products are not available or scarce in quantity. Not only are you building trust by being transparent but you’re also creating a sense of demand for these products.
  • We’ve mentioned these 3 factors in previous sections but it’s worth repeating: Give shoppers multiple payment options, have customer service available on every page, and assure users of excellent UX every time.

If you keep your shoppers happy, they will always come back and even become your loyal customers.

13. Provide a FAQs Page

Have you ever visited a foreign country for the first time and got overwhelmed when you went to a train station? You couldn’t understand anything and were probably worried you wouldn’t find your way back to the hotel.

Thank goodness for the Information Center!

An FAQ page is the Information Center on your e-commerce website. It will greatly help shoppers feel comfortable, safe, and assured. Best of all, they won’t click out of your website to go look for answers or worse – alternatives.

Come up with at least 10 of the most frequently asked questions by your site users and customers. You can find out what these 10 FAQs are in your chat logs, social media pages, email, and by conducting surveys.

Add a chat plugin on the FAQ page. Customers might have other questions or they might need more information than what’s provided in the answers.

14. Don’t Forget to Say “Thank You”

“Thank You” – two small words that can have a powerful impact on your business.

After a customer has completed his purchase, don’t forget to say “Thank You”.

You can do this with a pop-up message or by sending a “Thank You” email to the customer. And yes – you can do both. Customers love it when they’re appreciated.

In addition to showing your appreciation, a Thank You note also tells the customer that his order has been confirmed.

When it comes to designing a Thank You page, make sure it’s personalized by indicating the following information:

  • Full name of the customer
  • The details of his purchase such as type of item, price, quantity, taxes, and other charges
  • Expected date of arrival or shipment
  • Contact details of customer support in case of delays or other issues

Feel free to expand the message and not limit it to just “Thank You”. Add a CTA at the end of the message.

For example:

“Thank you for shopping with us. We’re looking forward to seeing you again soon!”

Just like in the real world, on the Internet, a small but kind gesture can have a positive impression on your business brand.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve convinced you that it’s possible to run a successful online store, the next step is to set up an e-commerce website for your business.

Give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll schedule a meeting at your convenience. We’ve designed many amazing e-commerce websites for our clients that have delivered results and made their businesses profitable.

Remember, it’s never too late to enter the world of online selling. E-commerce has been on an uptrend since 2014 and will continue to do so as businesses and consumers continue to live the online lifestyle.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

 

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