Even if you’re offering the most competitive products in the market, you need a good eCommerce platform for customers to choose you. Expert web design can make a huge difference in your eCommerce growth.
But, eCommerce development requires no extraordinary investment. Thanks to specialized online marketplaces, you can get access to thousands of highly qualified designers quickly and affordably.
Read on to find out how amazing web design can help your eCommerce business grow.
eCommerce Development and Design Considerations
First of all, what makes a good eCommerce page? Obviously, it should convert well, but the details are much more complicated than you might think!
eCommerce development isn’t the same as building any other web page. With an eCommerce site, you are building a dynamic and customer-focused website that will serve as a store for all intents and purposes.
Your store needs to be user-friendly and safe when it comes to processing payments, tracking sales, updating product offers, and sending out shipping requests to the storehouse. It should also offer multiple payment methods and give your customers access to FAQs, prompt email responses and live support.
A successful eCommerce site must also be flexible enough to support the latest shopping card software.
Design must allow for the site to be accessible from all devices, including mobile phones. Mobile friendliness is a major factor for customer engagement and conversions. If you’re not doing your sales mobile-friendly, then your competitors will!
Obviously, the actual design elements, including visual elements and navigation must be spot-on, as customers are prone to abandon poorly designed sites in a heartbeat. With such fierce competition, you can’t afford not to optimize your site.
If you’re offering products in many different categories, or if your eCommerce store just offers thousands of different products, you need to have a robust system of organization, indexing, and browsing. Otherwise, your customers might get lost in the plethora of offers and just leave for a smaller, simpler site.
Different eCommerce platforms offer different types of functionality, and it pays to do your research before investing in one. Migrating eCommerce stores is a technical challenge that is both costly and prone to disrupt your usual store operations, reducing your sales income.
You should consider hiring a professional website designer to take care of your eCommerce development unless you have a really strong and dedicated IT department. Most online companies who try to do their web design internally often face significant costs or end up with half-baked DIY results that damage sales.
A professional web designer will know the right layout for your specific store and how to present each page for maximum impact. If you’re running multiple eCommerce stores, you need to differentiate design and marketing strategy enough as not to steal your own sales, but not so much as to harm your brand identity.
Current Trends and the Marketing Connection
If you’re still unsure about the connection between web design and store conversion, consider this: more than 20% of all online consumers say that poor site design and wonky navigation are the main reasons for abandoning an eCommerce cart. That’s 1 out of 5 customers lost just by design.
Customers are now so accustomed to the website layout of eCommerce giants like eBay and Amazon that they expect other online stores to be similar. So much so that almost 50% of all online consumers begin their online shopping with a search on Amazon.
Also, leading marketplaces like Amazon or eBay make things worse. People are so accustomed to these shops, that they expect that kind of functionality everywhere else!
Small eCommerce stores are losing clients to big names, but the opposite also happens when a compact store boasts specific, well-presented offerings that are cheaper than what consumers can find on Amazon.
Simply put, you have to play on your strengths when it comes to your eCommerce store. Customer support and a friendly face also play a deciding factor here, and web design can help by focusing eCommerce development on friendliness and accessibility.
Modern marketing trends and omni-channel retail is pushing eCommerce stores to evolve from just online checkout points into hubs of interactivity where customers can share reviews, try out digital products, research connect and discuss products.
eCommerce development must take these trends into consideration and aim to offer consumers a unique buying experience that encompasses blog posts, FAQs, reviews, social media integration, and other multichannel features.
Critical Marketing Considerations in eCommerce Development
Even the best designed online store will fail if it doesn’t take marketing into consideration. In today’s interconnected world, your store must also act as your SEO and marketing focal point, otherwise, you’re either wasting good money or losing out on a huge chunk of your vertical.
You can leverage marketing for eCommerce development by making it a part of your marketing strategy. Let’s see some of the most important considerations in the cross-section between marketing and web development below:
Visual Aspects and Peripheral Content vs. Branding
When considering the visual aspects of a website, it’s easy to neglect branding and usability in favor of aesthetics. But a beautiful yet useless site is just that, useless!
You can feature videos for your product features, infographics, how-tos, and other visual aspects to enhance user experience and increase conversion. All these should work in tandem with a good design infrastructure. Otherwise, you run the risk of turning your eCommerce site into an informational hub.
This is a big problem with stores that focus too much on visual and other peripheral aspects vs. actual branding. If you offer too much content, clients might come to your site to do their research before purchasing from other stores!
If your traffic does not convert well even though you're offering tons of content to support your eCommerce offerings, then that content might be to blame. You don't want to become an informational blog. Sure, informational content and visuals are important, but they should serve to brand. In the end, your store is there to make sales!
Consistency and Brand Direction
Many online business owners seek to copy the branding of other companies in an attempt to emulate their sales. For example, a huge number of eCommerce design projects seek to copy Apple’s minimalist store style. Is that viable?
Perhaps, but that’s not the point. What works for Apple and its branding might not work for your eCommerce store. Who is your target audience? What are your offerings? What is your competition? All these, and
All these and much more should play a role in forming a clear and concise branding strategy.
Your eCommerce branding should be concise and create an image that your customers will be able to relate to. Branding equals engagement, but also recognizability. It’s the business of conveying the right emotion to your customers so they can connect with your brand.
Without branding, you will waste marketing dollars going nowhere. All the while, your competitors will eat up larger and larger chunks of your market.
The Right Branding Message
The moment a potential customer enters your digital store, they should know right away where they are. Do you sell casual teen clothes? Gaming merchandise? Industrial equipment? High-end cosmetics? cat grooming products?
Your website design should reflect your branding message. A luxury store must look like a luxury store, and a coupon site must tell the visitor straight away what they should expect. Misaligning your branding message through design can drastically reduce conversions.
Think of it as decorating a physical store. Your décor and signage should match your products, otherwise, you will just confuse and annoy your potential customers. It’s the same with eCommerce stores as well.
Designers must keep your branding message and intended audience in mind. Bad design can lead to low sales and awful branding is a surefire way to go bust.
Integrating Social Media Marketing
You want your eCommerce platform to entice your visitors into sharing pages in social media. In an age of spontaneous sharing, your customers can become your impromptu promoters by social media sharing.
You can achieve that by using share buttons on your product pages that encourage your customers to write and share reviews. Bonus offers and extras as incentives for sharing also work here and can be integrated easily in your platform’s design, as well as your newsletter.
If you want your products to be shared, make sure you use quality photos to illustrate features. You can also buy ad spots in Facebook and even buyable pins at Pinterest, specifically tailored to eCommerce shops.
Useful Information and Impactful Content
Your eCommerce development should also focus on support integration, contact forms, and usable FAQs. Your customers must relax knowing that any issue they might have you’re going to deal with it ASAP.
Another crucial but not obvious aspect of design is impactful content. You need enticing descriptions to go along with your visuals, and you need strong calls to action.
Calls to action come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. They can be brief messages, attractive buttons, “buy now” links and even clickable videos. Calls to action must stand out and unambiguously state what they’re for: to sell!
Differentiating and Dominating
Finally, you need to stand out.
If your site ends up like another nameless Apple store clone, it will fall into obscurity. You need character, professionalism and a strong brand that will be etched in the minds of your visitors. Marketing legend Seth Godin says that “the key to success is to find a way to stand out--to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.”
If you are unsure how to achieve that, worry not. You are not alone. Many eCommerce development projects go live each month, many of which never break even.
How can you make it big then? Well, you have to find a niche and stick with it until you get a steady profit stream. Make sure that your eCommerce design is up to scratch. If your budget is limited, or if you want to try many different approaches without breaking the bank, there’s hope.
You can use a freelance marketplace that can connect you to thousands of highly qualified, US graduates who will eagerly work on your eCommerce development at competitive prices or hire a more experienced freelancer or agency - which will end up being a bit more costly.
eCommerce development is business, so you need to go through some failures before finding success. Try, fail, and learn from your mistakes. Who knows? You might be the next Jeff Bezos if you keep it up!