The purpose of an e-commerce website is to sell products. Other types of websites may focus on entertaining the user or providing tons of engaging content. While an e-commerce website can do these things, the ultimate focus of e-commerce is on closing sales, creating orders, or purchasing products.
Furthermore, an e-commerce website has different functionality than other types of sites. They need to be able to facilitate transactions that are related to selling products. Integrating a payment processor and providing adequate data security is essential to maintaining business. An e-commerce site needs to be designed in such a way that its audience can easily view products. At the same time, they need to focus on branding and how a compelling, clean design can help build consumer confidence in the business.
It used to be that people could just throw any e-commerce website together, and it would be virtually guaranteed a modicum of success. This is not the case today as quality of content and proper design are requirements for competing in the online space. Let's look at some common issues e-commerce sites face.
Lacks Ease of Use
With so many options available to users, a website that is difficult to use will result in poor results for the business owner. The slightest difficulty in navigation can cause a visitor to click away and to take his or her patronage elsewhere.
Inability to Scroll Through Products
Another mistake to avoid is a design that makes it difficult to view products. The more clicking and scrolling a user must do in order to view the product catalog, the lower the chances of closing a sale.
Poor Findability of Products on Site
One common issue e-commerce websites make is poor findability. Customers should be able to find the products they need through a variety of search and filtering options. Additionally, the website search function should accurately display search results.
Lack of Adequate Information
Even though a business may know their products very well, it is important to communicate their features and benefits to the user. Being able to accompany products with appealing sales copy is key to rushing them out of storage and into the hands of customers.
Not Conducive to Closing Sales
One of the worst errors an e-commerce business owner can make is using a website design that isn't conducive to closing sales. Remember, the purpose is to showcase products and to inspire the visitor to click on “buy.” An overly cluttered design that distracts from the transactional end goal is counterproductive.
Not Visible in Search Results
An important part of e-commerce web design is creating a website that will rank well in search engine results. You want a website to be among the first results when users search for keywords that are related to your products. Proper design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy will help to improve rankings.
Now that we’ve covered what to avoid, let's take a look at the factors that will lead to a successful, user-friendly e-commerce website.
Keep Navigation Simple and Easy
Your website’s menus should be intuitive and easy to navigate. A user shouldn't have to spend too much time figuring out how to move between product pages.
Straight-Forward Shopping Cart Functionality
Users should be able to click on a button under or near a product for it to enter their shopping carts. Checkout should be just as simple and should not require too many steps to complete.
Easily Accessible Search Bar
Sometimes users will want to search for a product by name or with the use of a keyword. They shouldn't have to hunt for the search bar in some hidden corner of your website.
Keep Social Media Icons Visible
Although social media is an important part of marketing today, icons should be visible and accessible on the website. Users are generally aware that e-commerce websites have social media accounts and will look for them in your footer, header, and contact page if they are interested.
Smart and Unobtrusive Newsletter Sign-Up
Building an e-mail list is an integral aspect of maintaining an e-commerce business. Signing up for a newsletter is not, however, what your visitors initially come to your website for. A good e-commerce website will find a way to include a newsletter sign-up field without cluttering the home page and turning potential customers away.
Keep Visual Content Paramount
High quality photographs can be the difference between a product that sells and one that is passed over by users. It’s important to make sure any images are high-definition while trying to incorporate videos into your marketing where possible. Video tutorials and product reviews add value and allow you to position your business as an authority in the space.
Make Reviews Your Strength
Approximately 90% of buyers like to read up to 10 product reviews before trusting a brand. With 70% of consumers needing to read up to six reviews before making a purchase, it is obvious that reviews have an important role to play in the success of an e-commerce website. By showcasing reviews on your website or allowing easy access to review sites featuring your brand, you can boost sales without much effort.
Prioritize Site Speed and Mobile Responsiveness
An e-commerce website should be designed for speed and mobile responsiveness. A slow-loading site will increase your bounce rate whereas a website that isn't easy to read on a mobile device can severely impact your bottom line. The fact that over 52% of web traffic is now from mobile devices should be enough to drive this point home.
To achieve the best results from an e-commerce website, it's important to work with an agency that understands e-commerce and user experience. These designers and developers should have experience creating successful retail websites. Let's discuss how we can help you create a website that provides the best shopping experiences while growing your bottom line. Contact our team at Base22 today.
Contact us today to see how we can help your company.
2435 N. Central Express Way, Ste. 880
Richardson, TX, 75080, USA
300 Marconi Blvd, Ste. 205
Columbus, OH, 43215, USA
Prolongación los Soles #200
Torres Martel 3, Piso 3
Colonia Del Valle Oriente
San Pedro Garza García, N.L., 66260, Mexico