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8 Design Strategies for Your New E-Commerce Website

November 20, 2017

by Dmitriy Nesterov

Marketing Officer, QuartSoft

As the digital commerce market continues to grow, attracting and satisfying customers is more important than ever. If you’re creating a new e-commerce website, design for maximum ease of use.

According to a BigCommerce report, a fifth of all online shoppers abandon their cart because of poor website design or counterintuitive navigation. To encourage shoppers to make a purchase, create a shopping experience that’s as pleasant as possible.

As a member of Quartsoft, a company that builds online stores, I’ve previously discussed the role of marketing and social media in succeeding with your new e-commerce website. This time, I’ll discuss whether you should hire a designer, as well as eight website design and development strategies.

Should You Hire a Website Designer?

Professional design of an online store is a vital part of any e-commerce business reputation.

Experienced e-commerce website designers can help you build an online store. If you have little to no graphic design and coding experience, you should consider hiring a designer or design team. Consult Clutch’s directory of website designers for ideas.

If you do have experience building and designing a website, you can try platforms like BigCommerce or Shopify to cut down on your design workload.

The design tips that follow will give you an idea of what to ask designers and developers for, or what to implement yourself.

1. Use Professional Product Images

Crisp, detailed photographs make your online store more trustworthy in the eyes of customers.

Professional product images allow online shoppers to see how the product looks in real life. High-quality photos also tell customers that you care about your product and how it’s presented.

Search for experienced photographers and graphic designers to help produce images if necessary. It may seem expensive, but by hiring professionals, you can showcase your products in a more appealing way. “The softer, tastier, flashier, and more attractive your products look to shoppers,” writes Peter Crawfurd on Smashing Magazine, “the more confident they’ll feel about purchasing from you.”

Take IKEA, which showcases its furniture in beautifully lit photos.

IKEA website professional photography

The site’s images show products in the context of an artful living space, which makes customers want to buy and use them.

2. Optimize For Mobile Devices

Mobile audiences are growing, so ensure that your designer knows how to optimize a site for mobile and tablet.

Nearly three-quarters of shoppers compare prices on mobile phones, and 61% of them abandon websites that aren’t mobile-friendly.

The website Interior Secrets, for example, fits the dimensions of any device.

Interior Secrets website mobile optimization

No matter how customers browse Interior Secrets’ products, they’re guaranteed an optimized experience.

3. Include a Search Bar

A search bar can boost conversions by 20%, so place a search bar on every page of your site.

The possibility to search for products from any page of an online store improves a site’s usability and reduces the abandonment rate. The availability of a search bar prompts visitors to further explore the web store.

4. Write an FAQ Page

An FAQ page answers the most relevant questions your customers might have.

As many as 83% of online shoppers need some sort of support to complete a purchase, says LivePerson’s Connecting Consumers report. An FAQ page will take a load off of your support team and help your customers feel more confident to purchase from your store.

5. Create Social Proof

In this case, social proof means informing visitors about other users’ behavior on the website, not social media. These features are designed to help prospects discover what’s popular and browse trendy items.

For example, some sites choose to show what customers are buying in real time. This feature displays tiny pop-ups in real time each time someone completes a transaction, which lets visitors discover more products. The feature also creates a busy atmosphere in the online store, which lends credibility to sellers.

6. Showcase Products on Landing Pages

Consider your site’s landing pages to be a welcome mat at the front door. The pages should invite visitors in by giving them an example of what they’ll find on your site.

Try showcasing best-selling products with a rotating banner. It is an older but very effective method to attract website visitors’ attention and help them discover products they might want to purchase.

Use videos on landing pages where possible. According to econsultancy, 58% of online shoppers consider companies that produce video to be more trustworthy.

7. Make Checkout Easy

Online shoppers think that an easy checkout process is key, according to a study commissioned by UPS. Over four-fifths (83%) say that ease of checkout is among their top priorities.

Allow visitors to purchase your products without having to register an account first. Make sure your online store has a simple, one-page checkout process with minimum required information, such as the Interior Secrets checkout page.

The checkout page includes the following:

  • Shipping and billing addresses
  • Credit card information
  • Shipping speed and cost
  • Order review
  • Coupon code entry
  • Delivery instructions

All information is thematically grouped in boxes to make checkout as intuitive as possible.

8. Enable Stored Items

If your site’s shopping cart stores items or allows a wishlist, a customer who has abandoned the purchase can return later to complete it.

Cart storage means using cookies, which record information so that customers don’t have to re-fill their cart every time they visit your site. By designing your site this way, you can target the 56% of shoppers who save items for later purchase.

Top-Notch Website Design Means E-Commerce Success

It is impossible for entrepreneurs to ignore digital commerce, since 79% of Americans shop online. However, many novice e-commerce entrepreneurs face significant challenges when launching their online stores.

The tips in this article help online entrepreneurs successfully present their e-commerce site through top-notch and intuitive design. Features like professional photos, search bars, and simple checkout pages mean that customers enjoy the time they spend on an online store.

This article series gives the essentials on designing, marketing, and using social media for your new online store. Read the first part for marketing and social media strategies.

About the Author

Dmitriy Nesterov QuartSoft headshotDmitriy Nesterov is a marketing officer at QuartSoft Corp., a web design and development agency that helps start-ups and e-commerce businesses build their professional online presence.

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