With the majority of people shopping online, there’s increasing competition among E-Commerce websites for shoppers’ attention and loyalty. A visitor’s decision to browse a webstore is heavily influenced by its user experience. In spite of this, it seems like most E-Commerce websites are cluttered with too much information, unfriendly navigation, and unwanted ads – making the online shopping experience cumbersome and unfriendly.
BoostSales by Newgen optimizes your webstore’s design so that it complements your brand identity and provides a superior user experience to your customers. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the critical elements of a well-designed webstore and what it takes to ensure a good customer experience.
Read on to learn about the different design elements that should be optimized in your webstore according to E-Commerce design best practices to boost conversions.
The homepage is your storefront, making it the most important page of your webstore. In most cases, it gets more traffic than any other webpage. It should be designed and structured in a way that maximizes your brand’s appeal to visitors. Some important areas to focus on:
- Use well-matched layouts, fonts, colors and graphics to make your homepage coherent and easy to navigate, so that visitors choose to stick around and learn more about your offerings. It is more important to make the browsing experience easy for potential customers than it is to dazzle them with flashy, non-intuitive design elements.
- Unless you’re a well-known company or brand, briefly describe what your brand does and the range of products/services are provided.
- Most people abandon a website that asks for a sign-up or purchase too soon. Give them clear call-to-actions (CTAs) to explore your offerings, without spamming them right off the gate. Remember: no one likes popup dialogs.
- Keep the homepage content streamlined to avoid unnecessary bloat. Reduce the amount of unnecessary information on the homepage. Over-cluttered pages will distract visitors and drown out the message you’re trying to convey. Instead, provide relevant CTA buttons that guide users to the next step.
Header & Footer Design
The header is a crucial navigational hub for your webstore. It guides the visitor to their desired category and also provides a confirmation that they have landed on the right webpage. Some things to look out for:
- The website logo not only reinforces your brand but also provides an important navigational link back to the homepage. It should be positioned prominently on the header, should not be cluttered with other links or text, and should stand in contrast to the background color of the header.
- Provide a search bar that supports auto-complete keyword functionality, so that your visitors can search their desired products either by simply typing the product name or category name. Ideally, it should be placed on the top right or top left of the webpage, where visitors can easily find it.
- Consider having a mega menu if you have a large number of product/service categories. It is a large drop-down menu where the menu items such as products/services are organized into large categories. Providing relevant CTAs within your mega menu helps the visitors more easily discover the right category or subcategory and find relevant promotions or deals.
Footers are important as well, serving as convenient listings of the most important links and contact information for a webstore:
Category Page Design
The category page is where the product catalog of your webstore is displayed under groupings, making it easier for visitors to find their desired products. Look out for the following:
- Make sure that your products, categories, and brands are presented in the best possible light, with high-resolution images, concise descriptions, and prominent call-to-action buttons. Display your top-rated/featured products on top of the page to grab visitors’ attention and gain higher click-through rates.
- Place navigational links of the subcategory pages on the side of the page for better discoverability. Your products should be organized into logical subcategories so that visitors have no difficulty in finding them.
- Display useful filtering options. Popular filtering options are price ranges, sale items, popularity, product size, colors, brands, and features. Adding a ‘What’s New’ filter-based category helps visitors find the newest products that have arrived since their last visit.
Product Page Design
The product page is crucial for conversions, as visitors most often make the decision to click the buy button here to become paying customers. Important design elements include the following:
- Provide breadcrumb navigation, which helps your visitors know exactly where they are in the webstore and which product subcategory this product is part of. Breadcrumbs also create an internal linking structure that helps search engines better understand the relationship between the category, subcategories and product pages.
- Make sure that the product image is displayed in a large size with high resolution. At the same time, it should fit in the first-page frame, so that users don’t have to scroll down to view the full image.
- Provide multiple product images if possible, which show usage of the product, how it looks like from different sides, as well as important size and dimension information. Zoom options are helpful to let customers inspect the product before adding it to the cart.
- Showing real-world usage of the product is crucial. Many E-Commerce websites have embedded videos and 3D views on the product page so that shoppers can ‘experience’ a product before buying it.
- The Add to Cart or Buy Now button should be the most visible feature on the webpage after the product title, details and image. Set a well-contrasting color and use the full width of the buying area to make this button stand out.
Checkout Process Design
The checkout page is the final stop in the shopping flow. Therefore, it is essential to ensure a quick and smooth checkout process in order to convert the maximum number of visitors into paying customers and minimize abandoned shopping carts.
- One of the major reasons for cart abandonment is hidden costs. Clearly mention the shipping charges, duties, and other costs early in the process so that there’s no confusion later.
- The more clicks a customer has to perform, the greater are the chances of cart abandonment. According to Kissmetrics, 12% of people will abandon their shopping carts if they find the checkout process long and confusing. So minimize the number of clicks and screens in your checkout process.
- Many customers do not complete their checkout process if they are forced to create a user account. By allowing a guest checkout option, you provide them a hassle-free shopping experience.
- On the Checkout and Payment details page, make sure your webstore has a Continue Shopping button to allow customers to easily add items they might have forgotten to add earlier.
Overall Responsive Web Design Best Practices
With the rise in mobile shopping, it is essential to make sure that your webstore provides an optimal viewing experience and easy navigation across all devices. This means that your webstore’s navigation elements, screen layouts, text, images, video and other elements should adjust themselves gracefully on any device. Browser tools such as Chrome Inspection Tools and Firefox Responsive Design Mode give you a quick way to view your webstore in different device sizes (press F12 in your browser and click on “Toggle device mode” button for Chrome / “Responsive Design Mode” button for Firefox). The Google Mobile-Friendly Test lets you test your webstore’s mobile responsiveness.
The success of your webstore lies in its appearance and usability – these often determine a visitor’s decision to make a purchase or hit the back button. Fine-tuning your webstore in adherence with these design best practices will enable you to continually maximize your conversions.
Get your webstore design professionally diagnosed and optimized today!