Web Design Tricks To Boost Your E-Commerce Business
More than ever on the modern internet, e-commerce is big business. From retail giants like Amazon to small-time sites run by solo entrepreneurs, selling things on the web is a big opportunity – and more people are shopping online than ever before.
However, it does mean that standing out in this economic environment can be a tricky proposition. Many business owners are disappointed to find that their e-commerce website doesn’t generate sales nearly as often as they would like despite seemingly having healthy amounts of daily traffic.
In today’s post, we’re going to look at some web design techniques to improve your site and ensure that your online shopping experience is as encouraging for visitors as possible.
If you go to a real-world, brick-and-mortar retail store and watch how customers behave, you will see that nobody ever walks in, picks up an item and takes it to the checkout without inspecting it first. We like to turn the object around in our hands and contemplate it from all angles before we place it in our basket.
Simply put, people like to see what they’re buying – and dodgy product photography isn’t going to do your online wares any favours.
These days, everybody has a great camera built into their smartphone, so there’s no real excuse for low-quality imagery. If your current product photos are badly focussed, grainy, badly lit, or low-resolution, it’s probably time to do them over again (and this time try to make your products look as awesome as possible).
You don’t have to just have boring product photos with a white background. Sometimes, a creative presentation can really help to bring the item to life and to spark the customer’s imagination.
More than half of the world’s web browsing is now done on mobile devices, and if your site looks janky on a small screen you’re going to run into problems.
For one thing, it’s good to make sure all of your images and larger assets are properly compressed. Mobile users don’t want to spend all of their data allowance slowly downloading unnecessarily large files, and a slow website can be very off-putting to the user experience of navigating your store.
Not making your site mobile friendly can also have a negative impact on your search engine optimisation (SEO). Google ranks pages on a mobile-first basis and also uses site speed as one of its many ranking factors to determine who to put at the top of its search results pages.
There are some design considerations to keep in mind when evaluating your mobile site. Elements should be responsive and adjust themselves to the available screen real estate, clickable links shouldn’t be too small or close together, and so on.
Fortunately, Google has provided a helpful tool called the Mobile Friendly Test that you can use to check whether your site is well-suited for display on smaller screens.
One way to increase the volume of sales on your website is to leverage a psychological phenomenon known as ‘social proof’.
This is the concept that most people will be more inclined to do something if they know that other people already like doing that thing. In other words, anything you can do on your site to let visitors know that other people already shop happily with you will probably encourage them to place their own orders.
There are numerous ways of implying social proof through web design, such as:
- Including customer reviews and testimonials on product pages.
- Adding a “trending” section to imply that certain products are currently “hot”
- Making use of “10,000 products sold!” announcement graphics
- Including social media follower counts onto the website
If you’re able to imply that everybody loves your products and that your company comes with the implied endorsement of thousands of other happy customers, your sales will often boom.
When new customers arrive at your site, a big question mark in their mind might be: can I trust this site?
In many cases, visitors have good reason to be careful about who they shop with on the internet. Apart from anything else, data breaches happen all the time, even to the big players – they don’t want to give you their credit card details only to see them leaked.
Building trust for e-commerce is very important, and for this reason it’s a good idea to do everything you can to set the customer’s mind at rest. Promise security and encryption at every opportunity and make use of familiar verification badges and trustmarks where possible (VeriSign, Paypal Verified, Norton, etc – and lots of other things with padlocks and shields on). Your customers can’t feel too reassured that you’re going to take their data seriously.
There are always steps you can take to boost an ecommerce site that isn’t converting. By making use of great images and social proof and ensure that the page works brilliantly on mobile, you can level up your business and generate more online sales than ever before.