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Tips for designing a perfect ecommerce site

16/02/2015
Tom
Tom

Ecommerce website design is all about leading the customer through easy steps to buying the products or services that they want. It needs to be a quick and simple process to ensure higher sales. As well as looking nice, it must be simple to navigate and be optimised for sales conversion, cross-selling and customer retention. Here are some tips to getting started when designing a perfect ecommerce site:

Give your customers choices

Save your customers’ time by allowing them to filter products when searching. This means that they only look at products that they are able to buy, saving frustration later on. At the same time, it is important that customers are also able to change these categories and filters later on throughout the process should they make a mistake, instead of having to begin again. This will help you to retain satisfied visitors to your site.

Keep important features in sight

One feature that you want to always show is the search bar. Searching for specific products will improve customer experience, making it easier for them to find and buy products. Alternatively, they are able to search for different products, and are encouraged to browse. The shopping cart is another important feature. Give buyers the chance to add various items to their basket before being directed to payment options. If you direct your visitors here immediately after accepting one product, they will not stick around to look at more. Shopping carts must be simple to use and have as few clicks as possible. The aim is to take payment for the product whilst cross-selling key associated products.

Think about your presentation

Keeping your site looking clean is vital, but you also want it to reflect your brand and what you have to offer. Personalise simple themes for the most effective ideas. Don’t overcrowd your pages with too many images and too much text. Adverts should be visible away from the main content of your site and consistency between page layouts is important. For example, the way you present each product and the information about it should be kept to a set structure. Keep the menu options in the same location and utilise optional associated products. When you use images, ensure that they are high-quality regardless of whether they are full-screen images of just thumbnails. This gives a more sophisticated appearance to the site.

Promoting ease of use

For menu options under different categories, consider using a drop-down or mega menu. This helps users to click through logical stages under each heading without cluttering the whole page with too many options. Don’t try to confuse your reader. Not being clear about delivery charges or out of stock items can lead to mistrust and seem like deliberate withholding of information. This deters customers from following sales through. Similarly, keep your checkout process as simple as possible and ensure you use a suitable payment gateway that redirects customers back to your site.

SEO and social media

When designing your eCommerce site, you must also incorporate elements of Search Engine Optimisation. Putting in keywords, using H1 and H2 tags, and making sure that you do not duplicate content are just a few ways to increase your SEO and optimise it to rank better in Google. Social media and SEO work together, so ensure you promote your products to your community and encourage people to share your tweets and posts. Using multiple social platforms to reach out to customers with new products, news, articles and blogs will direct traffic back to your site.

Let customers contact you

Something as simple as providing an easy way for customers to contact you with questions and queries can build consumer trust. Make sure that you have a ‘contact’ page with a method by which to do this – for example an email address, telephone number, address or even a contact form.

Every ecommerce site will vary and have different requirements to best suit the needs of their customers. For a bespoke website design or for more advice about designing the perfect eCommerce site, get in touch with the Geeks today on 0845 643 6229.

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