Last year, an article in Social Times declared that ecommerce generated an excess of $1.2 million every 30 seconds. $1.2 million!! That is a mind boggling figure that makes one thing abundantly clear – ecommerce isn’t child’s play anymore. If you want to stand tall in this industry and give your competitors something to think about, the design of your ecommerce site is not something you can afford to ignore.
In a previous article, we covered some of the common mistakes that were spotted in various online shopping portals. In this one, we will give you some valuable tips on how to rectify them, focusing specifically on three key areas:
- The search function
- The displayed products
- The checkout process
The Search Function
When it comes to ecommerce web design, the search function is usually one of those features that gets overlooked in favor of the others. However, truth is that effective site search has a significant impact on the conversion rates and must be given due attention.
Here are some tips to make the search function more effective:
- Place the search bar prominently on the top of every page, preferably in a color that’s slightly different from the main ones used on the site so as to draw attention towards it.
- Filter the search so that your audience can sort products according to different parameters like color, style, size, new items, sale/clearance items, etc.
- Make your ecommerce site responsive to long tailed semantic searches and incorporate an auto complete feature in it, if possible.
- Have smarter breadcrumbs so that visitors can filter their search parameters, change it or navigate between different pages without going back to the beginning or voiding their results.
The Displayed Products
Given the very nature of online shopping, one would imagine that retailers and designers would pay more attention to how the products are displayed on the site. And yet, all we get to see on most sites are a few pictures followed by a couple of lines of product descriptions.
These tips should help you showcase your products better while giving visitors all the information they need to make up their minds:
- Have high quality images of the product, covering a variety of different angles.
- Make the products as ‘zoom-able’ as possible, so customers can look at it up close.
- Show the product being used, preferably with the help of a short video.
- Maintain consistency in the way products are presented on the site by using similar angles, background, size, etc. for the images.
- Each product should be supported by long and short descriptions as well as customer testimonials (if you have any). By the time a visitor finishes reading through them, they shouldn’t have any doubts about the product at all.
The Checkout Process
Did you know that shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems faced by online sellers? Or that 7 out of 10 visitors change their mind because they find the final stages of the shopping experience - the checkout process - tedious and long winded?
Here are a few things you can do to avoid that and keep your customers on track – from the time they place the order to checkout!
- Do not force customers to register on your site to like to complete the checkout process. Let them complete the transaction as guest users.
- If there are any shipping fees, display them ahead of time. Customers do not like any nasty surprises waiting for them when they’re checking out.
- Have a ‘Back to Basket / Shopping Cart’ link so customers can easily edit their order, if they want to.
- Offer a wide range of payment options to make checkout convenient for a wider audience.
- Constantly reinforce the security of their online transaction, so customers are less jittery about entering their credit card / bank details.
- Finally, keep your customers updated about the checkout process with a handy status bar at the top of the cart section. With it, they will know at a glance how far they’ve come and what steps need to be completed.
It’s extremely important that your ecommerce web design takes cognizance of these three generally overlooked factors. Not only will they send your conversion rates soaring, your customers’ experience with your website will also improve significantly.