E-commerce web design involves more than just having a site which is pleasing to the eye.
Rather, it is about making it as easy as possible for customers to get through the entire checkout process.
Here are some tips which will help you design an effective e-commerce site.
- Allow customers to narrow down their options
You need to have an e-commerce site design which allows customers to filter their options. This will make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for on your site. The ability to narrow down options is especially vital if you are selling items such as shoes which vary in size. A customer would be frustrated if they order a particular shoe, only to find out later that their size is not available.
- Make sure the search bar is accessible
The search bar is a very important element of your e-commerce site. When customers visit a site, they are likely to use the search bar to find what they are looking for quickly. Therefore, make sure the search bar appears prominently on all the pages of your site, preferably on the top right hand corner.
- If anything is out of stock, say it
Many e-commerce site owners make the mistake of failing to keep track of their stock. If a product is out of stock, make sure this is mentioned clearly on your site. Otherwise, you might find yourself facing angry customers who have had their order cancelled.
- Use quality photography
E-commerce is basically about selling products through visual appeal. Therefore, to attract more customers, you need to have as many photos as possible on your site. You could choose to either use tiled thumbnails or slideshows of the products. Make sure the photos used are of the highest quality possible. Poor quality photos are likely to put off potential customers.
- Ensure the shopping cart appears prominently
The shopping cart is a very vital element of any e-commerce site. Therefore, customers should be able to access it from every page of the site. The cart should not just offer details about the number of items in it. To make it more attractive, you could consider adding images of the products.
Photo Credit: ganderssen1
- Ease of navigation
Good navigation is vital for any e-commerce site. If your site has many categories, you could consider using fly-out or drop down menus to avoid cluttering your pages. This will make it easier for visitors to navigate your site. Breadcrumbs can also be very effective in making the navigation of your site much easier.
- Include delivery charges in the product pages
Most customers would want to know from the onset how much delivery will cost. If you add the delivery charges at the end of the checkout process, your customers might get put off and abandon their shopping carts. Therefore, be sure to include the delivery options in your product pages.
- Incorporate social media
Social media is very vital for the success of any e-commerce site. Take time to create profiles with all leading social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Make sure you place the relevant share buttons in a prominent position within your website pages. This will allow your customers to share any interesting or useful information with others in their networks.
- Clean up your product pages
Just like a physical shop, an online store needs to be kept neat and tidy. Ensure that your products are well spaced out, with each having a neat price and description. Avoid cluttering your pages with unnecessary adverts or images which could distract the customer’s attention away from the product. You could consider offering your customers more options by adding ‘also viewed’ or ‘also bought’ products.
- Offer clear contact details
Even with the increasing popularity of e-commerce, many people are still wary about buying products online. Therefore, you need to offer contact details to make it easy for potential customers to reach you. Remember to include your phone number as well as a live chat option. Customers are more likely to trust you and complete an order when they have an option of talking to a real person.
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