If you run an online store, you need to make sure your website looks great and is easy to use. Many people will soon leave a website if they don’t like its appearance, so you need to avoid losing potential customers this way before they have even had the chance to check out what you’re selling.
In this blog post, we will discuss nine ecommerce web design best practices that will help you boost your sales. A well-designed ecommerce website is the key to success for any online retailer, so keep reading this article to find out how to improve or build yours from scratch in no time.
The importance of ecommerce web design
Your website is the first thing potential customers will see when they search for your products or services online. If your site looks dated, is difficult to navigate, or doesn’t offer a good user experience, you will lose customers before they even get to fully explore what it is that you have to offer.
A well-designed website is essential for any organization, but especially so for ecommerce businesses. Why? Because in order for potential customers to make purchases, they need to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, add items to their shopping carts, and check out without any issues. For this, it is also recommended to use some kind of test case before rolling out new software to make sure your website is working optimally.
If your website is hard to use or doesn’t look trustworthy, potential customers will simply go to one of your competitors who offer a better online experience. In fact, according to Adobe, over one-third (38% to be exact) of people stop engaging with a website that they find to have an unattractive layout or content.
So, what makes a well-designed website? We will share our nine ecommerce web design best practices below.
Ecommerce web design best practices
1. Choose a unique domain name
Your domain name is your identity on the web, so you need to choose a name that is easy to remember and brandable. When choosing a domain name:
- keep it short and sweet
- avoid using numbers or hyphens
- check that it’s easy to spell
The domain name you choose should clearly reflect your business and what you sell. For example, if you sell eco-friendly products, you might want to include the word “green” in your domain name.
Once you’ve chosen a domain name you need to secure the .com version of it, which will be the most popular version of your website and makes it easier for people to find. If this is not available then come up with a new domain name or try other top-level domains such as .net or .org, as well as country-specific ones like .us or .uk.
Finally, it is recommended to register your domain name for at least five years. This will show potential customers that you’re serious about your business and here to stay.
2. Pick the right platform
- Jotform Store Builder
Each platform has its own unique features, so do your research (preferably with a free trial) and decide which one is right for your business. For example, Shopify is a great choice for beginners because it’s easy to use and has a lot of features and integrations, while WooCommerce is a good choice for businesses that want more control over their websites.
Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to set up your store. This includes adding products, setting up shipping and taxes, and choosing a payment processor. You can learn how to set up an ecommerce store in a separate article.
3. Use clear navigation
Your website should be simple to understand and use – that’s why the most common navigation scheme is a horizontal bar at the top of the page that includes the main sections. Another popular choice is a sidebar on the left or right side of the page, which is especially common on blogs and news websites. You can do it by yourself or use professionals` services after considering web development costs.
Your navigation should be easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices, as increasingly more people are shopping on-the-go. It’s therefore important to make your website mobile-friendly so that people can navigate it and find what they’re looking for easily on their phones as well as their laptops, etc.
Some tips for clear navigation include:
- writing descriptive names for your sections (e.g. “Shop Women’s Clothing” instead of “Women”)
- using dropdown menus for subcategories
- having a search bar visible on every page
4. Add related products and categories
As you add products and categories, it’s crucial to keep your website organized and easy to navigate. In order to do this, it can be helpful to add related products and categories so that people can easily find what they’re looking for and thus increase the chances of them making purchases.
For example, if you sell women’s clothing, you might want to add a category for “tops” and then have subcategories for different types of tops, such as “blouses” and “t-shirts”. You can also add related products, such as pants and skirts, so that people can easily find everything they need in one place.
5. Layout your pages correctly
Your website’s layout plays a pivotal role for two main reasons: aesthetics and usability. The former is because your website must look pleasing and professional so that people will want to shop there, while the latter makes it easier for people to find what they’re looking for without any trouble.
For both reasons, it’s worth considering what is displayed on the page above the fold (on both desktops and mobiles) – that is, the part of the page that is visible without scrolling. This area should include your website’s navigation, search bar, your brand logo, and any other important information such as your contact details. That’s why it might be worth hiring a freelance web designer, in which case you must brief them on your brand identity and what kind of look and feel you are going for.
Furthermore, don’t forget to use negative space (white space) on your pages so that they don’t look too cluttered. This will help people focus on the most critical elements of your pages and make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.
Finally, make sure your pages are well-organized so that people can easily scan them and find the information they need. For example, you might want to use headings and subheadings to break up your text, or use bullet points for lists.
6. Include product images and videos
People are visual creatures, so it’s worth including high-quality images and videos of your products on your website. This will help potential customers understand what they’re buying and see that your products are of a good standard.
In addition to product images, it’s also a nice idea to include lifestyle images (e.g. of people using your products) as these can help prospective clients see how your products can fit into their lives. Here’s a good example from a San Francisco escape room.
Finally, consider adding videos to your product pages to convey further information about your products (e.g. how-to videos, product demonstrations). You could also send cold email with this picture and videos to your subscribers.
When adding images or videos to your website, consider:
- using high-quality images (e.g. with minimum resolution of 800×600 pixels)
- optimizing your images for faster loading times
- including alt text for your images (this is the text that appears if an image doesn’t load)
7. Build trust with customer reviews
Sharing opinions about your offer from existing clients is a great way to build trust with potential customers, as reviews provide insights into what it’s like to use your products or services. If you don’t have any reviews yet, you can encourage clients to leave some by offering discounts or other incentives in exchange for their customer feedback.
When displaying customer reviews on your website, include the reviewer’s name and location plus use rich snippets to display star ratings in search results. You can further increase trust by showing reviews that are mostly positive but point out some small flaws, as this will make your product/service ratings seem more credible.
Then, you may decide to display those customer reviews:
- on product or category pages
- in a dedicated “reviews” section
- as part of a blog post or article
8. Add clear CTAs
The calls to action (CTAs) on your website are elements that tell people exactly what you want them to do next. These could be buttons such as “add to cart” or “buy now”, as well as links to other pages on your website (e.g. “free stuff, learn more, etc.”).
Including strong CTAs on your website will help guide people towards taking the next step in their buyer’s journey, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for your email list or engaging with your chatbot.. Your CTAs should be:
- be clear and use simple
- contain action-oriented language
- be placed where people will see them (i.e. above the fold on product pages)
- use contrasting colors so that they stand out from other content
9. Include social media buttons
Adding social media buttons to your website will make it easy for people to share your content with their followers. This can help increase traffic to your website, as well as promote your brand and products or services to a wider audience that you wouldn’t otherwise reach.
Another way to do this is by placing a QR code on your website that would link to your social media. This would prove to be a simple way for desktop users to quickly switch to mobile.
As well as placing social buttons on your homepage (typically in the footer) and “contact us” section, also consider adding them on product pages so that people can share individual items from your offer with their followers. The same goes for any blog posts or articles you may publish, as this allows people to share individual pieces of content that are relevant to them more easily.
10. Think About Security While Designing Ecommerce Design:
It is required to include all aspects, which influence website design starting from home page to UI, payment processing, etc. However, it is also important to add security to your website. If there is no security, customers don’t trust your brand and website. It will decrease sales in the near future. To avoid such a situation, you need a proper security protocol that can take care of customers’ information. and to enforce a discretionary access control model to those that have access to your site. SSL protocol is such a security that creates a secure tunnel between the browser and the server. A site owner should buy SSL and install it on the server to avoid insecure warning displaying on the browser in the absence of an SSL certificate. Selection of an SSL certificate completely depends on the number of domains and subdomains.
Following these best practices will help you create a beautiful and functional ecommerce website that will increase your sales and conversions. Keep in mind that your website is often the first interaction potential customers have with your brand, so it’s vital to make a good impression and give them a positive user experience.
If you need additional help with designor ecommerce website development, get in touch with a web design agency that specializes in ecommerce web design. They will be able to advise you on how to create a website that meets your specific needs and requirements.