When opening an online store, you might look at other sites for inspiration. But what do the very best eCommerce sites have in common?
You’ll quickly find that eCommerce website design is getting more sophisticated every day and, as such, your customers will have high expectations. But look closer and you’ll find that the best eCommerce sites use a selection of tried and tested methods to ensure the highest quality customer experience. If you want to convert browsers into buyers, decrease bounce rates and show your competitors that you are a force to be reckoned with, here’s what we recommend:
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Keep the end goal in mind
An eCommerce website has one clear function: to increase your sales. How do you do this? By attracting traffic to your site and keeping them there.
It’s one challenge to attract customers to your site but it’s another keeping them there. You only get one chance at a first impression, so make sure to grab the customer’s attention with something fantastic. Hey, that’s what all the best eCommerce sites do! Just check out Le Coq Sportif’s home page below.
The French sports brand really knows how to make an impact! You’ll find that many of the best eCommerce sites include full-screen imagery on their landing page for a striking impact. Add to this clear and easy site navigation and this will further entice users to click through to more pages.
Consider including an offer or relevant call to action – such as the option to subscribe to your newsletter – on your landing page. Encouraging the user to complete these “mini-conversions” will not only build rapport and loyalty, but makes them more likely to click through and complete the sales links that you want them to.
Create a powerful brand identity
Conduct research into your target audience to ensure that every aspect of your eCommerce website design caters to their specific needs. Elements that make for a great user experience include:
- Engaging colour schemes
- Easy to read fonts
- Impactful large-scale typography to attract attention and guide the user
- Clean and easy to use page layouts
You can find out why the best eCommerce sites embrace UX design practices here.
Try to tailor content towards customer needs by using relevant SEO keywords and clear signposting. Both will help your site rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) as well as attract inbound links, further increasing your credibility and brand recognition.
Establish a strong design-content relationship
People buy with their eyes. This is even more true online when they can’t physically examine a product. That’s why it’s so important to show off your service and product in the most effective way.
Think of the user. What would they want to know and see? Consider using high-quality photos with zoom functions, or even a 360-degree video, such as that offered by ASOS. High quality imagery will show off every aspect of your product and help customers make a more informed decision.
Try to support your product photography with content that is informative and engaging, highlighting the USPs to make them stand out to visitors. ASOS are great at combining great product photographs with clipped, easy-to-read copy that helps buyers make the right decision.
Use keywords and SEO principles to attract the right traffic and then make your content work like a salesperson – talk about the product, it’s benefits and why it will enrich the buyer’s life. Use your website copy to create a sensory experience for customers that will turn them into a conversion.
Professional content will reflect your brand image, engage the consumer and deliver your message loud and clear.
Be sociable (all the best eCommerce sites are!)
People buy from people. By being personal on social media you can engage huge numbers of potential customers organically, many of who will hopefully buy into your brand as much as your product. Topshop are great at this, offering style advice and links to the exact products being modeled.
Trust is crucial in online shopping and users will often rely on social media to help them make a decision before final purchase. Social media ‘Like’ buttons throughout your website will further increase web referral traffic.
Keeping a blog for your eCommerce site is recommended for any intelligent social media strategy, offering customers a look behind the scenes of your brand and increasing your search keywords and indexed pages for organic lead generation.
Offer a user-friendly purchase process
Guiding your customers to the checkout through a streamlined process is one of the key elements of any eCommerce site. It’s not unusual for a customer to abandon their basket before the final checkout if the process is confusing or overly complicated.
Include clear process indicators, an option to ‘Checkout as Guest’ and ensure compatibility with popular payment options such as PayPal.
The best eCommerce sites also offer an easily accessible help function, such as live chat, for swift resolution of any queries.
Perfect your responsive design
Mobile revenue streams are crucial for eCommerce websites and your site should be created with a responsive design so that is accessible and appealing to the largest possible audience. Infinity scrolling, a UX driven design, immaculate copy and flexible images with adaptive orientation and resolution will hold the reader’s attention and encourage them to scroll on.
Relevant internal linking and content should be sorted in a logical way to ensure the consumer can easily navigate through the site. Don’t overload your site though as super-fast loading speeds are essential for mobile eCommerce stores.
Trust is a crucial part of the consumer experience and the more effort you put into your eCommerce website design, the more you will get out of it. The best eCommerce sites offer high usability with a fluid, responsive and modern design, fast loading speeds and clean, accessible content at every step of the purchase process designed to tap into your consumer’s needs and desires.