There are many different types of webpages on the Internet. Some aim to inform, others facilitate the application of certain services, others are promotional, and there are also those that function as online stores. Each one of these websites has a different use and, therefore, their appearance is different. Let’s talk about e-commerce website design. We will explain what it is, how it is developed and give some examples.
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Among the different types of webpages on the Internet there are online stores. In these, the e-commerce website design becomes more important. Here it is necessary to make a clear distinction from other websites such as an NGO, a brand that distributes products through third parties, a state website… When it is a store, the objective is direct sales.
For a website that sells products, regardless of whether they are physical or digital items or services, one has to take into account two fundamental aspects that are linked together and that summarize the key to success: design elements and usability. Today, these concepts are highly developed and included in a UX/UI design strategy.
The UX (user experience) concept includes what a user sees on a website. The UI (user interface) concept is related to the way in which the user moves through the webpages on the Internet or the user’s navigation experience. We will explain the function of each and how they should be put to use in online stores and other virtual spaces. Let’s start with web design.
All of the aspects of an appropriate UX design can be summed up in one word: attractive. If the customer likes what they see, it is almost certain that they will stay and buy a product. On the other hand, if they do not like the look, if it is antiquated or extremely complicated, they won’t feel this attraction. These are some of the key points to be taken into account:
The structure of a website is like its skeleton, on top of this is all of the information that will take the customer to make a purchase in the in the e-commerce environment, as well as SEO positioning through the data and text that are entered with photographs or written content. The most effective layouts usually have a carousel at the top where the most attractive products or promotions are displayed. The following sections display high-demand products, those with the best discounts or the latest arrivals.
Colors have a very strong effect on the user. Some, what we call corporate colors, are clearly associated with a brand. Others are employed to stir the emotions of those who see them; they transmit joy or nostalgia, they are an invitation to go out, to enjoy the season. For example, in e-commerce stores, you frequently see the color orange used for webpage buttons because it is a dynamic and calls to action. Can you recall Amazon’s color? Exactly! It’s orange.
Low-quality images, those that don’t send any kind of message or are used out of context can ruin an online store. An e-commerce store must use visual mediums to call the user’s attention, from the banners to the product photographs. Banners, for example, need to communicate. Every area of your online store matters and the products must be well-seen so that users can easily recognize the ones that interest them. And don’t forget to optimize images so that page load times are not affected.
Buttons are key to conversion rates. They need to be strategically placed. One click can mean an immediate sale. If they are not seen, the customer may not make the leap to purchase. But not only this, they need to take the user to the right place. Every additional step that the buyer has to make, not including those that are mandatory, such as selecting a size or color, can make the sale go cold and result in an abandoned shopping cart.
A website needs to have a clean visual design. This means leaving spaces, using appropriate copy and combining them well. You have to arrange the information and play around with the toolbar so that it can be hidden or the pop-up windows can be closed. For example, some businesses that invest millions in their web design have exceedingly simple websites. The images are clear and simple, the backgrounds are monochromatic and they have very few tabs. The majority of the products or services they have to offer are displayed on the main page, as if it were a one-pager. The customer does not have to wonder how and where to find what they are looking for. In addition, pop-up windows are rarely used. They only do so on specific occasions and for very specific purposes.
It is very important to pay attention to the UI design of your online store. Usability and functionality are the basics when it comes to an e-commerce website. It needs to be enjoyable and easy to navigate. This means that you must take the following aspects into account:
The page load speed of an e-commerce website is essential. A website that takes a long time to load or takes you from one page to another too slowly ends in cart abandonment, especially when there are more businesses offering similar products. The images and information need to be optimized to ensure rapid searches.
The design has to be responsive which means that it needs to render well on both desktop and mobile devices. The store can’t look good on one device but not another. Remember that the majority of purchases are made with a smartphone which is why it is one of the most essential sales tools. There are a lot of stores that have apps for iOS and Android but to do this they need to have a responsive app. Loading a website on a device that has a 6 inch screen is not the same as on a 10 inch screen.
All websites need to be secure. That means they need to have an SSL certificate to protect the personal data that the customer is going to enter on the website. Users will not trust a website without one. Some search engines will not even let you open pages that don’t have one. The same guarantee of security also needs to be present at checkout. You must specify the payment security system during the checkout process.
Payment gateways should be diverse and easy to use. Stores that only have one payment gateway or lead to external portals and involve many steps deter shoppers. In addition, it should be possible for the user to save their information for future purchases. Keep in mind that incorporating new payment methods in your platform helps conversion rates because it accommodates more types of users and is perceived as up-to-date. Not to mention that many banks give points for purchases with a credit card and that could lead to frustration if users cannot use it in your online store.
There are many types of e-commerce users, but two major groups have been identified: those that always use the search bar function and those that go directly to the menu. Therefore it is essential to spend time on both pathways. There are external tools, such as a smart search system, that can make this task easier. Doofinder can understand and help your customers. It doesn’t matter if what is typed in the search box is incomplete or only an approximation, this tool will take the buyer directly to the product they are looking for. In addition, you can include banners in the search layer to communicate with users, the filters you need to display, and adapt the look and feel of your brand.
Social icons are another essential part of web page design. Do not forget to add them because users can contact you through them and even make purchases through them. Access to your social media pages should be easy, clear and direct. Of course, you only need to add those that are appropriate for your business type and where you can be responsive, because if not, they will have the opposite effect.
Everything explained so far has been easy to understand, but it might not be as easy to put into practice. For this reason, it’s best to hand it off to a professional. They are the ones who know how to best implement each of the guidelines we have laid out. They have the knowledge and the tools to implement them. Here are some examples of well-designed online stores:
We mentioned Amazon earlier, pointing out some particularly well-made features such as its famous orange button that takes you directly to the checkout. The customer is able to enter their payment information just once–when they register–and then check out with just one click on all future purchases. But it is an exemplar of e-commerce for many of its other features, too, like its ease of use.
Amazon is one of the most intuitive and smooth e-commerce stores that there is, especially its mobile version. It also has powerful search filters and tools that get the results the customer is looking for the first time. The user does not have to worry about typing their search exactly in order to find what they are looking for. It even suggests similar products or interesting items that can be purchased at the same time. Just add to it to the cart and check out.
Plant and decor fans love to use this website. In addition to a wide range of plants and products for homes and gardens, it has a plethora of images to help with the decision-making process. Not only that, it also has a lot of additional information that appeals to buyers looking for information on plant care. It’s practical, easy to use, and very attractive.
Can you be successful with a website that sells toothpaste? Look no further than Bite’s online store, a space that sells high quality toothpaste and deserves to be included among the best examples of e-commerce website design. Visitors are left with no doubt as to the reasons why they should buy the product. With well-selected images and good arguments, they end up convincing you of the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene with a natural product like theirs.
Among the keys to their success are the quality of the photographs and the clear objective of those images. But not only that, there is also a space where customers can freely express their opinions. Of course, they are made public so that everyone can read them.
Another key is the practical information that they give. Users can find answers to the most important questions they might have, find how to correctly use the products for them to be effective and uses images for explanations. All this attention to detail makes this online store a truly efficient resource.
A major one we could not leave off the list is Apple. They were among the first to put the maxim “less is more” into practice on a website. To promote its high quality products, they have done away with all content that does not directly and strictly apply to the product. The user is immediately greeted with a high quality image or video that focuses on the item being promoted.
Each product is seen as a landing page offering direct sales or access to special privileges for users. This is also a helpful way to promote their devices without the customer getting discouraged in a complicated or time-consuming search.
How to stand out among the hundreds of online stores selling clothing? Inside is a perfect example of how to do it. In addition to having a multitude of features that make the shopping experience easier, it has a very attractive aesthetic. But there is even more to highlight about this amazing online retailer.
As you browse the website you will find an area where the shoppers themselves become the brand’s models. Not only does an icon linking to Instagram appear, as on other websites, but the photographs in which real customers wear the garments they have purchased are shown directly on the page. Customers love this and it makes the experience and the connection between the brand and the customer more direct.
Improving your online store and achieving success does not depend on a single factor. Everything we have explained here will help you improve your sales and your relationship with your target audience. It is important that you analyze which are the best options for your business. But if this ends up being very complicated, you can ask for guidance.
Do you think the web design of your e-commerce store could be improved? Remember that there are professionals who can help you. And don’t forget that there are tools, such as Doofinder, that are easy to implement and use. This will improve your customers’ impression of your brand and increase sales.