The rise of eCommerce has been one of the most significant advantages of our contemporary business landscape. Consumers are attracted to its convenience; they don’t have to leave their homes, and the range of products available online tends to be more varied than those available in high street stores. One survey found that men are more likely to buy clothes online than in-store. Online shopping also tends to be one of the most accessible types of business for entrepreneurs. For all this ease and convenience, it’s not without some key challenges. In eCommerce, a primary concern is web design.
Just as a high street proprietor needs to impress visitors with store layout, eCommerce websites must offer a great online environment to consumers. This is where web design is crucial in the success or failure of an online business. When there are elements of the website that visitors find difficult or ugly, they click away, knowing that they’ll be likely to find a similar product elsewhere. From visual branding to user interface (UI), even the checkout, eCommerce entrepreneurs need to apply significant consideration.
Let’s take a look at some aspects of web design you should be focusing on. What tools and strategies can make things easier and more effective?
Keeping it Simple
Simplicity really is important when it comes to eCommerce web design. Whether you’re just beginning a business or undertaking a redesign, you have to consider how you can make the process less complicated for the consumer. Focus today is increasingly being placed upon user experience (UX) — how a visitor feels about and responds to their time on your website.
The best way to approach this from a design perspective is to aim for navigation to be intuitive. Don’t introduce menu layouts or UI that they’re unfamiliar with; it’s fine to mimic the patterns and flow that their most visited eCommerce stores adopt. This allows them to be on comfortable footing from the moment they land on your site and allows them to explore what you have on offer.
That doesn’t mean to say that you can’t inject your brand’s unique personality or style into the design. You just need to be smart about where you apply it. You can surprise your customers with simple, useful aspects — unexpected discounts once they’ve added a certain value of items to their basket, an interface to solicit help through a chatbot or popup contact form, mobile optimization. These small, considerate steps can encourage loyalty to your brand and don’t need a lot of complex bells and whistles to make an impact.
Designing to Demographic
In any business, it would be a mistake to begin without trying to understand who your customer is. While we’d all like to believe our product would be popular with everybody, that is both unrealistic and it doesn’t help us to make decisions about our business. The same goes for web design — to offer an effective and positive experience, you need to gain an understanding of how your demographic is likely to use your site.
This is where software development is currently helping us out. Software engineers spend their time analysing the needs of industries and creating applications and programs accordingly. Among the key trends for the field today is big data. As a result, many eCommerce platforms are using engineers to continually improve and update built-in tools that provide entrepreneurs with insights into their consumer base. You can then use these data-driven insights to adapt the direction and priorities of your web design.
Your design should include:
• Making note of pages at which customers are clicking away from your store. This suggests that there is something about the page that consumers find to be a hurdle or just too risky to engage with.
• Featuring popular products for specific age groups or locations. You can then personalise your home page or offers with relevant product suggestions.
• Consideration of age range. This can give you a sense of priorities for your demographic. If, like Boomers, they value honesty and peer opinion, include trust signals as a key feature of your design — reviews, credit card logos, security FAQs.
Integration with Marketing
In eCommerce, your website is likely to function primarily as your store. However, you can make it work much harder as a tool for the overall success of your business. You’ll be getting more out of your web design if you also plan to integrate it as part of your marketing efforts.
Create separate spaces that can serve the different needs of your customers, or can act as a draw for varying demographics. While all your products might be suitable for various generations of customers, your marketing approach won’t be right for everyone. Segmentation marketing involves creating different pages or content that targets each specific group. Tailor areas that provide deals for customers in different geographical areas and create resources that show products most suitable for certain age groups. Make shortened URLs for these pages and send them to the relevant members on your email marketing list or social media.
It’s also vital that you use your website to produce quality content. In an industry that is awash with competitors, hosting engaging blog posts, videos, or even a podcast can help to attract your audience and cement your expertise in your market. Make certain that everything from blog pages to product descriptions are search engine optimised (SEO). Arrange text and images to achieve a balance in your content to make pleasant to read, and more likely to be shared.
eCommerce continues to be a rising market. However, to cut through the noise of competitors, and retain customers, you need to focus on your web design. By gaining a deeper understanding of your customers, prioritising simplicity, and taking a multi-purpose approach you can get the most out of your online space.