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Ecommerce Web Design: Dos & Don’ts

Posted by jtolman to Design & Development on April 11th, 2013

The online shopping business is a competitive one, and there are millions of Ecommerce stores out there.  The instant someone arrives at your website, they make a judgment about your company based on what they see.  Customers will be judging the reliability of your company and the quality of your products based on the design of your website.  Sometimes, store owners think the more, the better.  However, when dealing with web design, typically, the simpler the design, the better.  Here are the Dos & Don’ts of Ecommerce web design:

The Dos

Do Invest in a Quality Shopping Cart Design:

Your Ecommerce shopping cart is an extremely important element of your store’s website.  The design of it is imperative for creating sales.  It must allow users to add multiple products, revise quantities and options about products, and it must remain transparent at the same time.  Sounds difficult, right? Actually, it can be very easy as long as you make sure that you have chosen the right shopping cart software. Let your customers edit the quantities of items in their cart or remove an item from their cart, and let them preview what the shipping charges will be before they start the checkout process.  The key to an easy checkout process is to minimize and clarify the process.

Do Keep the Design Simple:

There is nothing more deterring to a customer than chaos on your homepage.  Design every caption, every piece of content and every product image to bring the customer one step closer to buying the item.  Make sure that your design is clean, and stay away from clutter.  Take out information that is not necessary, and make sure that your contact details are easy to find.

Do Check Your Links:

Do your due diligence, and that means check every single link.  If your links don’t work, then you will lose the trust of your customer.  It is such a simple task yet a very important one.  While your at it, take a look at your website on at least three different browsers, such as Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari to make sure everything is in line.

The Don’ts

Don’t Fill the White Space:

It is easy to get caught up in colors and graphics and ignore the importance of whitespace.  Whitespace can be used to make content easier to view and understand.  It can also guide the customer’s eye in the direction that you want it to go.  Many Ecommerce site owners are concerned with getting the most content to fit in every inch of space.  Rather than overwhelming your customers with content, choose only a few important elements to allow customers to get more out of what they see.

Don’t Make Users Think:

Customers want to come to your website and find exactly what they want easily and purchase it quickly.  Some stores tend to overuse buttons which actually ends up deterring the customers.  Promotions and call to action buttons are great tools when they are clear to the customer.  If your website is not easy to maneuver, you will lose the sale.  So, keep it simple!  Also, keeping the checkout interface as simplified as possible will keep your customers focused on the task at hand (purchasing the item).  Give them an option to save their account information to make placing future orders easier, and give them a way to track their current order.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable:

It is important to always keep testing your website.  Make sure that your website is well accepted by your customers and that a new redesign actually improves their experience rather than deterring them from entering.  Always look for new ways to test and improve your website.  Get a second opinion from a professional by simply asking our Professional Design Services to assess your website.

Don’t Use an Inadequate Search Engine:

If a customer knows exactly what they are looking for, the first thing they will look for on your site is a search bar.  If the search engine doesn’t find the product they were searching for, the customer will get frustrated and leave.  Having too many applicable results could be inconveniencing the customer rather than helping them find what they are looking for.  Make sure that you have a clearly marked search engine on your website for customers to find what they already know they want to buy.  Include a way for them to filter their search results by category to eliminate the hassle of digging through search results. Make sure that the search feature works well and has filters for letting customers refine their results.

By taking a look at these common web design guidelines, you can easily improve the experience for your customers.  Take a look at your website from a fresh perspective, and find ways to consistently approve upon what is good and avoid the bad.

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