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3 Basic Principles For Effective E-commerce Web Design

We are a nation of shopaholics. There’s no doubt about it: money burns a hole in the pockets of all us Brits, and we love to spend big over the internet. A recent study found that well over three quarters of British people prefer to shop online, with more and more of us preferring it to a trip out to the high street.

From a business perspective, the current trend poses countless opportunities, as well as a number of problems that need to be addressed in order to succeed. The competition over the internet is fierce when it comes to E-commerce, and retailers are having to stay one step ahead of the game in order to attract customers to their site.

But actually getting people onto your site isn’t even the half of it. What you really want from a user clicking on your website is for them to make a conversion- in terms of E-commerce, this would involve them buying something. Well, a huge factor in your conversion rate is the design of your website. With a simple, effective layout, customers will know exactly how to navigate their way around it and go ahead and buy something.

So, what does your website need to have in order to maximise your conversion rate? We’re here at VisionSharp to run you through some of the basic principles of E-commerce design and development.

  • Searching For The Right Product
  • Displaying The Item
  • Checkout

This is an early part of your customer’s path to conversion, and it may just be the most important. So you’ve done the hard part, and someone has clicked on your website instead of one of your countless online competitors, and now they need to find the product. If a user can’t find what they are looking for quickly, then they will undoubtedly leave and look elsewhere.

Your website needs to be designed in a way that makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for. This could be simple menu’s and sub-sections, clear images advertising promotions, or a search bar that gives users suggested products as they type.

Responsive web design is key here. The clear menu’s make it easy for users to navigate, meaning that you are catering for those shoppers that love to browse; the clear promotional adverts will also draw in those shoppers that are reluctant to spend any money unless they can find themselves a bargain. As for the search bar, this helps those shoppers who know exactly what they’re looking for and are the most likely to convert.

Okay, so the customer has managed to find what they’re looking for, and now your website needs to display the item in a way that makes them want to add it to their basket. There’s no point going to the trouble of attracting people to your site if it then doesn’t make them want to buy anything.

Think about the last time you went and bought something online: the fundamentals of E-commerce web design are right in front of you, and you may never have realised it.

First of all, you need to ensure that the item has a clear image of the product. It sounds incredibly simple, but would you ever buy anything if you couldn’t see it? The image needs to showcase the product, and essentially show people why they should buy it.

In order to make people want to buy, you’ll also need to clearly display the price, customer reviews of the item and suggest similar items that the customer may also be interested in. Most importantly of all, you need a distinctive “Add to Cart” button to make it as easy as possible to get your customer to the last part of the process.

The best part of an online checkout is the fact that you don’t have to wait in a queue, but you still have to get this last part right. The fact of the matter is, while we may be a nation of shoppers, actually spending money is never an enjoyable experience. This means that you need to make sure that your website makes it as quick as possible for a customer to get through the payment screens.

If your form is too long, or too complicated, then a customer is incredibly likely to jump ship because they simply can’t be bothered with it. It may be an idea to include a live chat customer service feature, meaning that you have staff immediately on hand to resolve any queries, and you can use cookies to learn bits about your customers shopping habits.

Selling online can be a tricky task, and we cannot highlight the importance of responsive web design enough here. At VisionSharp, we are the leading E-commerce design agency in Manchester, and please contact our dedicated team for more information on the services we provide.


Want to see how we can help you? Get in touch.