E-commerce Website Design: 15 Key Factors for Success!Orhun Karadag
E-commerce sales are expected to surpass 3 trillion dollars by the end of 2020. There is no question that you need to have a perfect e-commerce website if you want to succeed in today’s world. So, what makes a successful e-commerce website design? What are the features of a great e-commerce website?
Websites are effectively virtual shop windows. If the customer doesn’t like what they see in the window, they won’t hang around to buy. Having an online store that is beautifully designed and user-friendly is the key.
There are several great ways to make sure an e-commerce website is optimised for higher conversion rates and sales. Offering a great overall user experience is vital for success.
We will explain the key components of e-commerce website design for ensuring the best user experience on the website.
15 Key Factors for Great E-commerce Website Design
1) Website Speed
Page loading time has a surprisingly big impact on your entire marketing and online sales. Page speed directly correlates with higher sales since it has an effect on both conversion rates and SEO. Having a website with a fast page load time can boost sales and conversion rates.
A Google study revealed that 53% of mobile site visits were abandoned in case the page took more than 3 seconds to load. Almost 80% of customers say they’re less likely to buy from the same website in the future if they aren’t content with a website’s performance. What is most striking is that only a 1-second delay in page loading time causes a 7% decrease in conversion rates.
In short, if you want to succeed your website must be fast!
2) Mobile-Friendly E-commerce Website Design
It is essential to offer a great mobile experience for potential customers. A mobile-friendly website refers that it can easily be viewed and used on a mobile device., It is a pivotal element to provide mobile users a good experience to better conversions since mobile devices have become the most common way that people browse a website.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Google switched to mobile-first indexing as of September 2020. Also, most people now use their mobile devices to access e-commerce websites. The entire mobile experience has to be perfect. Why? 85% of adults say a business or e-commerce website should provide an experience as well as its desktop version. Even more, 50% of adults say they will use a business’ products or services less often if their website isn’t mobile-friendly.
Having a mobile-friendly website positively affects SEO as well. Google has switched to mobile-first indexing in 2018. This means the search engine results started to be determined based on the content offered by the mobile version of a website’s pages. If your current website is not mobile-friendly, you may find it challenging to redesign your new website for mobile devices. But keep in mind that this helps SEO as well as providing a better customer experience.
3) SEO-Ready Web Design
As we just mentioned website speed and mobile friendliness affect the SEO success of your e-commerce website. But that’s not all for the e-commerce SEO.
For an SEO-ready website, you need to care about factors such as having a strong technical SEO foundation, search engine-friendly URL structure and schema markup. Investment in SEO will return as more relevant traffic and more conversions from organic search!
4) Easy Check-out
Did you know that complicated and multi-step check-out and payment processes cause shopping cart abandons? Check-out process should be as convenient as possible. A simple and single page check-out is the key for better conversion rates. Straightforward and efficient!
Most of the customers just want to purchase the item or service. If they are forced to sign-up for an account it can turn them away. Offering a guest-user-checkout option can easily solve this problem.
Additionally, adding relevant labels to all fields in the forms is very helpful for potential buyers which will make the process even simpler.
5) SSL Certificate
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL certificates are used for keeping an internet connection secure and protecting critical personal data of the customers such as credit card information. It ensures the connection between the visitor’s browser and the server is secure and encrypted. All e-commerce websites must have SSL certificates as they deal with user information such as name, address, credit card, etc.
Search engines use SSL as a ranking factor as well. Google Chrome marks websites without SSL as “Not Secure”. This can drastically decrease the trust for an e-commerce website.
6) Easy to Use CMS
As an e-commerce website owner, it is convenient and cost-effective to have a CMS such as WordPress that provides easy use and customisation. WooCommerce is the e-commerce extension of WordPress. It gives great control to website owners.
It allows for unlimited products and product attributes. Works on all devices. Also, it offers a large variety of simple customization options. Also, WordPress allows the use of lots of other plugins that will increase the usability and performance of an e-commerce website.
7) Great UI Design for E-commerce Website
The user interface is the way in which a customer interacts with an e-commerce website. User Interface design deals with how the website’s content is organized and displayed to users. For a great UI, the web design has to be uncluttered, the forms simple and short, the navigation process clear and the ordering process straightforward.
If the conversion funnel of browsing, choosing, buying, and checking out is in any way complicated, then businesses run the risk of losing customers.
Customers will expect to have to jump through some hoops, especially when ordering for the first time, setting up an account or entering payment details. But don’t make it too complicated.
The e-commerce website design should focus on highlighting the option to buy products, even if the business has other goals such as directing customers towards an email newsletter or blog.
E-commerce web designers should consider using a palette of a maximum of three colors for ease of navigation and simplification. Outgoing links on landing pages should be kept to a minimum. (Check out Landing Page Best Practices) The payment options should include PayPal as well as cards and there should be a FAQ page to address those answers everyone always needs to know before buying.
An e-commerce site’s product page should focus on one thing for a high conversion rate: the product itself. If an e-commerce site has a low conversion rate, one of the reasons for this is that focus is not only on the products.
If the elements that increase conversion rate are not well known by the web designer, many unnecessary design elements could be added to the page which creates a lot of clutter. You need to consider anything not directly related to the product as a distraction.
8) Clear & High-Quality Photos
Clear and magnifiable photos are a must, as customers won’t buy what they cannot clearly see. High-quality images, a selection of views in a photo gallery, plus videos of the item being modeled for clothes, are likely to enhance sales.
Attention to visuals is likely to raise the conversion rate of visitors to buyers.
8) Videos for More Sales
Photos shouldn’t be the only visual element on your product pages. Adding video in addition to quality images can help persuade customers to buy. According to a research %, 73 percent of the customers are more likely to purchase a product when video content is used to promote it.
Added to these, visuals should be displayed with short product descriptions, clear buttons to reach further information, and white background.
10) Bold and Simple Call-to-Action
Don’t forget to use the call to action (CTA). CTA buttons are important elements for an e-commerce site product page. Don’t miss out on making it easy to see. Since the phrase “buy now” is pretty general, you might want to consider testing other, more interesting options.
CTAs should encourage potential customers to act. Also letting where the button will take them should be crystal clear. CTAs should be visible at least once on every single page. Aside from the main CTAs which will start the buying process, there needs to be supplementary CTAs that will make getting more information on products, services possible.
Clear and straight-to-the-point call-to-actions are vital for a successful e-commerce web design.
11) Simple Pricing
The cost of an item and postage or shipping charges should always be easy to find. Those are the two points that customers will be searching for, especially if they are ordering from overseas and may need to factor in elevated postal costs.
Shipping costs should be displayed ideally with the original item so that customers realize the total cost from the start. If a site offers a volume discount, this should also be clear when one item is selected.
Whether it’s a buy-one-get-one-free offer or a percentage price discount, buyers should be able to choose their options from the point of buying one item.
There should also be a clear link to the company’s contact information and returns policy from every page – maybe as part of the site map in the footer.
12) Social Proof – Customer Reviews
Previous customers are the best reviewers for a business. They are likely, to be honest, and open about the company and the products, their experiences and thoughts. Other potential customers may be more likely to trust the word of someone who has bought and used an item rather than a generic description.
Often the best way to include reviews is immediately underneath the item – think of how many big-name clothing sites show theirs. There will be colour and sizing information, care, and composition, shipping information, and reviews, usually in that order. More generic reviews could be grouped on a separate page within the site.
13) Customisable Views
Filtering, showing limited stock and search bars are also useful additions to an e-commerce site. Allowing users to search by color, size, brand and price band is a good way to focus their attention on only those items available in the right specifics. This leads to less frustration and a higher chance of purchase. A grid layout is often better for e-commerce sites, but a list option with smaller photos might also be a possible alternative layout.
14) Upselling, Add-on Selling, Cross-Selling
Upselling or add-on selling (buying additional or more expensive items) should be subtle and logical. Similar listings could be displayed as ‘customers who bought this also looked at…’ or ‘frequently bought together…’ suggestions.
Add-on selling can be lucrative; suggesting a customer buys a charger as well as a mobile phone, for instance. Cross-selling should likewise be handled gently – just because a customer has bought a particular product doesn’t necessarily mean they will be wanting to buy something completely different from the same site.
15) Social Sharing
Using social sharing buttons on an e-commerce website can help increase the returns. How? Social sharing buttons make it possible for customers to show their e-commerce purchases on their personal accounts. Most of the online shoppers use multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Including social buttons results in free promotion for an online store. Social media referrals have a significant impact!
However, it is vital to remember that the main goal of an e-commerce web design process is creating a highly converting digital store. Therefore, social sharing buttons should be used wisely and never interfere with users’ buying process.
We’ve explained the key factors for a successful e-commerce website design. In addition to these, there are many other ways to supplement the success of an e-commerce site such as SEO, social media marketing or Google Ads management.
E-commerce web designers should have knowledge of all these marketing disciplines and make sure websites are open to improvement in case the client decides to utilize them in the future. Entrepreneurs and small business owners would be wise to make sure they do too so that their website runs well from the start.