Ecommerce Web Design 101: A Guide to Creating a Memorable Shopping Experience

It’s hard to imagine life without the internet. From accomplishing various tasks to indulging in entertaining material, the global network has undoubtedly dominated a huge...

Jamie Gonzales
Jamie Gonzales August 2, 2019

It’s hard to imagine life without the internet. From accomplishing various tasks to indulging in entertaining material, the global network has undoubtedly dominated a huge portion of our everyday. Since it became available for commercial use in 1991, the internet has served home for various businesses of different kinds and sizes.

Today, ecommerce is considered the key to expanding a business at a faster rate. But in a highly saturated market, how can you get your brand noticed?

What do Consumers Want in an Ecommerce Website?

Consumers have evolved to wield a highly selective attention span in an information-rich era. As a response, marketers have bent over backwards to find new ways to entice their audience. When it comes to ecommerce sites, consumers generally want the following features:

User-Friendly Interface – Consumers want hassle-free transactions. Cut out distractions and keep multi-step processes to a minimum.

Security – Nobody wants to hand over personal information to a sketchy site. Make your visitors feel safe to trust you with their banking details and home addresses. Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS and have a privacy and data security protocol in place.

Personalized Experience – Not all your visitors will be looking for the same thing. Aim for an ecommerce site that individualizes the shopping experience through data collection.

Engaging Content – Be relatable and encourage customer engagement through fresh, relevant content. Buyers love media-rich content, so invest in both textual and visual storytelling.

SpeedAbout 40% of consumers will quit on an ecommerce site if it takes more than three seconds to load. When designing an online shopping outlet, prioritize responsiveness over extravagance.

How to Design a Memorable E-Commerce Website 

So now you’re probably asking yourself how to check all those boxes. Let us break it down for you.

Highlight Important Information Right Away 

When someone is visiting your site for the first time, you are afforded a small window of opportunity to capture their attention. An average of 40.5% of users leaves a typical website after viewing a single page. Most users would spend only about 190.4 seconds on the entire site. Ecommerce web stores, in particular, experience bounce rates that fall between 26% and 70%.

Encouraging consumers to spend more time on your site starts with an effective landing page⁠. Keep things straightforward, organized, and striking. You’d want to put pertinent information front and center to give visitors (almost) everything they need to know the moment they lay eyes on your page. That’s not to say, however, that you should bombard your viewers with chunks of text upon entry. Choose only the most relevant information and present them in a clear and compelling fashion.

Compose a strong headline that will entice and inform users at the same time. Ideally, it should be limited to 10 words and never exceed 20 words. Support this with concise subheaders that give more detailed information and context. Subheadings should be scannable and written in such a way that will persuade consumers to explore your website further.

To do this, focus on your unique selling points and get creative with how you put words together. You can be a little quirky and even insert puns, but be careful not to compromise substance over style. While clever verbiage grabs attention, clarity convinces patrons to stay. You also need to write with the purpose of each copy in mind.

Apart from orienting leads about your business, it’s also important to build trust at the earliest opening. A good landing page establishes brand reliability by using trust signals. Depending on the nature of your business, trust signals can be presented in the form of testimonials, “like” counters, customer ratings, case studies, and more.

You can also dedicate a section of your landing page to trust badges, or the logos of well-known brands or personalities you have successfully served. You can even include awards and recognitions you have received, and list groups and organizations you’re part of. These things will let your visitors that your business is trusted, experienced, and well-meaning.

Make It Easy on the Eyes

A visually pleasing ecommerce website does more than just appeal to its audience. The aesthetics of your store is the first thing visitors use to form their initial impressions which, in turn, impact how trustworthy they would deem your brand. This all happens in as fast as 17 milliseconds.

While deciding on the direction of your website’s visual layout, consider the kind of products and services you have to offer. Align your choice of color palette, fonts, and featured images with the nature of your business. All these have to be consistent with the brand you’re trying to build. You can draw inspiration from various sources, but the ultimate goal is to establish your own visual identity.

Stay consistent throughout your choices and be meticulous when assessing the kind emotion each element of your design evokes. The color red, for example, is known to elicit feelings of excitement, which is why it’s commonly used in “Buy Now” buttons. Trivial as it may seem, applying this trick can increase conversions by 34%.

Nailing your website’s visual design is also a fantastic way to form relationships with consumers. With a distinct style, users can easily identify your brand and not have it confused with that of your competitors. Know your target audience and explore ways you can tap into their buying motives. Afterward, incorporate such insights into your overall theme by picking the right elements to match the recurring emotional anchor to purchase. This will help you form deeper connections that better your sales.

Improve Website Navigation

online shopping seamless navigation

Now that you have your consumer’s attention, help them find their desired product to proceed with completing a purchase.

A low bounce rate is great on paper, but the real success of an ecommerce website is measured by the number of sales it can produce. No matter how great your items are, or how visually appealing your design may be, sealing the deal requires you to deliver great follow-through after initial contact.

Eager patrons easily take the exit when they can’t find what they’re looking for right away. In fact, 50% of potential sales fall by the wayside because customers have trouble locating desired goods and services.

Prevent this from happening by providing visitors with a logical and intuitive navigation menu. Make use of meaningful labels, categories, and a search bar to help your customers arrive at what they want in an instant. Be sure to organize things sensibly so that items would appear under groups they are expected to belong to.

Although the idea of crafting a unique website navigation experience is exciting, it could easily go the wrong way when it can’t stand against impatient customers. Stick to easy-to-understand structures and try not to deviate too much from conventional navigation designs.

Essentially, if the average person can learn the ropes of your site without much thought, you’re on the right track.

Present Your Products Effectively

You now have a clear menu that redirects to different product pages. What’s next?

At this stage of their shopping journey, your visitors are going to be clicking on specific products and examining them with scrutiny. But unlike traditional stores, online outlets can’t grant consumers physical access to products while shopping. As such, it’s your responsibility to present what you have to offer in the best possible light.

Feature high-quality photos of your items and include a zoom function to let customers view minute details up-close. Refrain from lifting product images off other sites and capture your merchandise from different angles. Compliment these with enticing descriptions that give justice to how your products look and perform in real life. Don’t settle for plain spiels, but instead aim to tell a story while being informative, relatable, and honest.

The next step is to create a sense of urgency to facilitate closing sales. When buyers feel pressured due to perceived scarcity, they become quick to push through with a purchase. This is achieved by displaying stock levels, highlighting limited-edition products, creating discount timers, and more. Coupled with reliable customer reviews, you can expect an increase in conversion rates by at least seven to nine percent.

Streamline the Shopping Process

Your customer has chosen a product and is leaning toward checking out. How do you not lose the sale?

Simple. Make shopping easy.

Design your website such that users get to accomplish what they’re set to do effortlessly. Don’t make them jump through hoops just to put things in their cart or make changes to their shopping list. Remove unnecessary steps and make sure the task is virtually undemanding from start to finish.

Ecommerce shops that subscribe to bad web design usually demand consumers to create an account before they proceed with placing anything in their cart. This practice disrupts the organic flow of the shopping experience and could lead to customers closing their browser altogether. A better alternative would be to save selected items with or without being logged on to a personal account, and then prompting a visitor to sign up once the transaction is done.

Another helpful feature is the “quick view,” which lets customers look at what they have selected without having to open a new page or leave their search results. You can take this tool up a notch by integrating instant add and subtract buttons. This way, buyers don’t have to open their cart in case they change their minds about a product midway through the process.

Accepting multiple modes of payment, indicating clear product prices, and displaying shipment details are also great ways to streamline your visitors’ ecommerce experience.

Simplify the Checkout Page

The buyer is almost through the funnel. What does it take to close the deal?

Half of the visitors who actually reach the checkout page abandon their cart due to a variety of reasons. For one, 27% customers are deterred by an overly complicated checkout process. Data shows single-page checkouts outperform two-page checkout pages by 21.8%. While there are benefits to using a multi-step end counter, asking for too much information can hurt your sales by as much as 73%.

Users are more or less certain they want to push through with their purchase at this point, so the trick is to match their decisiveness. The checkout page should, first and foremost, make a sale, so set aside collecting additional information and doing cross-promotions until after a customer confirms his or her payment details.

Optimizing the checkout page also involves presenting important information clearly. Be transparent about additional costs early into the transaction to avoid unpleasant surprises. You can add a shipping cost calculator right on your product pages or adhere to a free shipping policy or flat rate. If you make use of discount codes, keep them away from the checkout page. These kinds of prompts are too distracting and may result in cart abandonment as users focus their energy on finding ways to obtain coupons. These fields should be restricted to product pages as well.

Lastly, assure your clients that it’s safe to give personal information to your online shop. Insert trust symbols and provide details regarding your payment gateway and return policies.

You’ve made a sale! Be happy. But don’t stop there.

ecommerce website customer experience

Have the Site Remember Your Customers 

Take advantage of sophisticated web design tools to create custom experiences for your visitors. Have your website take note of shopping behaviors and use that information to suggest related products when they revisit your store. By simply placing product recommendations in the cart page, conversion rates soar by 915%.

A “wishlist” feature will help keep track of this more accurately and is a great tool that aids in crafting highly-targeted emails and sales pitches. With this element in place, sales opportunities increase by 20%, and customer loyalty is properly nurtured to minimize attrition and boost profits. Meanwhile, including a “visitors who viewed this also viewed” section can contribute to 68% of your total revenue. This particular personalization tactic ranks first in the list of its class, followed by “visitors who viewed this product ultimately bought,” “you might also like,” and “recently viewed.”

Provide Relevant Content

Venturing into e-commerce means heading straight into tight competition. To stand out in a haystack of websites, it’s not enough to have appealing products. You need to implement a solid SEO and content marketing strategy to rank high on search engine rankings.

Producing original content for your e-commerce website gives your brand a voice consumers can readily engage with. Instead of being purely self-promoting, strive to deliver value-adding blog posts and articles that are related to your products or services. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and try to publish fresh stories as soon as possible. When you’re on the front row of providings news and insights, other content writers would cite you as a reference and could even link readers to your website.

Raise organic traffic even further by conducting keyword research, and don’t forget to add subtle nods to your products. Eventually, after establishing your company as a leader in your market, the longer sales funnel will serve as a sustainable way to keep your audience wanting more.

Ensure Good Customer Service 

Part of a good website is its ability to let visitors figure things out all by themselves. But when concerns do arise, your ecommerce site has to provide answers fast. Consider enabling a chatbot to answer questions 24/7. This technology will appease impatient patrons whenever they have inquiries and can even be programmed to help with website navigation. You can also create a comprehensive FAQs page to address common queries and explain miscellaneous information such as return policies, shipment proceedings, etc.

After checkout, extend customer service by asking for feedback regarding the shopping experience on your site. This can be done by preparing a short survey or simply asking for areas for improvement and allowing respondents to air their suggestions freely. Additionally, device an order tracker on-site featuring billing history, shipping progress, and purchase archives.

Make Your Website Actionable 

A lot of the visitors who will stumble upon your website for the first time will be there simply to window shop and explore. This is when your ability to design custom landing pages will come most in handy. These kinds of users usually come from clicking an advertisement or seeing your brand on social media platforms. Since you don’t have access to their personal information and preferences, your best bet would be to showcase bestsellers and the latest trends.

A good strategy is to capitalize on people’s impulse buying behavior. Similar to what happens in physical stores, many consumers are driven by spontaneity when making a purchase. In 2018, 44% of Americans admitted to buying something out of impulse online within the past three months of answering the survey. Harness this power by making your website mobile-friendly and promoting free shipping after exceeding a certain threshold.

Run Performance Tests

Finally, run tests whenever you can. All the good features on your ecommerce site will be useless if they can’t load in a timely manner or if they make devices run slower. Implement A/B testing often, and be open to making tweaks based on the results. Continuously work to boost your online shop’s responsiveness to different gadgets, especially when new models and updates are made available to the masses.

Unsure of how to pull these off by yourself? Work with an expert ecommerce web design and development team from Growth Rocket and see your business turn into a formidable force in the market.

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