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Design strategies for Ecommerce websites

Great web design is fundamental when it comes to Ecommerce. Your website must be easy to navigate and customers need to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. When they commit to buying, the purchase process should be efficient and secure. If the customer’s experience of your website (and its Ecommerce functionality) is positive, they are much more likely to pay a return visit and even better, recommend you to others.

With this in mind, we thought it was high time we dedicated a blog to all things Ecommerce web design and outline what is key when you’re aiming to maximise reliability and encourage repeat business from your target customer base.

Responsive design

There has been a notable increase in online sales from customers using smart phones and tablets. A website which does not function as coherently on a smartphone as it does on a desktop will drive away potential customers. Ensuring that your website design and user experience is fully compatible across all platforms is now critical to the success of your business in retaining existing customers and increasing the scope when it comes to recruiting new customers.

Easy navigation

There is no doubt that customers generally expect to find what they are looking for as quickly and as easily as possible. Links to your store should be fully visible and navigation in-store must be straightforward and seamless. Employing the use of clearly defined categories, filters and search options (more on searches below) make for a happier user experience and will ultimately increase the chances of users committing to buy right now (and in future). In summary; make sure your website is intuitive, well organised and clearly laid out. 

Inclusion of a search bar

Access to a search box is crucial for ecommerce sites. This allows customers to target precisely what they are looking for. Put simply, if a customer can’t locate their item of choice, they can’t buy it.

Many of your customers will already have a product in mind before they get to your website. Once they do, having a search bar which allows them to pinpoint that product and its closest alternatives, without having to scroll through reams of irrelevant stuff, is a must. Placement of your search bar is also a key consideration. Ensure it is near the top of each of your pages, so that it is easily accessible. 

High quality photography

When your online audience can’t touch or feel what you’re selling, your products and / or services should be showcased using high quality photography and imaging, so that they are well presented and as close to reality as possible. Findings from a recent study showed that incorporating more relevant images into website design increased conversions by over 40%. 

Photograph your products from different angles and get creative! Really beautiful photography has been proven to influence perception of your brand, as well as giving customers confidence that your products are of exceptional quality and as a company, you take pride in the services you offer.

Easy checkout and registration considerations

According to a study commissioned by UPS, an efficient checkout process is essential when it comes to shopping online. In fact, over four-fifths (83%) of online shoppers say that ease of checkout is one of their top priorities.

Allow your visitors to purchase products without having to register for an account first. By permitting them to check out as a guest, the buying process is instantly simplified. It also demonstrates confidence and trust that you will be remembered and the customer will return, without the need for email prompts and marketing.

A basic, suggested checkout process should run as follows; complete shipping and billing address – input credit card information – complete shipping requirements (including any specific delivery instructions) – add an option for coupon code entry – review order – place order.

Final thoughts…

There are many ways you can improve your chances of driving sales and repeat custom but experience tells us that those we have outlined are the most crucial considerations. These apply regardless of whether you are brand new and starting out – or making improvements within a more established setup. Running a successful Ecommerce website is no mean feat, and the pointers we have listed are by no means exhaustive but we hope they are useful as a starting point. If you’d like to talk more about any aspect of Ecommerce web design or indeed, the design of your website itself, get in touch with us here at The Digital Studios.

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