What Makes a Great eCommerce Website Design?
There are now around 580,000 eCommerce websites operating in the UK, many of them less than 5 years old. It’s a growing market, which means it’s attracting dynamic new businesses that want to make a splash online. And for that they need eCommerce website design that looks good, instils trust, and creates a superb customer experience.
Outsource Your Marketing works with a team of experienced eCommerce web designers who have been extremely busy over the past few years. We asked them to take time out to offer some advice about what makes a good eCommerce web design. Together, they came up with 4 ‘must haves’ for any site:
- Customers need to trust the site.
- It must be easy to navigate.
- Your site has to be visually delicious.
- An eCommerce website design needs to work on any device.
We asked them to speak to each of the headings, in order to find out how they translate into design features.
1. Customers Need to Trust Your Site
When you walk into a bricks-and-mortar shop you know within seconds whether you want to stay or go. Same with an eCommerce website. On average, it takes just 0.05 seconds for a visitor to know whether they’ll stay or click on to the next site. Trust is a big part of that decision.
Remember, a new visitor to your site has no reason to trust you with their money, so you need to reassure them. They want to know that you will provide the goods you advertise and that, if there’s a problem, you’ll refund them. So how do you incorporate that into your design?
Here’s a few tips for your home page, which is where most visitors will start their journey with you:
- Advertise your returns & shipping policy up front.
- Include contact information; show there’s someone real behind the store.
- Show feedback from your satisfied customers.
- Demonstrate that you take security seriously, by having an SSL certificate, and payment protection.
2. It Must Be Easy to Navigate
Online shoppers tend to be time-poor, so your eCommerce web design needs to prioritise helping them to find what they’re looking for with the minimum of friction. This means taking time to think carefully about how you present your products in the menu. Beware complex menu architecture as this can lead to popular products being hidden behind ill-judged headings. If one of your best sellers is cushions, for example, you don’t want it hidden behind a ‘homeware’ tab.
Think of your navigation bar as the signpost for your store. People want to know what to click to enter the shop, they probably want to see either your bestsellers or your new products, they appreciate knowing about you, and they’ll want to know who to contact if things go wrong. Keep it simple.
3. Your Site Has to be Visually Delicious
There’s a whole essay to be written about fonts, themes, colours, and layout, but most important for eCommerce website design is the photography. These stand in for the physical experience of touching, trying on and feeling what it’s like to wear or use a product.
Your product photos are doing the heavy selling, so use a professional photographer and get them retouched in order to look as good as they possibly can. Products need to be seen against a white background, although there should also be ‘context shots’ where we see them in a lifestyle context.
4. An eCommerce Website Design Needs to Work on Any Device
Well over 50% of online searches are made on a phone or other mobile device. These prospective customers expect to be able to navigate your site, take a close look at products and check out easily, using the same device. This requires a responsive eCommerce web design that has features such as:
- Mobile-first design baked-in.
- Speedy loading for all pages.
- Looks visually stunning on any device.
- Easy mobile navigation.
About Outsource Your Marketing
Everyone on the OYM team cares about creating stunning designs, but they also understand that the customer has to be at the centre of the experience. We design eCommerce websites for businesses selling clothing, food, homeware, services, technology, cars, and events. In each case our web design experts work alongside sector specialists who bring their specific practical experience to the process.