Whether you’re launching a new ecommerce business or you’re taking a bricks and mortar store online, there are lots of things you need to think about when designing a new website. With increasing competition from multinational firms such as Amazon, you need to work hard to offer the best user experience and encourage customers to shop with you time and time again.
Below, we’ve put together seven essential features that are in any successful ecommerce website design.
Related products boxes
You’ve done the hard work by bringing customers to your website, so don’t let additional sales slip through your fingers. Adding related products to pages can encourage customers to spend more, and careful recommendations can improve your overall customer experience.
If you run an ecommerce website selling camping equipment, for example, then you could add related – and necessary – add-ons to your products page. Your gas stove page could showcase the gas canisters and carry case as add-on items; your LED torch page could include the option to add long-lasting AAA batteries to your order. This will save time and help customers get the right products and accessories first time – and help generate additional sales with every order.
Customer ratings and reviews
Consumers are placing more weight and authority on customer reviews than ever before, so enabling reviews and ratings on your products makes sense. 70% of digital shoppers consult reviews before they make a purchase, and offering an unbiased insight on your product pages builds trust and credibility on your website – even if one or two of the reviews are negative.
If you’re worried that customers won’t want to leave reviews and your products will look like they’ve never been purchased, fear not. Customers can be incentivised to leave reviews after they purchase from your company by sending out friendly reminders, making the reviewing process simple, and offering discounts, coupon codes and special offers on future purchases.
Research shows that complicated sign-up and checkout forms can reduce conversion rates and cause customers to abandon their shopping carts, so make your checkout process as streamlined as possible and offer a “guest checkout” option. Of course, there are benefits to customers signing up for an account, but guest checkouts make purchasing plain sailing.
And the results really do speak for themselves. Ecommerce clothing giant ASOS managed to reduce their checkout abandonment rate by 50% – just by enabling a ‘guest checkout’ option to speed up the transaction process.
Large, dominant images
Invest in a photo shoot and put your products on centre stage. By using large, colourful images on your website and letting them dominate your homepage and products pages, customers will be able to see your products in action and make more informed purchasing decisions.
If you’re running a clothing ecommerce business, you could even consider the benefits of 360-degree spinning photography or virtual fitting studios to drive additional sales and cut back on returns.
Make sure that, whatever device your customers are using, they can see your images in all of their glory at the top of your web pages, and remember to add social media sharing links so that your most eye-catching products can be shared with customers’ friends and family.
Clear calls to action
Treating every page on your ecommerce website like a shop front will help you to see your business in a whole different manner and add intelligent calls to action that hook in potential customers and encourage them to hand over their information.
Unlike a physical store, your visitors can land on your website from your homepage, or virtually any other page if they find your business on social media or on a search engine results page (SERP).
Use bright, eye-catching calls to action and pop-ups to encourage visitors to sign up to a mailing list, updates on out-of-stock products and news related to your niche, and dangle a carrot by offering a discount on their next purchase.
The more data you capture on your users, like their names and email addresses, the bigger your mailing list and opportunity for future remarketing.
“Save for later” button
Ecommerce customers aren’t always looking to buy right away. In fact, an eye-watering 69.23% of customers add items to their basket and abandon it before they hit pay.
Whether they’re browsing for gift inspiration, planning their next haul or shopping sneakily when they should be working, it’s important that you make it as easy as possible for your customers to come back to their cart and buy your products at a time and date that’s convenient to them.
By adding a “save for later” button, you’ll increase your conversions and transactions. Remember that many customers play around with their carts, comparing products from different stores, removing items to qualify for discounts and adjusting baskets to hit a certain budget.
Assuming that customers aren’t interested in your products just because they’ve abandoned your cart is a killer – so add a button and send regular reminders to prompt them to complete their order.
Multi-platform payment options
Although credit and debit card payments are the most popular when it comes to ecommerce sales, it’s important that you give your customers a choice. Make sure that your web developer implements a multi-platform payment provider when designing your ecommerce website to allow customers to pay using their favourite method, whether that’s Apple Pay, credit card or PayPal.
Accepting mobile payment options means you’ll be able to capitalise on the growing trend of smartphone shopping, which now represents half of all ecommerce sales in the UK.
Depending on the nature of your business and products, you may even want to consider accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but try not to over-complicate the checkout process; use customer data to discover the most popular methods, and only accept those.
There are lots of features that didn’t make the list, like customer accounts, social media integration, credits and affiliate schemes, but the seven that we have mentioned should be at the top of your list.
The key to any successful ecommerce site is credibility and functionality – so don’t cut corners when designing your website.
At Zudu, we offer ecommerce web design and have experience working with brands such as the NHS. Get in touch today to find out how we can take your ecommerce business to the next level.