I’m going to wager that most people reading this have done some of their own online shopping before, and you might have noticed either of these taking place:
You find a product that you want at the price you love, so you follow a link through to the website. Instantly you notice that something doesn’t feel right – something on the website is eating away at your faith in the brand, and you decide to look elsewhere.
You land on a stunning website, but the painstaking process to locate your product and then to navigate through the shopping path was taking more work than if you’d walked into the store. You throw in the towel and visit a competitor.
In both of these scenarios the ecommerce store has failed miserably, but serve as excellent examples of what not to do. Ecommerce web design is a precise balance, so make a note of these tips before you begin the design process or consult an ecommerce web designer.
Keep the cart and search bar accessible by choice.
Most shoppers will end up with multiple items in their cart, and they don’t want to waste time clicking out of the cart every time they add an item. Keep the cart accessible, either in a sidebar or from a drop down icon, where the user can easily view their cart without navigating away. Likewise, make a search bar readily available without obstructing the experience.
Let them choose and change their refinements.
Give your customer options to refine the search, such as size, price, colour, and availability. This gives them a quicker and easier search and a more streamlined shopping experience, where they can choose to only view products that match their needs. Make these selections non-exclusionary and easy to reverse. This means that instead of your user only being able to search one size or colour at a time, they can click on multiple sizes and variants to view all of the available options; and that they can easily deselect a category to refine their search back without having to use ‘back’ buttons and potentially disrupt the connection.
Keep them informed with availabilities and previews.
When you’re confronted with a page of images, it’s great to include an overview option where the user can view a snapshot of the product without navigating out of their main search. This should also include availability of the product to avoid any disappointment.
Clean up product pages and make them trustworthy.
If your customer is there to view your product make the information clear and uncluttered, with a range of high-quality pictures. This isn’t the place to cram in more sale options or sidebars – their considering this option, so give them some visual breathing space. Testimonials and reviews, as well as specific product details, are helpful to the reader and ensure your product seems trustworthy. It’s also important to include all of the variations of the product, with images of its variant forms.
Make the site easy to navigate.
Ensure every page is easily found within less than a handful of clicks and is well organised into its category. Users won’t enjoy viewing a product one minute and struggling to find it the next, or getting lost in your web of menus.
At The Checkout:
Offer a newsletter signup form.
Plenty of ecommerce sites expect users to sign up for online newsletters before creating a cart, but at the very least you should be offering a newsletter option to create your email database. This will come in handy to promote your next big sale and gather more attention.
Keep the checkout tidy.
This should be the quickest and most simplified part of the buying journey since it is where most carts are abandoned. Make the stages clear and concise, and brush away any annoying sidebars, promotions, or navigation tools.
Overall Customer Experience:
Make your contact information clear and accurate.
The online experience is consumer-driven, but if there’s a problem or concern they need to be able to discuss that with someone as soon as possible. Give your consumer peace of mind and include a regular line of communication where you or your team can iron out any issues.
Have fun with social media.
Use social media to have fun with your brand and push user engagement. Your brand will thrive with the added personality that it injects, and your audience will love getting to know your brand and being first to know about your new products, sales, or services.
Use precision and personality.
Be deliberate with every image and component. A crowded or cluttered page is difficult to sort through and can seem careless enough to put most people off. However, use the personality and core message of your brand to add visual appeal and personality.
Ecommerce web design is vastly different to traditional web design, so measure twice and cut once. Commit to serious research and planning before undertaking any actions, and a consultation with an ecommerce web designer could help. Dilate Digital offers business consultations to businesses of all sizes, as well as complete ecommerce web design from the best in the industry. Want to know more? Simply contact our team to find out how we can help you.