The following is a guest post by Brendon Miller.
Ecommerce websites are very popular these days because they help buyers select any branded item from home, anytime. Shoppers can avoid crowd and stop using cash by using e-commerce websites. Another great advantage of online shopping is that the seller delivers the purchased item at the buyer’s doorstep. Considering the growth of online shopping across the world, many companies are planning to launch their own e-commerce site. Entering the field of e-commerce is certainly a good idea, but needs a lot of consideration. For a profit making e-commerce business, you need a great e-commerce website. The design needs to be absolutely perfect and user friendly to increase the conversion rate.
When you start designing an e-commerce website, think from a buyer’s perspective. By thinking like a buyer, you can easily understand what needs to be added and what needs to be removed from the layout. Here are a few guidelines that will help you design an e-commerce website efficiently.
- Design should match with the products: Every e-commerce site sells different items and thus, it is essential to match the layout with the type of products you sell. The layout should visually communicate with the visitors and help them comprehend the items you are selling. For example, if you sell toys for children, then you can use bright colors, cartoons and playful fonts in your website.
- User friendly navigation: You must pay close attention to the navigation because poor navigation spoils the shopping experience and drives customers away. Make sure that the navigation is simple and intuitive. Maintain proper product category and sub categories. Embed a search tool to help users locate an item faster. Search tool should have auto-complete feature and let users see the products by “price”, “availability”, “color” etc. You should also use navigational breadcrumbs to help users understand where they are exactly. For example, if you sell books and someone goes deep into your site to find Oliver Twist, he may see- Books>Novels>Classics>Charles Dickens.
- Use high quality images: The better images you use, the more customers will be attracted to your site. You can hire a professional photographer to take photographs of your merchandize and upload the HD photos in your site. Make the images look glossy and stylish to influence visitors’ buying decision. When people shop online, they can’t touch the products. Hence, they judge its quality by looking at the images. You should place multiple images of each product, showing it from different angles or highlighting its different usages.
- Strong branding is a must: There are numerous e-commerce sites out there and more or less they sell same types of products. Despite that you will notice that people prefer to buy from certain online stores only. What makes them better than others? The answer is branding. You have to differentiate your site from others to make the buyers believe that you sell better products. You should use company logo, brand name, catch line and brand colors to establish your brand image.
- Show the price clearly: Each and every product page should clearly display the price of the item and other price related details. For example, if you are offering a discount on the MRP, mention it properly. Similarly, if the final price, adding the shipping charges, will be more than the MRP, then mention it as well. Buyers should not get surprised at the time of checkout. Whatever they need to pay, they must know in advance. Use bold fonts and highlight the price using a different color to grab visitors’ attention.
- Pay attention to the homepage design: When people roam around a shopping mall, the first thing they notice is the decoration of a store. Whether the seller has the item in stock or not is the secondary issue. As long as the shop looks nice and inviting, it deserves a visit. While designing an e-commerce website, remember this tendency of the buyers and create an attractive homepage. Highlight your best products and discounts on the homepage to encourage the buyers surf more.
- Provide product information: In each product page, you must describe the product in details and highlight its benefits. Users should have a complete idea of the product before buying it. Make sure that there are review writing and rating options for each product, so that previous buyers can share their feedback and help first time buyers select the right item.
- Earn the trust of your visitors: It is hard to convince the buyers that you own a genuine company and sell authentic products. Buyers can’t be blamed though, because there are so many fraud e-commerce sites out there. Therefore, you should post the images of your employees, display SSL certification and add live chat facility to make the buyers believe in your online store. Transparent brand image can help your business grow rapidly.
- Simple checkout: The checkout process should not take more than 3 clicks. Don’t ask unnecessary questions to the customers during checkout and offer them multiple payment options. Not everyone likes to use credit cards online and thus, it is important to offer internet banking, debit card and PayPal facility.
- Robust database: Select a strong and secure database for your e-commerce site to store your business data. Make sure that the database provider offers remote dba support so that in case any technical error occurs, you can get immediate help and your site remains active all the time.
- Make it Mobile Friendly: There are millions of smartphone and tablet users globally that surf the net and shop. This growing trend can be smartly turned to enhance your site’s traffic and power your customer’s to shop on the go, not to mention the SEO boost you’ll get from being mobile ready. So make sure that your site doesn’t lacks these feature and it has been optimized for mobile devices correctly.
Follow the aforementioned tips to develop your e-commerce site and you will be able to attract customers and give them the confidence and the ease to buy from you.
Author bio: Brendon Miller is a website developer who specializes in e-commerce website development. He writes on various blogs as a guest author and his favorite topics are web development, programming, remote dba support etc.