It’s safe to say the world as we know it revolves around the Internet. From booking a last-minute haircut at the local barber shop to ordering an Uber home from the airport, the Internet is the gateway to our social, professional and daily functionality.
Another transaction that’s now taking place more often online? Shopping, and all kinds of it. These days, you can purchase just about any goods or services online. Enter the world of eCommerce and the ability to buy and sell goods online.
Your eCommerce website holds a massive opportunity to provide your audience with strong, eye-catching visuals and impactful designs to convey that your brand deserves their trust. The right website design is key to connecting with your customers.
Doing so successfully means choosing the perfect fonts, images, words, graphics, and colors to represent your brand and your products in the best light. eCommerce websites, when executed properly, are a great tool to attract and retain customers and ultimately increase your revenue.
If you know you want to improve the design of your eCommerce website but you aren’t sure where to begin, consider the following tips to help kickstart the design process and drive sales.
Overdoing your website’s design with too many colors, visuals, or words will likely backfire. As a general rule of thumb, implement the KISS approach to your website’s design – keep it simple, silly.
Designing an eCommerce website should be approached with one goal in mind: how can we encourage a user to close a sale? The pop-ups, banner ads, moving images and other distractions can distract the consumer and take away from the end goal.
Having a clear, thoughtful design without the extra bells and whistles is always a good approach. Continue to focus the customer’s attention on making a purchase with simplistic designs and messaging.
When it comes to eCommerce website designs, color can be your biggest asset or your biggest enemy. It’s important to choose wisely.
Color is scientifically linked to having an impact on moods and emotions. It’s a powerful branding tool to evoke a feeling or sensation in your audience that words alone cannot. Choosing the right colors to personify your brand can also help customers take action and complete their purchase.
For example, the color yellow is often linked to feelings of warmth, brightness, energy and attention. When used correctly, it can help grab your audience’s attention, just make sure it’s not overdone.
The color pink, while often associated with femininity and romance, can also invoke moods of kindness and compassion. Pink can also be used to promote a sense of calm. Iowa Hawkeyes Coach Hayden Fry even implemented a pink locker room for visiting teams to try to mess with players’ heads.
The key takeaway with color is to use it wisely and to your advantage. It’s an extremely powerful branding tool to keep in your arsenal. Lean into it and test out different colors and shades to find what works for your brand.
Building trust with your consumer starts and ends with developing a strong brand. If your eCommerce website features faceless stock photos or fishy-looking font, consumers will likely exit without a second thought.
Take the time to lay the groundwork for your brand. This process may take a little bit of time, and that’s okay. Rushing into this process can cause frustrating and expensive setbacks. It’s best to take your time and to get the branding right on the first try.
If your brand were to be a person, who would it be? What are the three words that you use to describe your brand? What sets your brand apart from other competitors in this space? These are the types of questions that you should be asking yourself while building your brand and your eCommerce website.
Once you’ve ironed out the core pillars of your brand’s identity, you can begin creating designs to use on your website. These designs can bring your brand to life and help connect with your audience in a way that text cannot.
Brand-oriented designs are brought to life through your fonts, visuals, photographs, color schemes and logo. They should all work with one another in a cohesive way throughout different areas of your eCommerce website.
It’s difficult for an eCommerce website to be high-quality when the images are pixelated, small, or simply not there. In fact, high-quality website images are directly linked to an increase in conversions.
For eCommerce, this is especially the case. Consider going to an eCommerce website to purchase a product and you can’t seem to locate any product images. Consumers want to be able to see quality images of the products they’re purchasing.
Investing in a professional photographer who specializes in product shots is well-worth your money. Your photographer will capture photos of your product from different angles and in ideal lighting to accurately represent your product.
In terms of pixel specifications, eCommerce websites such as Shopify company recommend photos that are 1024 x 1024 at 72 dots-per-inch resolution. However, the platform also supports images double this size with a maximum of 2048 x 2048.
Just when you feel as though you’ve compiled enough product images, take some more. It’s better to have a surplus of quality product images than not enough!
Nothing will kill a potential conversion like a checkout page that’s difficult to navigate. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes; if the checkout page is slow, your consumer will likely lose patience and stop trying.
The checkout page is not the time to be quirky, fancy or busy. Capitalize on the consumer’s decision to check out and ensure the process is fast and easy.
Not only should the page be simple to navigate, but each step should also be clearly laid out to give the consumer peace of mind. Don’t forget to include simple steps like showing them their order number right away and sending a follow-up confirmation email.
If you only focus on a few tactics the rest of this year, let these be it.
Chatbots are a software application designed to help customers in an online chat. Not only can chatbots cut operational costs by as much as 30 percent, but chatbots are also an increasingly important part of eCommerce websites. They’re usually located as small pop-up chat boxes on the bottom right-hand corner of a website.
Chatbots are an example of artificial intelligence (AI), as they are made from software that will simulate a conversation with the user. They’re designed to answer 80 percent of standard questions and they’re growing in popularity.
Approximately 60 percent of millennials already use chatbots to help them purchase goods and it is estimated that 1.4 billion people now use chatbots on a semi-regular basis. The future of brand interaction is chatbots and brands should know that they’re here to stay.
Social proof is one of the most important ways to create a strong brand image and attract new customers. If a potential customer is browsing your site and sees positive feedback from a current customer, this may be the push they need to complete their purchase.
For example, consider how many times a positive or negative review of a product impacted whether or not you purchased it. Shoppers want to feel confident in their purchase so they look to other reviews to guide their decision.
In fact, 88 percent of customers put as much stake in personal reviews as they do a personal recommendation. On the other hand, 86 percent of people hesitate to do business with a brand if it has negative online reviews.
Compiling as many positive customer reviews as you can, even featuring photo or video product reviews, is a great way to encourage potential customers to make a conversion on your website.
The bottom line: consumers want to be able to trust not only your product but your brand. Compiling reviews is a way to build a sense of trust in the customer and encourages them to make a purchase.
Smart phones have officially surpassed desktops in the world of browsing traffic, eCommerce included. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a large opportunity to capture the attention of mobile users.
Your website should be equally functional on both a cell phone and a desktop. If you haven’t been able to master the mobile dashboard for your website, take the time to do so. You’ll likely notice a significant change in conversions.
For example, Cyber Monday in 2019 generated $9.2 billion in online revenue and 54 percent of users used their phones to complete a purchase. With stats showing 84 percent of people reporting a difficult time checking out on a mobile site, there’s a big opportunity here to appeal to mobile customers.
Not only are mobile-friendly useful in increasing conversions, but they’re an easy way to increase the chances of your site being shared from person to person. A quick text between customers can help share your brand and increase sales.
Consumers have a decreasing level of patience for websites to load, which is where a fast website speed can help eCommerce sites shine.
Websites that load in 5 seconds compared to sites that load in 19 seconds see sessions lasting 70 percent longer. Seventy-nine percent of shoppers note that poor site performance means they won’t return to the site again.
Fast-loading websites are good for SEO, but they’re the most beneficial for consumers. If your site takes too long to load, your consumer will quickly lose patience and be onto your competitor’s site instead.
Many eCommerce websites are weighed down by custom templates, unnecessary add-ons and plugins, sliders, and more. Keeping your site both simple yet functional is attractive to both Google and your user.
Having a thoroughly optimized site that’s strategically designed can help your eCommerce website run at its fastest.
Your website’s navigation should make it easy for both search engines and users to be able to find your content. The term “website navigation” specifically refers to your internal link structure that allows for search engines to find relevant information on your site.
Make navigation easy for your user and establish a content hierarchy to help improve pages. Always be consistent and be as clear as possible.
High-quality images are a staple for eCommerce websites. Photos show off your item to the customer to help catch their interest and can help customers feel confident in their purchase.
Too many high-quality images will slow your website down, which is why every photo that is uploaded should also be optimized.
The steps of optimization include adjusting the photo to its ideal size, ideal ratio, and ideal format so the photo doesn’t take up a lot of space on the site. WordPress also allows you to optimize images directly within its platform.
Although it may seem tedious to optimize every image that is on your site, doing so will improve your site speed and can help encourage users to spend more time on your site.
With so many variables involved in building a successful eCommerce website, you may not know where to begin. Spending too much time and resources to learn about eCommerce website design is frustrating and may not lead to tangible results.
As always, knowledge is power, so even if you just have important questions you need answered, turn to our eCommerce experts at Catapult Revenue. We have mastered the art of using different mediums cohesively to drive sales and stay on top of evolving eCommerce design trends.
Whether you’re looking to increase web traffic, create a new eCommerce website or use another facet of our services, we’re happy to give you a complimentary marketing audit. Contact us today to get started.
Ivan is Catapult Revenue’s co-founder and production director, spearheading all of the agency’s design, development and digital marketing efforts.
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