E-commerce websites are a little different beast than a typical informational website, the way users interact with them, their psychology while navigating through your products and the content required can’t be understated. When you’re starting an e-commerce business, it is vital to your success that your site has some specific features. Without these features, you could be missing out on hundreds of conversions a year. Let’s take a look at these website design features that are crucial to your success.
Never underestimate the importance of having easy to use navigation for any site but especially when you are offering
products. When you have your navigation set up intuitively, your visitors can travel through the site without confusion. It is also vitally important that you have a clear distinction between the categories and subcategories in your navigation. If you offer a lot of different products you need to make sure you’re organizing them
with filters in mind. Think about how a grocery store is laid out, a lot of time is spent coinciding which products fit together and even where they are in relation to the entrances of the store. Each aisle is labeled and (generally, except when you’re in a rush of course) products that relate to one another are grouped together.
The bottom line is, your navigation should be easy to use. Visitors to your site should be able to locate exactly what they’re looking for.
Your site’s checkout process must be easy to use and easy to understand. You should never make your customers work too hard or make them wonder what they’re supposed to do next. If your checkout process is complicated, this could lead to many customers leaving your site without completing their purchases. Look at your current platform and see how easy it is to move through the process. Are you making users input information twice anywhere? Why do they fill out information in the order that they do and does it make sense?
Bonus Feature: there are many great third-party tools you can consider for cart abandonment. These tools will respond to users who don’t finish their purchase and follow up with them either with email, text message, or chat bot to try to find out why they left.
A Good User Experience
It should go without saying that if you want to be successful, your site needs to have a quality user experience. We talk a lot about this in other articles but the fact is that if anything, e-commerce sites need even more attention to user experience because you may be offering a lot of information to a user. To do this, you need to have a design that is appealing to the eye, is simple to use, and allows your customers to navigate through your site easily. You need to present the information they need about your products in a way that educates but does not overwhelm. When you have a quality user experience, you will see many conversions, which can ultimately help boost your revenue.
Of all of the features that you need on your e-commerce site, live chat is vital. When your site visitors have questions, they need support instantly. To make sure this happens, you need to have live chat available. Not only is live chat helpful for your visitors, but it can also help you gain conversion too. It’s very insightful to see what messages customers ask the chatbot when they are on the site and if you really want to invest in this feature, some bots are programmed to actually help the user find the products they are looking for.
Great Product Photography
Like I said in the intro, content is incredibly important for e-commerce websites. In addition to having a quality user experience, you also need to have great product photography. You need to have nothing but quality product photos available. If your photos are of good quality, they will draw people in. You should also have plenty of photos available so that people can see the product from different angles and the more you can show the product in use the better. It’s worth the investment to hire a professional to take product shots and the return on investment for this content goes well beyond your website. You can use these for marketing and advertising over and over again.
Having real customers talking about your product is no different than any other website, if anything, it’s more important because you’re asking users to shell out real money to buy what you are selling. When you have relevant social proof available, it will help convince your potential customers to purchase from you. When customers can see that other people have commented on your products and have given you a good rating, they will be more likely to purchase from you. And don’t be scared to offer the ability for users to leave reviews on your products, if anything this can be valuable feedback to improve your product and gives you the chance to respond and show your incredible customer service.
If you want to be successful with your e-commerce business, you need to have video available. Video is perhaps the most effective medium available today. Nothing else will grab your audience’s attention like video. When your site visitors see a video on your website of your product in use or people talking about your product, they will be more likely to stay on your site longer and will be more likely to make a purchase. Again, like photography, video can be recycled for other uses.
Bonus feature: take the video content and start a YouTube channel with it. YouTube is a more popular search engine than Google right now and users will be hungry for information on your products on that platform. Take the time to record yourself and customers reviewing the product and using the product and post it there with links to your site and social media accounts.
In a Nutshell
It’s easy to think that starting an e-commerce business doesn’t require as much thought since there are so many great products and templates available to get you started quickly, and we encourage that but, take the time to consider these features and if you have a site, do an audit and see how well your site preforms.
Torch Digital Labs can help you with e-commerce web design. We help businesses achieve their digital goals. Get in touch with us today!