An e-commerce website's design offers a huge opportunity to make a positive first impression and turn your first-time visitors into returning customers. Your online store's design has a direct impact on how much time and money users are willing to spend there. It demonstrates how crucial all design parts are, from the stunning UI, through crisp copy and high-quality visual content, to the sophisticated UX.
Designing e-commerce sites is not just about how the website looks but mostly about how it works and how it guides the gaze of its visitors. However, creating a site design with a user journey that successfully blends a delightful browsing experience with a clear path to conversion is easier said than done.
We've compiled a list of best practices to help you develop a more engaging and thoughtful conversion journey on your e-commerce website, including some tips you can also use offline.
1. Keep branding consistent
Someone who recognizes and knows your brand will expect your website to reflect a consistent look and style. You don't want people to arrive on your page and question if they've landed at the right place. The first crucial element of a conversion-boosting website design is to use an omnichannel approach to your branding to give a consistent customer experience across all of your digital platforms as well as your physical stores.
2. Add convenient navigation, filtering, and search
People shop online mainly for the sake of convenience. How much money will a customer spend on your site if they feel puzzled about where to find things? Not much. The slower it takes to find something in your catalog, the higher the chance people will opt out and leave your site. How much revenue will you lose out due to design frictions?
Today's fundamental UX design principle is to construct websites that make consumers' lives easier and smoothly lead them to a desired interaction: a purchase or other targeted action (leaving contact details, registering, participating, and so on). To accomplish this, a designer must take every little detail into consideration.
First of all, make your navigation bar easy to find and display it in a consistent location, such as the header, top left or right corner, or as a sidebar. Sharp color contrast can help it stand out and be more noticeable. To achieve this, the common practice is the use of "sticky navigation" menus that remain fixed in place as a user navigates the website, reducing the need to scroll back up on long pages.
3. Put emphasis on and maintain the visual hierarchy
Visual hierarchy can play an essential role in the planning of your store's information architecture, making it easier for your visitors to navigate across your site. Visual hierarchy is used to arrange and organize website elements so that users naturally gravitate toward the most critical elements.
Keep in mind that the goal of usability and user experience optimization primarily, is to lead visitors to accomplish the desired activity in a way that feels natural and comfortable. By applying principles such as contrast, scale, and balance, among others, you can establish each element in its appropriate place. By doing so you can help the most important components like the "Add to Cart" or "Subscribe" buttons stand out, draw more attention hence triggering interaction. For more tricks, check out our article on boosting the e-commerce buy button.
4. Add clear CTAs
A clear call to action is also part of good navigation. This provides a reason for potential customers to click, buy, or sign up. It should stand out and be frictionless and intuitive to increase conversions while popping in your website design. Consider how you use color as well as other aspects such as background color, surrounding images, and sharp copy to achieve this.
5. Use high-quality photos and videos
When a customer isn't at a physical store, they must rely entirely on the pictures, descriptions, and video demonstrations primarily available on your webstore to make a purchasing decision. As a result, high-quality photographs and videos of your products are critical to your online success.
When a customer lands on your page, you just have a few seconds to capture their interest. According to our recent study conducted in collaboration with the Mobile Marketing Association, the human brain can analyze images in a fraction of a second, enabling your customers an initial impression of the quality of your brand and offering with just a glance at your product image. The quality and effectiveness of the photographs make an immediate and enduring impression.
6. Make your e-commerce design responsive
Over half of all users are now surfing the web through their mobile devices. The lack of a mobile-friendly version of your website can be fatal for your conversion rates since it leads to countless missed opportunities.
However, that is not yet the end of the challenge; there are dozens of devices available with varying screen sizes and operating systems that you must consider when building the mobile version of your website. Ensuring that your website functions well across a variety of various devices will enhance the number of potential customers and, ultimately, boost your conversion rate.
7. Eliminate distractions in your checkout process
If you want to increase conversion rates, make your checkout experience as simple as possible. Remove any unnecessary procedures or confusing buttons so that customers can concentrate on what is most important: placing their order and finishing their purchase!
When someone browsing your site decides to buy something, they should be able to do so easily and quickly. It is your responsibility to make this happen. Each additional step in the checkout process increases the likelihood that your visitors may quit and abandon their carts along with your store and keep searching elsewhere.
The key here is to ask only for essential information from the customer. Obtain only their billing and shipping information. That is all you need to complete a transaction.
8. Run tests and analyze the results
Once you have built your online store's design, you must also understand how users experience your site. Begin by deciding on your test objectives. Once you've determined what to evaluate, it's time to run some tests to learn how people engage with your site.
There are several testing methodologies, but you can always start with a natural usability test. At Neurons we have found ways to run behavioral tests that don't require participants. Our attention prediction AI called Predict can help you reveal which areas of your design draw the most attention and allows you to discover conversion opportunities with just a few clicks.
You can start by examining the most common website elements like CTAs, headlines, forms, product pricing, and product details and figure out whether they draw attention and whether they are likely to evoke the desired action. Minor tweaks in layout, color, and form could make a huge difference in whether your visitors notice them. Create multiple versions of your creatives and run quick tests before launching your site live.
Optimize e-commerce design for better conversion
By adhering to these design guidelines, you will pave the way for more conversions along with more satisfied website visitors and customers. Even though some of these aspects will not guarantee instant success, with each step, you eventually get closer to running a healthy e-commerce store. Experiment and test your ideas out quickly and efficiently. Run instant tests for attention and customer behavior to understand the weaknesses of your design and foster a customer journey that secures better chances of converting your visitors.