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Best Practices When Designing an E-Commerce Website

best practices for ecommerce

Did you hear the joke, where’s the best place to hide a dead body? 

Page two of Google search results. 

Hilarious, but if you’re relying on your e-commerce website to make a living, then it’s no laughing matter. 

And with recent statistics showing that: 

48% of online consumers judge your business’s credibility based on your website and make this opinion within the first 50 milliseconds of arriving on your site; having a well-designed website has never been more critical. 

Ten years ago, that would have meant spending thousands of dollars. 

But today, you can do it yourself for under a hundred, as long as you know what design elements to include and which tools to use. 

And that’s what we’re about to tell you. 

1. Pick A Relevant Theme

Every marketplace serves a different purpose, and one requiring a specific type of website; this is why we have themes. 

For example, accommodation websites such as Booking.com and Air B&B use themes with booking calendars and images, the goal being to provide relevant information and easy booking. 

However, an e-commerce store like Amazon is all about the sales funnel by highlighting the best-selling products and reviews.  

Your choice of theme must instantly clarify to visitors what your business is upon landing on it. Fortunately, most eCommerce website platforms label themes per industry, making it easy for you to choose one that will support your business.

2. Keep Your Design Simple & Functional

Do you use poorly designed websites? 

No, of course, you don’t, and neither does anyone else. 

“Design is not just how and what it looks like and feels like; it’s how it works.”  

As Steve Jobs

Modern designers use a minimalistic approach when building websites because they appeal to a broader audience. And everyone now expects a seamless UX (user experience) when shopping online, and it’s simplicity that provides it. 

You create this by using the less is more approach, only including what’s required for your consumers to find what they need. 

It’s the clean, easy to navigate, fast-loading websites that have the highest conversion rates because they’re enjoyable and convenient to use. 

3. Ensure Your Websites Easy to Navigate

In keeping with simplicity, your website’s navigation has to be straightforward and logical to use; otherwise, visitors will bounce before buying.  

Today’s eCommerce UX design is all about ensuring your visitor convert with minimum ease, meaning an effortless route from your landing page to your products and, finally, the buy box. 

But it has to work both ways.  

Consumers like to go back and forth, and it’s here where many websites get it wrong and lose sales.  

Essential Website’s Navigation Elements:  

  • Your brand logo: It should be in your header and always lead directly to your homepage.  
  • The search bar: Enables users to quickly locate a product or category, must be visible at all stages of the journey. 
  • The catalog: Helps visitors switch and go directly to a chosen product range.   
  • Filtering: Reduces search times by excluding unwanted product types, must be available throughout your website. 
  • Breadcrumbs: Extremely important for enabling users to go back to a previously chosen page or product.  

4. Implement Visual Hierarchy To Control the Journey 

Visual hierarchy controls your visitor’s journey by emphasizing crucial information blocks.  

Information blocks are strategically placed design elements embedded into your website, so users see them at chosen points of their journey, thus controlling their choice of action. 

Like your call to action and logo, the most important ones should always be above the fold (where visitors can see them without scrolling).  

Essential Information Blocks Are

  • A logo your header 
  • Your CTA (CALL TO ACTION) 
  • A visible search bar 
  • Easily found contact details 
  • Navigation menu 
  • Main content area 
  • A hero image or slider 
  • Your website’s footer 

5. Use Strong Branding Elements  

Consumers trust the brands they use, and according to an Edelman survey,

81 percent of consumers said that they need to be able to trust the brand to buy from them”. 

As consumers need to see a brand six times to remember it, your website must use vital brand elements to connect with your target market. Branding is also how you stand out from the crowd and get noticed, and once viewers start recognizing your business, they’ll be more inclined to click on your website.  

You create a brand identity by using design elements, such as a logo, colors, and fonts that suit both your market and consumers, used throughout your website, creating a cohesive identity. 

Out of all the design elements, logos play a pivotal role, and as there are 9 types of logosto choose from, we’ll look at each one later in this post.  

6. Make It Responsive 

Your e-commerce website must be responsive as 79% of smartphone owners make purchases using their mobile devices.  

If your website isn’t optimized for smartphone use, it will not adjust to the smaller screen size, meaning your text and interface elements will be too small, making it difficult for consumers to interact with it. And if that happens, users will click back without a second thought.  

Fortunately, most modern websites are automatically mobile responsive, but if your chosen template isn’t, you can update it by installing the required plugin

All pages of Saasland WordPress Theme are responsive for major devices.
All pages of Saasland WordPress Theme are responsive for major devices.

7. Add Social Proof 

Social proof in the way of testimonials is essential for building the trust required for converting visitors into buyers as they provide an unbiased public opinion about your products and services.  

Ensure you place them where visitors can see them, and now there are tools available to help you collect and display them.  

Social Media

The 9 Types of Logos 

Pictorial mark 

A pictorial mark is an image or icon-based logo without any text to support it. It’s used mainly by brands that are well established and instantly recognizable.  

Abstract mark 

An abstract mark is similar to a pictorial but isn’t a literal representation, so you can use your imagination to full effect, making them perfect for creating a genuinely unique logotype.  

Wordmark 

A wordmark is usually the name of the business, and this style of logo focusing on the use of a specific font that sends the desired message and feeling to the consumer. If using one, you must be careful in your choice and ensure it captures your brand’s personality.  

Lettermark 

If your company name is too long for a wordmark logotype, you can use your initials to create identification; it’s a proven method for creating a memorable logo.  

Combination mark 

A combination logotype is a combination of an icon and a wordmark and perfect for start-up businesses, as they use a visual and text, ensuring the viewer recognizes who you are and remembers it.  

Mascot 

A mascot is an illustrated character used to represent your business. And as it’s perfect for giving your company a personality, they often become the image people associate with because they connect on numerous emotional levels.  

Emblem

An emblem is an icon containing text within, such as crests, badges, and seals. Traditionally used for universities, car manufacturers, and beverage companies. This style of logo is usually quite detailed, making it hard to update. 

Monogram

The monogram logo is a shortened letter mark, often containing the initials of a company’s founder. Loved by the fashion industry and those who provide luxury products and services.  

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