Projections show that global e-retail sales are going to grow to up to $4.8 trillion by 2021. Even before the pandemic restricted our movements, the convenience offered by online shopping has seduced more and more buyers into making most, if not all, their purchases from the comfort of their own homes. This is why every business needs to have an online store.
When making a website for your business, you need to take a lot of things into consideration. Think of your website as your store but in the digital space. No one will want to shop on your site if the layout is ugly, or if it is difficult to navigate, or if each page loads slowly. With traditional brick-and-mortar stores, a lot of thought goes into designing the storefront and the interior. The same care should be taken when designing your eCommerce website. You want to give the customers the most pleasant and engaging shopping experience possible to maximize sales.
How to improve your eCommerce website
A lot of business owners underestimate the benefits of good design. Shopping is primarily a visual experience, and a good way to catch and retain a buyer’s attention is by utilizing all the design elements that resonate positively with your target market. Those design elements vary across different industries, but here are some general eCommerce website design tips for those looking to build your own websites.
- Embrace minimalism. You may be tempted to stuff your website end to end with as many colors, features, and banners as possible, but remember that these might cause your site to load slowly and visually overwhelm the user. Most shoppers nowadays also prefer site layouts that are clean and straightforward. Use colors that represent your brand and limit them to two or three to keep the site easy on the eyes. Use fonts that are easy to read. Don’t shy away from negative space. Most users appreciate layouts that aren’t too crowded, and negative space allows them to focus on the key elements on the page.
- Enable search, sorting, and filtering options. Give your users the option to search and filter through your products easily. You could argue that forcing the user to go through your entire catalog will make them stay longer and increase the chance of them purchasing more items, but it may also work against you because most users don’t have the patience to go through pages and pages of products. Make sure the filtering and search algorithms are accurate. Users won’t appreciate other irrelevant products showing up in their search. Most eCommerce sites should allow their users to sort the products by price since users usually shop on a budget and prefer to view only the products they can afford.
- Prioritize the product page. The product page is arguably the make-or-break point for most consumers. Whether or not they add a product to their cart will depend heavily on the contents of the product page. Invest in photography equipment or services to make your products look as enticing as possible. Include photos of the product being used or worn. Write a product description that covers all the relevant details for your user. For example, food items should list all the ingredients, while fashion items should have a size chart. The reviews for each product should be visible on their individual pages.
- Specify all costs upfront. 60% of users abandon shopping carts due to unexpectedly high shipping fees upon checkout. You can avoid this by using flat rates or offering free shipping when the user’s total exceeds a certain amount. Make sure to specify this somewhere on the website, either on the product page or include it in the final price when the user checks their shopping cart prior to checkout.
When it comes to eCommerce website design, there’s a lot more that can be improved on than just these four. Design trends also come and go quickly, so you should continuously improve and modify your site so that it doesn’t end up looking outdated. Remember to use your own competitors as a reference when designing your website. What works for fashion retailers might not be ideal for a flower shop’s website. At present, there’s a lot of research being done to narrow down the characteristics of an ideal eCommerce website, but in the end, instead of prioritizing what the experts say, you should make design choices based on the feedback of your target market.