In 2019, the total retail e-commerce sales worldwide was worth a whopping 3.53 trillion US dollars. By 2022, this figure will be around 6.54 trillion dollars. People prefer to shop online today, because it provides them the luxury of shopping from the comforts of their home, office, or any location with just a click of a button.
It is obvious that e-commerce is a huge market that no business can afford to ignore. In order to be successful online, it is not just sufficient to have an e-commerce website. You also have to make sure that your e-commerce website development follows best practices so that it can get you quality traffic and improve your conversion rate. Below is a list of 12 best practices for e-commerce website design that every business needs to follow.
- Clutter Free Website
Too much clutter on websites lead to poor conversion rates because the visitors are distracted by the clutter and the whole experience of navigating through such website is unpleasant for the visitors. The design of your website, especially the homepage, should be simple and concise.
The main focus of the page should be on the products that you are selling and the visitors should easily be able to find what he/she is looking for. Furthermore, the Click to Action (CTA) should be clearly visible to the visitors.
- Must Have a Search Bar
If a visitor has to go through thousands of products in order to find what he/she is looking for, he/she is not going to stay on your website for long. This is where the search bar comes handy. A search bar makes it easy for the visitors to find exactly what they are looking for.
If you add additional filters in the search bar, it will improve the experience further. Visitors often find it highly inconvenient when they have to scroll all the way to the top of the page to find the search button again. So it is a good idea to have a search bar that scrolls down as the visitor scrolls down the page while looking at the various products.
- Menu Should be Simple and Organized
An e-commerce website without the menu or a properly organized menu is bound to fail. It is important to organize your products and services into relevant categories so that it is easy for the consumer to find them. Categorize the products using broad terms and not specific terms. For example, you are selling pet products and you are offering the following items:
- Canned food
- Dry food
- Frozen food
- Fresh Food
The best thing to do is create a category of pet food in the menu and place all these items under that category. The menu or category product page should be further filtered down with the help of dropdown buttons into specific product categories to help the visitor find exactly what he/she is looking for.
For example, when the customer clicks on pet food, the dropdown buttons will show canned food, fresh food, dry food, and frozen food.
- Product Page Should be Fun, Interactive, Informative, and Customizable
The main goal of the product page is to encourage the visitor to buy from you. bulky descriptions are boring and often turn off the visitors. It is best to describe the products using virtual and interactive tools.
Furthermore, the description of the product should also focus on the benefits to convince the visitors to purchase the product. Your product page should also allow the customer to choose the product in the shape, size, color, and in other features that they want. Finally, make sure the product page has an attention grabbing CTA button.
- High Quality Images and Videos
The images and videos on your e-commerce website should be of high quality so that the visitors get a pretty good idea of the product that they are about to buy.
Make sure that a product is captured from all sides and angles to help the customer get a feel of the product. Remember that displaying one or two pictures of a product will not convince the visitor to make the purchase.
- Include Product Reviews
Product reviews help create a positive image of your brand and online store, even if there are some negative reviews on the product page. Product reviews help bring transparency to your online store and customers always prefer transparency.
Furthermore, product reviews often convince visitors to buy a product. When a visitor is not really sure about a particular product, it is often the product review that convinces the visitor to purchase that product.
- Easy to Navigate Cart Page
If you have a cart page that is very hard to navigate or is literally pushing the customer to buy the product, you can be sure that the visitor will abandon the cart mid-way. First, make sure that the cart page is easy to navigate.
When customers add a product to the cart while they are browsing through the products, display a mini cart page on the side rather than directing them to the full cart page. This way you are not pushing them to buy the product right away. Furthermore, you are actually encouraging them to find more products and this is good for your business.
- Simple and Secured Checkout
The checkout should be secured so that customers feel safe in sharing their financial information. Plus, the checkout should be simple. Adding additional steps like, asking them to create a profile or share some other irrelevant information, will only force the visitors to abandon the shopping cart.
You should have a guest checkout option for those who are not willing to create a profile right away. However, you can add subtle features to encourage visitors to set up a profile. Your checkout page should have multiple payment options to tap in wide variety of customers. Remember that not everyone uses a Master or Visa card.
- Make Sure that Your Website Loads Up Fast
If your website takes more than 2 seconds to load, you are losing out on lot of potential customers. Visitors simply move on to the next site, if a particular site is taking too long to load. A clutter free website, optimized images and videos, and ad free website will ensure that it loads up fast.
- Have it Optimized for Mobile Users
54% of the visitors to e-commerce websites come via mobile devices. More than half of the internet traffic is shopping using their mobile devices. To put it in another way, you are losing out on lot of customers, if your e-commerce website is not mobile friendly. Making your website mobile friendly has to be a major part of your e-commerce website development strategy.
- Accessible Customer Service
Your customers are bound to have some questions or problems that they want to resolve right away. By providing customer service, you are ensuring that they get help right away. Customer service on your website should be provided through live chat, phone, or email. Finally, make sure that your staff is trained and equipped to resolve the issue as soon as possible and amicably.
- Make Sure that it is Easy to Navigate and Has No Broken Links
Your e-commerce website should be easy for the visitors to navigate from one page to another and from one product to another. If visitors find it hard to find a certain page or product or if they have to navigate through several pages to find what they are looking for, they probably will not stick around. You should also have no broken links on your website, because they are a huge turn off for visitors.
With the above mentioned best practices, you will be able to turn your e-commerce business into a success. However, remember that e-commerce website development is a continuous process in which your website has to be continuously assessed, reshaped, and improved.