8 Top Tips To Help With eCommerce Website Design


eCommerce Website Design

Each and every one of us has, at one point or another, been on an eCommerce website.  We buy clothes, food, entertainment, furniture, holidays, etc. all via an online shopping portal as it is seen to be easy to do.  It is only easy due to the design of the eCommerce website  that has been used and this design has been carefully planned out to help the consumers.

It can be very frustrating when you search for something to buy online, only to find that the website isn’t designed very well, so you navigate away. Sometimes you can click on to buy something from a site, only to be put off after going through a ridiculous maze like checkout process.  Instances like these only end up losing customers for a business.

eCommerce websites should not be about making an online shopping portal artistically beautiful, it is much more important to help the customer find what they are looking for and make it as easy as possible to make a purchase. The quicker the customer can go from the landing page to placing an order, the more likely it is that you will receive payment.

If you want to create a successful eCommerce site, you need to make sure that your site is as easy to use as possible.  Here are some tips for you to help you.

eCommerce Website Design Tips

Help Customers Find What They Are Looking For   

When customers are trying to search for something specific on your eCommerce website, an option to filter out search results can save them a lot of time and effort.

For example, an online shoe store would find it extremely useful to allow it’s users to filter out the different size options.  After all, customers would find it pretty annoying if they had spent an hour or so picking out a pair of shoes for themselves, only to find that they weren’t available in their size.

Another example would be an online book store, let’s say that you were looking for a present for your Dad.  It would be extremely useful if you could filter out all the books that wouldn’t interest him and only focus on one type of genre, perhaps ‘Crime’ or ‘Sci-fi’.

Offering a ‘Reverse Choice’ Option

When a customer begins to search inside of a specific category (for instance- selecting large apparels only) they may change their mind or select something by mistake. Therefore, it would be useful if you could allow them the opportunity to get rid of those navigation selections, other than making use of “back button” clicks unavoided.  Without this option, it could lead to browser connection failure.

Keeping The Search Bar Within Reach

eCommerce Website Design

Look at how much space Amazon dedicates to it’s search bar, making it easy for people to find what they are looking for.

One of the most important features of an eCommerce website (if not THE most important) is the search bar.  This is one of the most used features by customers as it helps people to easily find what they are looking for.

A good tip is to make the search bar the main focus of your eCommerce website.  This will greatly help you in keeping customers on your website for as long as possible, as they will be tempted to navigate and look at more of your products.

Use Good Quality Images

eCommerce is all about purchasing a product online. Therefore, most of the time the online customer does not get to see and touch the product until it is delivered. This is why it is important to include high quality images of your products as you can.

If you include a lot of quality photos, it will help you to attract more business. Therefore, it is crucial to design a product page layout. You can opt for a product slide show or tiled thumbnails. Whatever option you choose, make sure you have quality images on the site – blurry or pixelated images will only put people off your site.

Make Your Site Easy To Navigate

If you have a large eCommerce website, you have to make it as easy as possible for people to find what they are looking for.  eCommerce sites tend to have a lot of different categories, so you need to make these as accessible as possible. Flyout, dropline or dropdown menus are the most effective way to keep your page from being too untidy while building good website structure.

Breadcrumbs is another design feature that you could use to help makes site navigation a smooth and easy process.

Make It Clear When Items Are “Out Of Stock”

eCommerce Website Design

When you are running your eCommerce store, make sure to keep on top of your stock numbers. It is beneficial to keep all of your products permanently on your site for SEO, instead of removing them when stock runs out and then uploading them again when resupplied.

If products do run out of stock, make sure to clearly let your customers know. If you fail to do this, you will have to apologize to your customers when they complain after they have ordered something.

Make The Checkout Process As Easy As Possible

There is one thing that can really irritate customers of an eCommerce website and that is complicated, long checkout pages!  Customers will be very annoyed if they have to spend valuable time filling in your checkout page with needless information or having to go through a drawn out process.  They just want to pay for the product that they have picked out.

One step checkout pages are much more beneficial to eCommerce sites, as it makes it as easy as possible for people to pay for goods.  Ultimately, this is in your best interest.  The easier you make it for people to actually pay you, the more likely they will be to come back again.

Make Use Of SEO

You should consider using on-page SEO techniques on your eCommerce website in order to build a successful business. This is vital to helping you drive traffic to your site by ranking well for certain keywords and keyphrases that are related to your products.  If people search Google for a product you offer, you want to be appearing as high as possible on the first page of the SERPs.

SEO is something that can be provided by a skilled affordable web design team if you don’t know how to do it yourself. Without proper optimization, your commercial site cannot do business effectively.

Do you run an eCommerce website?  What other design tips do you find useful on eCommerce websites?  Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

About Peter McKiel

Peter is passionate about blogging, website analysis and Internet technology. Other than traditional search engine marketing, Peter has forayed into paid marketing and social media optimization. He has published articles on popular technology blogs and online journals, as well as his own site Media Child Design. You can learn more by following him on Google+.

  • Hasan

    Great post as always. This is somethings I’m looking for.

    • Thanks Hasan! If you have an eCommerce site, Peter’s tips will definitely help you out.

  • Andi Leeman

    I always know when a site is badly designed as my better half will tell me, she cannot stand online sites that are so confusing to follow and understand. She has stopped buying things half way because of badly designed and laid out sites.

    It is very important to get it right otherwise you could be losing a lot of customers and leaving a lot of money on the table all because your search system is rubbish or that you have not stated something is ‘out of stock’ properly.

    • Hi Andi,

      I think a lot of people underestimate the value of a well designed site. True the content or product is probably the most important aspect, but a poorly designed site can put a lot of people off. If your website is your business, then it is vital that you spend time working on its design as it can boost sales.

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