Having great web design is not just a chance to leave a good first impression — it affects the sales of eCommerce products directly. More than any other businesses, online stores need to be especially inviting and provide a seamless customer experience.
It’s not just about making the website beautiful. It needs to be fully functional, straightforward, and easy to use.
Experienced web designers know that even something as ordinary as color can have a major effect on how people perceive a site. So here are the basic guidelines on how to design a great eCommerce website. (Have you read about SEO web design?)
Make It Easy to Navigate
There’s nothing that can hurt conversion rates so much as complex navigation. The whole point of purchasing products from an online store is in the convenience of the experience. If customers have to jump through hoops to find their way around the site, they’ll rather leave and find a similar product elsewhere.
The safest way to achieve simple navigation is to copy the usual pattern, i.e., to create a familiar layout that is already used by many other sites. It’s nice to be unique, but when it comes to navigation, you should strive for being completely ordinary. It’s also a good idea to use well-established symbols people tend to expect.
With some websites, designers can go crazy and experiment to their heart’s delight — but that’s not the case with eCommerce sites. You don’t want to overdo it with online stores, and the reason is simple — design elements shouldn’t overshadow the actual products. The products need to take center stage, and design elements should only exist to accentuate them and make them more appealing.
If there are too many things going on on the products page, the potential customer will lose focus, get overwhelmed, or even feel annoyed. They came to see the products, not the designer’s artistic abilities. (In this case, the subtler the design, the better the artist.)
Have a Straightforward Checkout
One of the most common reasons for cart abandonment is a complicated checkout process. In terms of design, you should make this part as simple and straightforward as possible. The customer needs to know what steps to anticipate. Also, the checkout should only ask for the most essential information.
Another annoying thing about checkouts is finding out you’ve made an error (or errors) only after filling out the entire thing and having to go back and make corrections. It’s best to show error indications next to each entry field. This way, customers will know what to change immediately. You can use green tick and red cross symbols to indicate if the information provided is correct.
Support All Kinds of Search Queries
A search option is immensely important for an online store. If a customer’s looking for a specific item in a sea of products, they need to be able to find it with ease. You should allow them to search by name, category, color, product attributes, etc. It’s a good idea to provide instructions on how they can use the function.
What’s more, to facilitate their search, you should make filtering as sophisticated as possible. This way, they can narrow down their search to a tee and are much more likely to buy.
Use White Space Wisely
If you’re familiar with John Latham’s painting “Full Stop” (a large black dot on white canvas), you understand the power of negative space. Minimalists have explored white space for ages, and its most important function is to focus attention on what it surrounds.
Naturally, white space is of great use when designing product pages. We’ve already talked about design elements overshadowing products, so it’s best to use white space around them instead. It will allow the item to stand out, and it won’t clash with its colors or patterns.
A patterned background, for example, can really mess with how people perceive a product against it. In essence, less is more here.
Take UX to the Next Level With Chatbots
Chatbots can provide a shortcut for a great many processes on an eCommerce site. They can basically act like personal shop assistants to customers and provide answers and guidelines. You can use an AI-powered bot on the website to handle the bulk of customer support.
These bots can answer any questions, lead customers to the desired pages, help with the payment process, recommend products based on previous purchases or searches, and much more.
These bots can have full conversations with users, understand their intent, and provide meaningful assistance. They’re also available at any time and can cater to as many people at the same time as necessary, unlike live customer support agents.
Use High-Quality Visuals
Since people can’t see and feel the product in person, they need to be able to inspect it as closely as possible to see if they like it. That’s why the use of high-quality images and other visuals is an absolute must.
It’s best to allow customers to zoom in and have a close look at the texture of any product. You can even provide a 360-view, 3D models, and instructional videos. Some items, such as home appliances, could use a demonstration of their abilities because looks are a secondary part of their appeal.
Unsatisfactory images that don’t showcase the products in the best light can seriously harm sales.
Take Care of Brand Consistency
The design of the website needs to complement the products by adopting specific brand markers. You need to find a way to incorporate the brand’s logo, colors, shapes, and other elements into the design seamlessly. That way, the design will complement the products and make them much more appealing.
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What’s more, brand consistency allows customers to remember it and associate the store’s brand elements with positive emotions. This way, you contribute to improving the brand image and reputation.
To sum it up, successful eCommerce web design is all about creating the best user experience and making the products shine.