5 Key Aspects Of E-Commerce Website Design

5 Key Aspects Of E-Commerce Website Design

In the UK sales via an e-commerce channel are rapidly increasing and we’re seeing these effects all over the world. There could be many reasons for this such as the extended time we spend browsing websites on our mobile devices however, it’s clear to see that big tech companies are noticing this increase and are driving their software to adapt to the ever-expanding e-commerce channel.

According to the Office Of National Statistics (ONS), as of February 2021, online purchases accounted for a whopping 34.5% of all retail sales in the UK. That has increased over 15% in just a year! It really doesn’t look as if it is slowing down either.

With such an influx in sales related to online purchases, there’s no wonder that Instagram, Facebook and other platforms are championing their shopping capabilities to expand further into this industry.

With such an increase in e-commerce sales, it’s vital now more than ever to ensure that if you’re planning to make your business online, wanting to attract a larger audience to your business and create a system in which online sales are possible that your website not only functions perfectly but looks the part too!

Why Is Website Design Important To An E-Commerce Store?

There are hundreds of factors that affect us on a logical, emotional and physical level daily throughout our environment and websites are no different. In fact as we have spent longer than ever browsing the internet and social media platforms recently, it’s likely that websites have had a much greater impact on us then we may think.

This is why website design is so vitally important for a successful online business. The days of simply having your products displayed with a simple call to action are drawing to an end. Customers want to enjoy the experience of browsing your online store which is why it is important to very carefully consider all aspects of your e-commerce website.

We have all had good and bad experiences whilst browsing websites, from slow load speeds and jumpy graphics to clean, aesthetically pleasing online stores that you spend all day browsing. Have you ever simply shown someone else a website due to the funky graphics, characters or sheer beautiful design of it? That is the kind of web design that makes for a successful e-commerce store. So what are the key concepts that make an e-commerce website enjoyable to browse? Here are just 5 that we consider to be imperative:

Easy To Navigate

We have to make this top of our list because of the gravity behind getting this right or wrong. You might have the most stylish and brand orientated website ever to exist but if your customers are struggling to find the information or products they’re looking for then you can be sure they’re leaving your site and going elsewhere.

At the simplest form, an easy to use navigation including a top menu bar with your main categories on as well as a breadcrumb element can go a long way to guiding your customers around your website.

On a more complex level, spend time configuring a marketing funnel. Essentially, create a road map of how a customer might navigate your website from that initial landing page right the way through to a payment gateway. Is it easy? Did they find everything they were looking for? Was there any chance to offer additional products or services? These are all questions that should be considered when planning a marketing funnel for your online shop.

SEO Tip: Good navigation for your website is great for SEO! It helps guide bots just as much as your customers. This will help customers find exactly what they’re looking for faster.

The 3 main factors to consider when you look into e-commerce site navigation are:

Main/ Top Navigation Menu – A very typical web design element that clearly shows the key areas and sub sections of your website.

Product Categories, Product Listing Pages – Products should be categorized into key similarities to ensure customers can find every available option of a specific type of product.

Search Bar – Perhaps not necessary for all websites however a great tool to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for almost instantly. Up to 30% of people on a website will use the search bar & more interestingly 43% of them will use it instantly so it’s important to get this right if used.

High Quality Product Images

Often overlooked in e-commerce web design and this is possibly due to the balancing act that is using the absolute best images possible whilst keeping the file sizes low. The trade off between quality and file size can often lead to poor quality images.

However, naturally we are very visual creatures and therefore we form an opinion almost instantly based on a single image. Which is why high quality ones are so important.

We’re not just talking about the level of quality though, the images have to be contextual. If you sell bouquets of beautiful flowers but use photographs of them displayed in a dark and dingy location that will lead to a juxtaposition that people aren’t comfortable with. Unless it matches your brand’s personality.

SEO Tip: Over a third of all customers like to see multiple images per product so make sure to have between 2 & 5 per product to increase your chances of conversion.

Product Descriptions

Easily the most neglected part of all e-commerce websites is a well-written product description. Having a product description that not only gives an overview of the item but goes into detail about the specifications and why the product is a great purchase.

Product descriptions are important for a number of reasons, not only do they provide an in-depth description of an item for customers but they are great for adding rich text content to your website in mass! Firstly, product descriptions are more important, the more expensive the item is. For example, a standard plain t-shirt may be a typical purchase for most whereas a new computer will be a large one-off purchase for most. Meaning its description could be the deciding factor on whether a customer purchases it. On top of this, the way in which the description is written & displayed should be engaging and benefit the user experience.

SEO Tip: Product descriptions are a great way to add A LOT of rich text content to your e-commerce website. This will help search engines identify exactly what you sell much more easily and gain you exposure to more potential customers.

Responsive Web Design On Mobile

As a proportion of all internet shoppers in the UK as of February 2021, 66.7% were made on mobile. That means over a third of all internet purchases were made via a mobile device! This is why it is absolutely imperative to have an e-commerce website that works seamlessly on mobile.

This means working fast, all touch points working and keeping your navigation easy. The important thing to remember with mobile responsiveness for your online store is keeping the whole experience and process easy and enjoyable for your customers.

SEO Tip: Designing an e-commerce store with a mobile first approach will ensure that all of your users can use your site perfectly on all devices.

Make Your Checkout Process Easy

There is nothing worse than finding the exact product you’re looking for only to find the checkout system is flawed or broken to the point where it’s either too complicated or starts to look untrustworthy.

As a rule a customer should be a minimal amount of clicks from purchase as possible. Ideally no more than two clicks from a purchase. This is why web designers utilise quick view & buy it now buttons to guide customers into purchasing the items they are looking for much faster. Therefore eliminating complicated checkout windows.

With advances in payment gateways such as PayPal, these checkout systems couldn’t be easier. From your product listing page you can pay via your paypal account in a matter of seconds.

Simple & Intuitive Website Design

Your e-commerce website must satisfy two key factors. It must communicate your brand and it’s message perfectly & it must function as a real shop, i.e items are easy to find, purchase and checkout.

Providing those two criteria are met, then your online shop will work well. Web design is an ever evolving form of digital craftsmanship that when done right can seriously improve the user experience (UX) of your website. Consider not overcrowding pages with too much of any element whether that is text or imagery. Your message and marketing funnel can get lost in all of the confusion.

Keep an eye on trends within your industry. For example, clothing industries utilise negative space a lot in their web designs. This creates a ‘let the product do the talking’ brand personality that people really engage with.

Professionally designed websites consider many factors of design before creating anything. All of which factor in the above elements such as navigation, the responsiveness on other devices and how easy it is for your customers to purchase an item from you.

SEO Tip: Follow industry trends & use design elements that won’t slow down your site speed or affect it’s SEO scoring. This will help both customers and search engines find information faster.

Contact Us For More Information On Website Design & E-Commerce Websites

As leading industry professionals in both creating and developing websites as well as e-commerce platforms for our clients, we are well-positioned to assist you with kickstarting your online business. Whether you are just starting your product or services related company or you are already well established and are looking to improve your online presence, speak to our team of experienced web designers and SEO technicians to see how we can help. Call us on 029 2236 0135 or contact us directly.

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