9 Critical Factors In E-Commerce Website Design and Usability
First, in order for people to stick around your website long enough to make a purchase, they have to like your website. Which means the customers’ first impression of you through the website is extremely important. Therefore, you should custom design a professional website that has a theme and style that complements what you sell. In addition, your website should be coded with HTML5 to ensure it shows up well on mobile tablets, and other mobile devices.
Second, the usability of your E-Commerce site is also very important to customers (and to your bottom line). If customers can’t find their way around your site easily, or are even a little confused about what you sell, they will not spend a penny on your site, instead they will exit in a heartbeat.
Beyond making it very easy for customers to navigate and creating a membership account on your site, you’ll also want to make it easy for customers to understand what you provide within the first 30 seconds of landing on your site. Together, these will determine the length of time customers stay on your site, and make purchases.
Third, no one likes a slow loading website, especially on an E-Commerce site because when customers visit online stores they often click around quickly to check out different products and compare prices prior to making purchases. It is very important you optimize your E-Commerce website well and host it on what’s called a “virtual dedicated server” (or better) for faster loading speed.
Fourth, since different people use different browsers you need to optimize your website well for all browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, and Safari of Mac). This will help your website display consistently on all browsers when different customers call up your site.
Fifth, in order for people to purchase on your website, they have to trust your site is secure; thus, you have to install a SSL certificate to encrypt confidential customer information prior to sending the information out for processing. If customers do not see the green https://www… label in front of your domain, they may be reluctant to make a purchase.
Besides having the SSL installed on your website, it is also helpful to let customers know that your website is secure by placing the SSL badge on your site. You should place the badge at the location (or locations) where customers can easily see it most of the time while on your site.
Sixth, your business contact information (including email and phone number) should also be visible to customers at all times. The best locations for them are on the header and footer of your website. When customers have questions or concerns regarding your products and services and they want to reach out to you, make it very easy for them to get in touch with you. It is one of the most important things to them.
Seventh, is about Featured Products. Just like offline retail stores, your online store should also have promotional, new and/or hot-sales products to catch customers’ attention and persuade them to try out your products. You should position your promotional products at a location that can be seen easily by your customers; a section on your landing page (Home page) is often a good spot.
Eighth, if you sell products on the site, you should design your product detail page intelligently with these five sections on your page:
a) A main product’s image section where customers can zoom in and out (or rotate) to view your products.
b) A product’s pictures section that shows product images taking from different angles or in different colors. This allows your customer to learn more about your product visually. It would be even better if you can make a demo video of your product and place it right on your product detail page. Customers love video demos and it will make them stay on your website longer.
c) An additional information section where customers can go for more information about the product such as users menu, how-to assemble sheet, warranty, etc. Customers should be able to download this information via a PDF form on the webpage.
d) An upsell section where you place other complementary products and/or accessories to help customers become more aware of what you have available for purchase. This section will help you increase sales.
e) A social shareable section where you place social media icons such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. on your product detail page to let customers share information about your product easily if they choose to. You might be surprised how much this will help spread the word about your products on social media.
Ninth, besides people browsing your site for the information and products they need, search engines’ spiders also crawl your site to learn about you. The easier spiders can read your site the better they can categorize it within search engines’ databases, which in turn provides the human users relevant results as they search for your products online. In order for spiders to read your site with ease, you should optimize your webpages’ URLs, Title Tags, and H1 Tags clearly.
These are nine critical factors in E-commerce web design and usability. If followed correctly, your online store will have a much better chance of success. I hope you find this article helpful. If you do, please share it with your friends who may be interested in establishing an online business store for themselves. I wish you and your friends all the best!
ProWeb365 is a Minnesota web design firm providing WordPress website design and eCommerce marketing services to businesses. Beyond being knowledgeable about eCommerce web design and marketing, we are also knowledgeable about business; this helps us solve some pretty difficult problems for our clients. Call us today at (612) 590-8080 and let us prepare your website for success.