Ecommerce Website Design
Here are some website design basics that need to be considered on Ecommerce sites in order to ensure a good user experience, and to drive leads and sales.
1) Clear Navigation
Remember, people usually aren’t just browsing when they shop online – they know what they’re looking for. Have a separate navigation bar for your product categories. Don’t mix them in with contact us, about us, and other company tabs. A product search box is a must. Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.
2) Get them Shopping
Your website home page should engage the visitor and get them shopping. Featured products, most popular, recent arrivals, or specials should be displayed in a product grid on the home page. A website home page with just company information won’t get the visitor into shopping mode.
3) Quality Product Shots
Remember, the visitor is not in a retail store. They can’t pick up the product, touch it, or try it on for size. The photos are all you’ve got to work with, so they’d best be good! Purchase a quality digital camera, and set up a consistent display so all shots are displayed against a similar background. Better yet, download free Photoshop style software like gimp.com and clear cut your images for a more professional look.
4) Show them where they are!
If you have a website with a significant number of products, your navigation should show their progression of where they’ve got to in your website e.g. home page > Category > Sub Category > Product. That way visitors always remain orientated in your website. It also might encourage them to find items they would like more which will convert better.
5) Cross Sell
If you have related products, make sure you suggest other relevant products to the visitor. If they’re buying moisturiser, offer them the complimentary skin toner etc. This is how Amazon.com made it big – suggesting related books based on customers past purchases.
6) A Secure Payment Gateway
Credit card fraud is a major problem online. Most people will not give out credit card information over the internet unless it is through a secure payment gateway. There are many options here like Paypal, DPS, Paymate etc. You want to choose a payment gateway that is not just secure, but has a smooth ordering process. This will reduce your checkout abandonment rate, resulting in more sales.
7) Get them Coming Back
Email marketing – There is no better way to turn past customers into repeat purchasers. Sign up to a web based email marketing system like verticalresponse.com or mailchimp.com. Begin to assimilate a list of past customers and contacts, and then email them out html visual emails with specials, news, promotions, and events. If they’ve bought from you once, give them a reason to buy again.
8) Search Engine Optimisation
If a great looking website design is like a well presented retail shop, the search engine optimisation is like the location of the shop. If you have a great looking store hidden down a back alley, it’s not going to do very well. Good search engine optimisation is vital for driving visitors to your website. If you’re not showing up on Google for your main key words, you’re missing out on sales. It’s a whole topic unto itself, which requires the employment of specialists, but it needs to be considered.
If you follow the above Ecommerce website design guidelines, selling your products online has the potential to bypass expensive retail rent, showrooms, and sales staff, to create a profitable, efficient business.
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