8 Tips for a User-Friendly Ecommerce Website
Imagine being asked to fill in a lengthy form before being able to walk into a shop on the High Street. In the unlikely event that you do so, suppose that you’re then told you’ll have to sort through the stock yourself. And, in the unlikely event that you find what you want, how would you feel if there was only one way to pay?
Encountering these kinds of practices is unfortunately far more likely online than on the High Street, and the cause tends to be poor website design. In this highly competitive marketplace, having a friendly, attractive site that anticipates your customers’ needs is crucial. In our experience it’s not low prices, great brands or huge amounts of stock that leads to conversion; it’s providing an easy way to buy.
Here are our 8 design tips for a user-friendly e-commerce website:
1. Simple Design and Navigation
Your customers want to know that they’re in the right place. Then they want to know how to search for the products. That’s it. If you design your home page to fulfil these needs you’re likely to keep your customers on your site, and give them the reassurance they need to buy from you. Don’t confuse them with complex content, or assault them with animations and pop-ups. Just direct visitors to where they want to be.
2. Search Function
Ecommerce sites exist to satisfy customers, so making the search function easy-to-find and easy-to-use makes absolute sense. Most visitors are in a rush, and more than willing to click off your site and onto another if they can’t find what they want. A bold search function box or button tells your user that you want to help – and that’s a great way to engage.
3. Keep Sign-Up to a Minimum
Why should your customers need to trade their personal information in order to be able to buy from your site? And why do you need your customers’ data? The leading e-commerce sites now collect only the data they need to improve their service to customers. They explain the reason for data requests clearly, and make data submission optional.
4. Let the Customer Know How to Buy
Time is of the essence when buying on line, so knowing how long it will take you to buy from a site really matters. We’ve probably all found ourselves bailing out of online purchases when they become too complicated, or time consuming. ‘Breadcrumbs navigation’ allows customers to know how many stages there are in the buying process, what stage they’re at, and how to make adjustments without having to start again.
5. Show You Can Be Trusted
Trust is paramount in online transactions. Your e-commerce website needs to demonstrate that it is 100% trustworthy to attract customers.
How to do this?
- Get an SSL certificate to show that your website is secure
- Use a reputable e-commerce platform that your customers will recognise
- Use good clear copy throughout, which has been carefully proofread
- List your trading standards accreditations
6. Responsive Design
Research undertaken by Google shows that 61% of people who had a bad experience with a site on their mobile, said they wouldn’t return to it. An e-commerce site needs to display attractively, and function efficiently on a mobile application.
7. Fast Loading Speed
We expect our online experience to be efficient, which equates with speed. 53% of people will leave a mobile site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. It’s a brutal statistic, and a great reminder of just how competitive the e-commerce sector is.
8. Show Your Customer You Care
Taking care of your customers is a great way to convert them into customers who return time after time. There’s no one way to do this, and every business will have its own approach, but designing ‘care’, and ‘respect’ into your e-commerce site will certainly put you ahead of the competition.
Imagefix Ecommerce Web Design
We create e-commerce website design for small local companies, SMEs and international businesses. In every case we work closely with our clients to create a design that both reflects their unique values, and offers the very best experience for their customers. Whether we’re selling construction materials or cupcakes, our designs maximise conversion rates.
Need an e-commerce design that guarantees great conversion rates? Call Imagefix on 01525 715608 for website design that markets your product effectively.