Articles, Inspiration, Tips

How to optimize your e-commerce web design – Part 1

March 27, 2013 • By

This week and next week we will share with you how to optimize your e-commerce web design in order to make the shopping process as seamless and easy for your customers as possible. Today we will present 10 tips on how to create a better e-commerce website, next week we will present the remaining 10 suggestions.

The most important thing to remember when creating a web store is that while the design is really important, the main aim of the website should be to make the process from searching for a product to completing the order as easy as possible. If users have to search through the whole site just to find the “buy” button then chances are they will start looking elsewhere.

#1. Make searching easy

There is nothing more important than the search function when you are creating a web store, if your customers have no way of searching through the store then trust me they are not going to stick around. If you can’t find what you are looking for within 30 seconds of entering a website then you are 50% more likely to ignore the site and move on to another site.

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#2. High Quality images

I can not repeat this enough, really this goes for every kind of website not only a web store but all websites, there is absolutely nothing worse than pixilated images. Yes when we were all surfing on dial-up modems then sure images had to be smaller or they would take forever to load, however today most people have faster internet and therefore there is no excuse for using images of a low quality.

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#3. Narrow down content

You need to allow your customers to narrow down their content, in other words give them different options, if you are selling clothing then allow your customer to search by their size, or the color they are looking for. If you offer clothes in different styles then allow your customer to select these, let’s say you are selling casual and formal clothing then offer the option of browsing either section. Of course you need to make sure that your customers can change their mind without having to restart everything.

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#4. Call to action buttons

Please make sure your call to action buttons are not tiny or hidden somewhere in a corner. Since the goal of your website is to sell a product then you need to make sure your call to action buttons are as visible as possible. Also remember that more and more visitors are using tablets to surf the web and therefore your Call to Action buttons need to be large enough that people can press them with their fingers without running the risk of pressing a whole bunch of other buttons in the process.

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#5. Don’t hide additional costs

You need to be upfront with your customers, tell them exactly how much something is going to cost, make sure you let your customers know how much shipping costs, also don’t just add a service charge at the end of the purchase process without letting your customers know from the beginning that a service charge is added to all purchases.

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#6. Keep it clean

There is nothing worse than a messy, over crowed store, this applies both to brick and mortar stores as well as web stores. You need to keep it clean, you can do this through several techniques, one of the most popular is spacing things out, make sure you are not jamming everything on-top of each other, leave some space around the different elements.

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#7. Customer reviews

If you are not collecting customer reviews then NOW is the time to start, really a website without customer reviews is useless, we like to hear what other people thought about a product before we decide whether to purchase it or not. Don’t trust me? Then  simply open YouTube and search for product reviews and you get more than  3,160,000 videos.

Customer-Reviews

#8. Trust signals

As humans we want to trust others however too many times have we been cheated in the past, and therefore people feel uncomfortable with giving out their details to sites they haven’t used before. If you can offer some form of reassurance that your website is trustworthy then you are much more likely to have more customers. If you can add trust signals somewhere on your site then do so, of course only if you can actually offer this trust, otherwise don’t be a fool and simply add it to look cool.

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#9. Don’t hide the shopping cart

This is really important, you need to make it easy for your customers to see what is currently in their shopping cart, don’t be cute and hide it somewhere at the bottom of the website where your customers can’t find it, make sure it is visible and present so that your customers know exactly how much is in their shopping cart and how to checkout.

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#10. Stock availability

Make sure your customers know if you have available stock of something before they start the purchasing process, honestly there is nothing worse than searching through hundreds of items and finding the one you love only to find out that they are already sold out or worse yet not being produced anymore. If something is out of stock then make sure you tell your customers immediately.

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