10 Effective eCommerce Website Design Tips to Put Into Practice
Things To Consider When Building An E-Commerce Website
Designing eCommerce websites means getting absolutely surgical with the user experience. Ideally, every single element you design should be a well-planned step of a shopping journey for visitors from the product pages to the end of the checkout process, contributing to their decision. Optimizing your online store for sales means keeping the user in mind with every single design decision, and ensuring flawless usability, navigational ease, visual appeal, and overall satisfaction. So let’s head straight to 10 effective eCommerce website design tips you can start putting into practice, with examples.
Table of Contents
- 1. Consider Mobile-First Design
- 2. Build a Clear and Easy Navigation
- 3. Focus on Your Brand
- 4. Don’t Obfuscate Pricing Information
- 5. Use Colors Carefully
- 6. Make Your CTA Buttons Easy to Find
- 7. Use Custom High-Quality Images
- 8. Include Helpful Product or Service Information
- 9. Build Trust with Social Proof
- 10. Make the Checkout Process Less Painful
- Bonus Tip
1. Consider Mobile-First Design
Responsiveness is an obvious requirement, however, considering mobile usage has surpassed desktop for shopping, consider going a step further. As the name suggests, mobile-first design refers to designing your entire eCommerce store around mobile usage. Unlike responsive design, with this approach, you design the layout specifically for mobile devices and adapt that design for bigger screens later on.
This way your content will be consistent with the space of a mobile screen. Going for a mobile-first design will also eliminate the usual headache of having to exclude content from your desktop version.
And last, but not least, the better you design a site for mobile, the easier the use, and the better the performance.
You have probably heard the Keep It Simple phrase too many times. Although clean design benefits your eCommerce store by making it easier for users to scan your content and find what they need, it’s not that crucial. There are many eCommerce stores with more clutter that users still enjoy and find their way around. However, your navigation is an entirely different matter.
Your visitor shouldn’t think hard about where to find a particular category or a particular option. Make your navigation accessible at all times, easy to find, intuitive, and easy to understand. If you don’t have many products in many categories that require leveling, avoid drop-down mega menus at all costs.
3. Focus on Your Brand
Focus on your branding and show your visitors what you stand for and how you are different than your competitors.
If you’re launching a new business, use your design to establish your brand and make it memorable. Use design to show your visitors your brand has a face, personal values, and a mission.
Unfortunately, with so many clever scams out there, people will think twice before purchasing anything from a generic faceless eCommerce website that seems like a decoy for stealing credit card information, scamming people with cheap replicas, or not sending any products at all. On the bright side, scammers usually copy existing generic websites and would rarely invest in a well-designed unique-looking website. This is why showing some brand personality will start building trust between you and your potential customers.
4. Don’t Obfuscate Pricing Information
Hiding pricing information or making it difficult for visitors to figure out what will your services cost them is more often a huge drawback. People feel like if they have to ask for the price, they probably can’t afford it, so unless you’re offering very premium services or high-end luxurious products, make the pricing information easy to find.
When it comes to shipping, there are cases where the shipping costs can be calculated only at checkout. However, when possible, be upfront about shipping costs on your products as well as shipping policies. Keep in mind that displaying shipping information too late in the purchase process risks increasing cart abandonment rates.
5. Use Colors Carefully
Color is a very powerful psychological tool that evokes different emotions, responses, and even physical reactions. For instance, you can inspire visitors to make a purchase by making your CTA button stand out with a bright color like red since red inspires feelings of excitement and is tightly linked to increasing conversions.
Successful companies are easily recognizable by their brand color and stick in our minds thanks to it. These are all things that are closely related to the psychology of colors you can use in your web design to communicate.
6. Make Your CTA Buttons Easy to Find
CTA buttons can influence visitors to make decisions easier and to feel confident about them. To do so, make sure there are no distractions such as popups, social buttons, or irrelevant info competing with your CTA button. In order for it to stand out, use a lot of white space to make it the sole focus of the section.
Another great conversion tool related to the topic is adding a live chat accessible at all times. This way, if your visitors are still unsure about the purchase, they will be able to instantly contact you and ask questions, which gives you the opportunity to convince them of the benefits of your services personally.
7. Use Custom High-Quality Images
Have you ever searched for a product on eBay or Amazon and found an option that offers a single low-resolution image of the product? Especially if the product is pricy, you will probably find it very suspicious and start searching for another option.
This is because high-quality accurate images not only look better and give visitors a detailed view of your products but also give your brand credibility as a trustworthy business. For this reason, avoid stock photos or if you’re re-selling original products, avoid using the images from the original provider and use your own instead.
Products should be clearly displayed using good-resolution images, and if possible, include photos for each variation and even videos.
8. Include Helpful Product or Service Information
You can help your visitors decide if your services will be a great match by providing clear and useful information. This is where text hierarchy plays a big role, as you can structure your info by the level of detail. This way the visitor will be able to first see and read the most important information and then, if needed, proceed to read the more detailed description.
Depending on your design and the amount of information, you could create a hierarchy through font size, width, colors, spacing, and content position. These methods will establish contrast and highlight the key information you wish your audience to pay attention to first. In short, a well-planned text hierarchy hitches the audience to the actions you expect them to take.
When you’re planning your eCommerce site, think of how best to show visitors the positive feedback you’ve received from your existing customers. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Ratings: Add a 5-star rating system where people can rate your products
- Reviews: A Reviews section will allow your clients to give you valuable feedback about your products and services as well as will help future visitors see that other buyers of the product are happy with their purchase.
- Testimonials: Written directly by the client, testimonials are a vitally important part of any eCommerce website. Unlike reviews, you can actually control, collect, and publish client testimonials.
- Trust badges: They serve to denote security features that keep credit card details and other private information safe. Make sure to make them visible and let your visitors feel safe using your store.
- Other social proof methods: These include a client section where you can include the logos of companies you’ve worked with; as well as an awards section with a list of awards your brand has received.
10. Make the Checkout Process Less Painful
A complicated checkout process with way too many steps and required fields often leads to cart abandonment. There are a few things you can do to avoid this scenario:
Third-party log-in: Allow users to log in via a third party such as Gmail or Facebook, so they don’t have to re-enter all their details. This convenience eliminates a huge excuse to leave your website.
Guest checkout: Having to create a whole account on your site can turn visitors away. A huge part of your potential customers prefer to check out anonymously, so you can offer a guest checkout option.
Multiple payment options: You can make the purchasing stage as easy as possible for your customers by offering multiple online payment methods in the shopping cart, such as PayPal or Stripe. These options make visitors feel more secure and build trust between them and your brand.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget to Say Thank You
The main purpose of the Thank You page is to give the user a confirmation that their action has been completed successfully. However, its benefits go way beyond as it helps you build a great relationship with your users by giving them a pleasant surprise and adding more value to their actions.
This example by Saimur Rahman Robin features a Thank You message, an action confirmation, and instructions on how to proceed. Simple and effective.
Of course, you could tweak the copy with “Congratulations “, “All set!” or other confirmation messages. This Thank You Page example by Eric Taylor offers a Congratulation message that the visitor has successfully booked a room, follows by another page that includes the next steps.
To Sum Up
A well-planned eCommerce website design helps increase sales and decrease the risk of cart abandonment. If we can sum up all the tips into one conclusion, always begin with your customers in mind when designing an eCommerce website. Make sure it’s easy for them to find what they need, understand why they need it, how much it will cost, and checkout as conveniently as possible.
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