In many cases, eCommerce websites will be relatively complex projects. There is a good reason for this. Selling products to users through a website is difficult and relies on a huge number of factors, so your web design needs to account for as many of them as possible in order to be successful. The quality of your website says a lot about whether your company can be trusted, and the web page your user sees is effectively acting as a substitute for a salesperson. In order to maximise your conversions, here are just a few of the main points your website designer should be factoring in.
1) Powerful search function
If you have a lot of products, or even if you don’t, many people will be quite specific about their requirements, and expect to find things easily. For best results, you need a system of simple but powerful filters that will accurately narrow down search results and allow users to sort results by a given parameter, whether it’s price, name or even popularity. Users will also prefer the search bar to be accessible at all times.
2) Live information
Customers will want to know immediately if any products are unavailable. Nobody wants to commit to an online purchase, only to be told afterwards that it’s out of stock. On the other hand, seeing a current update of what’s in stock (and even how many of that particular item you have left) can instil confidence in your potential buyer. You can also have an option to notify someone when the item is back in stock, so their interest is registered.
3) Master navigation menu
Many complex eCommerce sites will make use of an extensive master menu which allows you to scroll through and find any sub-category you like. This solves the problem of having product collections tucked away out of sight, or items being missed because the user wasn’t sure which categories to check for. Having this menu drop down when clicked or rolled over allows you to keep a minimalist user interface without permanently hiding the essential navigation system.
4) Incorporate SEO
Ideally a large eCommerce site should be attracting attention all on its own, without the need for extensive pay-per-click traffic to support it. Organic search traffic should be a major source of income which can make it all worthwhile after you spent time and money developing a great site. Don’t forget to add keyword-focused content, set up your meta data correctly and design the site in a Google-friendly way to maximise your SEO success.
5) Use space effectively
There is a balance to be found when it comes to using space wisely on eCommerce websites. Some people try to make sure that every bit of space is being used to its full potential, which is exactly the right approach, but that is not the same thing as filling every gap with a function or graphic. Empty space can do more for the overall look of your page than an advertisement, because it helps the page look cohesive and draws the eye to the right details.