Did you know there was estimated to be 2.14 billion online shoppers in 2021?
That’s an enormous number, and it truly shows the potential and significance of eCommerce as an industry. But sadly, getting your share of those customers isn’t as simple as setting up a website and making sales. From the initial planning stages to your first marketing strategy, there are countless little details that must be in balance for an online store to work.
Many of these things have to do with eCommerce website design.
Good web design directs visitors into the actions you want them to take. It often does this subconsciously, putting elements together to gently nudge the visitor forward. Every colour, font, and graphic tells your potential customers something about your business.
The question is, what does your eCommerce web design say about your business? Does it inspire trust in your visitors, encouraging them to buy from you? Or is it unconsciously pushing would-be buyers away?
These are the kinds of questions you have to ask as an online store owner. Fortunately, you can find some of the answers in this article. Keep reading to discover the essential secrets of the best eCommerce website designs.
Keep it Simple
Good design is as much about deciding what to leave out as it is about what to include.
When it comes to online stores, there’s only one thing you need to accomplish: make sales. Yes, you should also support and delight your past customers with relevant information and contact details. But that will have the added effect of turning past customers into repeat customers, resulting in more sales.
With that in mind, everything on your website should support your goal of making more sales. Anything that distracts from this goal should be eliminated if possible. That means Easter eggs, links to irrelevant pages, and copywriting or photos that don’t help inform and entice the customer.
Besides leaving out anything that’s not relevant to your website’s goal, your web design itself should be as simple as possible. Complex graphics and walls of text can confuse the visitor and cause them to abandon the site. Instead, keep things visually clean, with only essential details.
Use Consistent Branding
Following our last point, remember that one of the worst things you can do is confuse your potential customers. Making sales online is all about earning the customer’s trust and convincing them you have what they need. Mismatched design elements and inconsistent information can be huge barriers to trust.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, make all your branding elements consistent across your site. Don’t use more than one logo and make sure it looks the same across the website. Use the same fonts, colour scheme, and style of photography everywhere, too.
Branding isn’t just about visuals, of course. Your brand should be evident in everything your business touches, from the tone of your email marketing to the products themselves. It’s particularly important for the text on your website to correspond with the same style and tone throughout.
Use Trust Badges
You’re probably already tired of hearing about the importance of trust at this point. But there’s one more way to instantly boost the credibility of your eCommerce website. It’s also incredibly simple and easy to set up.
It’s adding trust badges to your website design.
A trust badge is usually a logo from another company that the customer already trusts. They’re typically financial companies that the eCommerce site works with, such as supported credit cards or payment systems. If you’ve ever seen a product or checkout page littered with logos from PayPal, MasterCard, or McAfee, then you know what trust badges are.
Logos aren’t the only graphics that are used as trust badges. Some stores use symbols for free shipping, money-back guarantees, and more. Although they don’t carry the same credibility as famous logos, they can be reassuring nonetheless.
The best thing about trust badges is that they take very little time to set up. But the impact they have in preventing abandoned carts can be enormous.
Display Customer Reviews
You don’t have to go very far without realizing the importance of customer reviews in making purchasing decisions. You probably scour product reviews yourself before making any purchase online. Many people study product reviews to compare options even when shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.
While it’s easy to see the value of product reviews as a customer, it’s harder to recognize their importance as a merchant. After all, if your products have defects you don’t know about or one customer has a bad experience, you don’t exactly what others finding out. How do reviews benefit you as a seller?
There are a few ways to approach this question. First of all, it can be argued that accepting and displaying customer reviews is simply the right thing to do. As a store owner, you ought to take and share reviews honestly as a matter of principle.
But from a more pragmatic perspective, keep in mind that customers have literally thousands of choices for what to buy. If your store doesn’t display reviews, your customers will go elsewhere to get information from past buyers. And they might not come back to your site afterwards, as they can easily be rerouted to your competitors.
So displaying product reviews may help keep visitors on your site until they buy. But it also helps create another layer of trust with your prospective customers. If people see that you’re willing to share even negative reviews, they’ll see you’re not trying to hide anything.
Utilize Product Categories
Navigation is one of the most important considerations in web design. It needs to be easy for website visitors to make their way around the site. The links, menus, and page hierarchy you use all play a role in your site’s navigation.
Part of good navigation involves arranging separate pages and sections of your site in logical groups. In eCommerce website design, that mostly comes down to product categories.
If you sell more than a few products, categories are going to be essential to help shoppers make sense of your catalogue. However, categorization is an art form in itself. Make sure that every product is easy to find and identify by categorizing products intuitively with a consistent naming structure.
Include a Search Feature
Like product categories and navigation menus, a search function is essential to ensure your customers can always find what they’re looking for. If a customer can’t find a product on your site, they’re not going to buy it. And if a customer doesn’t know the name or category of the item they’re looking for, they’ll assume you don’t carry it if there’s no way to search your website.
If you’re using a website builder to operate your online store, make sure the search function works by testing it yourself. You’ll want to double-check that all the pages you want customers to find are searchable.
Use Professional Photos
We’ve mentioned how important good design is to establishing trust with your audience. But if there’s one thing that’s more important than good web design for making sales, it’s good product photography.
In many ways, your product images are what make the sale. People rely on their eyes more than anything else, and if the picture of the item they’re considering looks right, they’ll probably buy it. Often the product image plays an even bigger role in deciding the sale than the description.
However, bad images will have the opposite effect. While good product photos can go a long way towards making a sale, unprofessional photos will drive people away. Poor exposure, low resolution or fuzziness, cluttered backgrounds, and unappealing angles are common problems.
To make the best impact possible with your product photography, shoot everything on a white background. Take lots of images from multiple angles so customers see exactly what they’re getting. It’s also a good idea to take some photos of your products while they’re in use.
Provide Plenty of Product Information
Product information has less to do with design and more to do with how you list the items in your catalogue. But it’s worth noting that the more relevant information you provide for your products, the more likely people are to trust you and buy.
This is for two reasons. For one thing, providing lots of clear, well-written information shows that you understand your product and know a lot about it. For another, the information will help the customer better understand what it is they’re looking for.
If your product information is sparse, customers won’t be sure whether your offers are right for them. With plenty of information to inform their purchase, they’ll feel more comfortable buying from you.
Promote Related and Recommended Products
Last but not least, it’s a very good idea to promote offers your visitors might like in as many places as possible.
For example, you should display related items underneath the product information on product pages. That way if the customer realizes the product they’re looking at isn’t the right one, they might find what they need beneath it.
You should also display recommended items and offers on the shopping cart page and during the checkout process. You can set up your store to recommend items based on your visitor’s browsing history. Or you can recommend special offers and deals when someone puts something in their cart.
The easier you make it for people to buy from you, the more sales you’re likely to make. Don’t overdo it to the point of being annoying, however. Try to take a gentle approach to recommending purchases.
Simplify the Checkout Process
Once a customer has placed an item in their cart and clicked the checkout button, you’ve done most of the work. But don’t take that sale for granted. If your checkout process doesn’t meet your customer’s expectations, you could lose them.
When someone is making the choice to buy from you for the first time, the most important things are trust and simplicity. Your website design has already earned the customer’s trust, so now the checkout process simply needs to reinforce it. But the process also needs to be quick and simple, or the customer may abandon their cart.
Unfortunately, some eCommerce platforms don’t give you a lot of choices for customizing the checkout process. They may let you customize your homepage to your heart’s content, only to leave you with a jarring cookie-cutter checkout page that doesn’t match the rest of your site. One of the best features of eCommerce website design companies is that they can customize everything for you.
Get eCommerce Website Design Services From EB Pearls
The essentials of good web design aren’t there to make websites look pretty. They show you how to optimize your site to make more sales. However, many people find it a little complicated.
Business owners often find themselves overwhelmed with all the little details that go into running an online business. That’s what an eCommerce website design company is for.
You don’t have time to make sure your site is perfect when you have a business to run. Instead, let an eCommerce website design agency like EB Pearls do the work. Contact us today to get started.