It’s the question asked by thousands of industry newcomers every day – what is the secret to successful e-commerce? You already have your chosen products, you’ve decided on your target audience and you’re pretty much ready to go live – what makes the difference between an e-commerce that succeeds and another that sinks?
Well, the answer comes in the form of multiple answers as there are in fact several essential boxes to be ticked during the design process. Throughout this blog post and into the next, we’ll be listing what are without any shadow of doubt the most important elements whatsoever that make for successful e- commerce site design. And here they are:
Product Refinement Options
First of all, customers these days expect to be able to filter their options at the earliest possible stage, in order to quickly find what they are looking for. In the instance of clothing for example, obvious refinement options include size, colour, style and so on. There’s really nothing more annoying for customers than getting to their chosen item’s page, only to then find it doesn’t exist in their size.
One thing you’ll note from some of the most successful e-commerce businesses on the face of the earth is the way in which they always ensure a large, prominent and accessible search bar is present. The reason being that you never know when any given customer will suddenly have a flash of inspiration to carry out a search – you don’t want to make doing so difficult for them.
Out of Stock
Never fall into the trap of failing to make it abundantly clear when and where any given items are out of stock. The rules ofof course state that it isn’t in your best interests to remove products or pages due to stock shortages. Nevertheless, forcing customers to jump through a variety of hoops only to then find a product is out of stock can be incredibly infuriating.
A quick point but an important point nonetheless, you simply will not get away with low-quality images and graphics these days. Unless you are able to produce absolutely stunning photography, you might as well not bother. Pixelated, blurry and uninspiring stock photos are the biggest of all turnoffs when it comes to e-commerce.
Rather than immediately transporting shoppers to the checkout or basket page each time they have an item, consider instead of keeping the basket visible at all times. This will not only reduce frustration, but is also great for maximising sales.
One of the most important e-commerce website design rules of all is that of ensuring that your navigation system is as easy to navigate as possible. This means a careful consideration of structure and positioning, though must result in a navigation system that is clear, concise and uncluttered.
List All Charges
Last but not least, it is of the utmost importance that you ensure that each and every item across your website is listed along with its total cost inclusive of postage and packing charges. Analytical research is comprehensively shown that to add charges further down the line is to have a spectacularly terrible impact on conversion rates, which is of course a bad thing.