Site design is one of the most important aspects of creating an e-commerce store. Even companies with great products/services at a great price won’t make headway in the market if the site design is unattractive and/or difficult to use. Recent statistics show that over 46% of consumers feel a site’s design is directly related to the credibility of the company; what’s more, a whopping 94% of site visitors will leave a poorly designed e-commerce site.
There are many design options to pick from when creating a new e-commerce store, and no one style of branding or layout is best across the board. Even so, there are some aspects of site design that every site needs to have, including attention-grabbing features that make visitors want to stay on your page and unique, high-quality images that showcase products in the best possible light. The following design tips apply to e-commerce sites from all industries and can increase the odds of building a successful brand that will stand the tests of time.
It All Starts with Branding
A winning brand design is an invaluable asset, and you’ll want to create one even before you start setting up an e-commerce site.
Consider your industry, the products/services you offer, your core values and your target audience when deciding on brand colours, fonts, and designs. If you need some inspiration, check out some of the best logo design sites or look at your competitors’ branding and logo designs.
Brand colours and designs should convey the right emotions to those you want to reach. If, for instance, you put a premium on conservation or natural products, green and brown may be your colours of choice. Pink is a warm colour and can be ideal for a business that wants to emit a caring vibe. Red evokes passion while blue conveys strength.
Designs and fonts also convey a message about your brand. An emblem coupled with ornate cursive writing, for instance, tells potential customers you offer high-end, luxurious products/services. An abstract logo coupled with block lettering can be ideal for fitness centres, construction companies, and other businesses that want to convey strength. A flowery logo with casual lettering can work well for boutiques and companies selling handmade products.
Create a Unique Homepage
Your homepage is your virtual storefront, and it should be as attractive and engaging as a brick-and-mortar storefront. People who visit your homepage should be able to see at a glance who you are and what you have to offer. The page should feature your branding colours and logo in a highly visible location, and a clear menu should make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for.
Your homepage should also give potential customers compelling reasons why they should do business with you. It’s a good idea to feature positive reviews from previous customers, as these show newcomers that they can trust you with their business. If you have won any awards or have specialized credentials, feature these on your homepage as well. A subscription button to allow visitors to sign up for emails is a must-have, so you can stay in touch with those who have already shown an interest in your business.
Focus on a Site-Wide Design
Once you have a homepage, it’s time to design the rest of your site. In addition to product pages, which will be covered below, you’ll also need an “About Us” page that explains who you are, what you do, and why you do it. This page helps to set you apart from the competition and enables you to explain the core values that make your business a better option than a competitor’s. It’s also wise to have a “Contact Us” page, so people can contact you directly via your site. An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page can help you optimize your site for search engines while providing valuable information to potential customers.
All your site pages should match in colour and style. Your logo should be prominently displayed on each page, and the text style and font used for the homepage should also be used for other pages. Your brand voice should also remain consistent; for instance, if you use a casual approach on your homepage, keep this approach for your About Us page and FAQ page.
Pages should connect to each other both to boost your SEO and to make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for on your site. If you describe a particular product/service on your FAQ page, link to it to make it easy for people to see what you’re talking about. If you have featured products on your homepage, link them to your product page so people know where to find the items for sale.
Think About Product Pages Design
Each product listed on your products pages needs to have high-quality, unique photos of a product taken from various angles. Furthermore, site visitors should be able to move their mouse over the image to see aspects of the image close-up. This feature, used by Amazon, eBay, and other leading retailers, makes it easy for potential customers to see your products clearly and increases the odds of a new customer making a purchase from you.
The cost of each item should be displayed clearly, along with a compelling, accurate description of the product. If the product has been reviewed by other customers, link to the reviews so new customers can see them at a glance. Additionally, make sure customers can tell if the item will ship for free or if they have to pay extra for shipping.
Don’t Neglect the Cart
The average shopping cart abandonment rate is currently well over 84%. Put simply, only a small percentage of shoppers on your site will complete a purchase. Some of these individuals may come back later to buy goods/services from you; after all, the main reason why people abandon their online shopping cart is that they aren’t ready to make a purchase just yet. Even so, cart abandonment is frequently an online retailer’s fault and rectifying certain problems can dramatically boost one’s sales and profits.
One reason why many people abandon a purchase is that there are extra costs or steps involved in finalizing the deal. You can’t help adding tax (it’s the law) but you can offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. You can also allow guests to shop on your site without creating an account, as the extra step often discourages new customers from finalizing a purchase. Furthermore, it’s wise to offer as many payment options as possible to make shopping at your store a convenient experience for consumers of all ages and walks of life.
Failure to optimize your site for mobile devices can also lead to a high shopping cart abandonment rate. Over 80% of shoppers in the United States use a mobile device for online shopping, and a site that wants to appeal to these shoppers must load quickly, have a responsive theme to scale images and text to the size of the device, and use an easy-to-view, streamlined payment process. Any buttons a user must click should be large enough to click easily on a small screen, and users should only see the information they absolutely need to see in order to complete the purchase process.
Designing your WooCommerce store for success isn’t a one-time process. You’ll need to keep tabs on your stats and consumer interactions on your site and make improvements as needed in order to boost traffic and sales. Even so, setting up your site properly from the get-go can enable you to get your business off the ground far faster than would have otherwise been possible, enabling you to not only reach potential clients but also inspire them to tell others about who you are and what you have to offer.