A good e-commerce design should provide a good user experience to its customers. It should provide a pleasant online shopping experience. Above all, it should help drive up sales. While UX/UI design is certainly not the only factor for the overall performance of an e-commerce store, it nonetheless plays a major role in its success (or failure).
That being said, if you find yourself struggling with user retention, low conversions, or you just can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with your design, these 6 simple tips can help you improve your e-commerce design.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started!
6 Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Website Design
1) Make your design “responsive”
Users are increasingly using their mobile phones for online activities – and that includes online shopping. Therefore, e-commerce websites should be optimized for mobile use to accommodate this ever-increasing trend.
To address this, designers came up with an approach called “responsive design”. Responsive design simply means that the design adapts to different screen sizes to keep its functionality, usability, and aesthetics on varying screen sizes.
If a design is “unresponsive” and is only optimized for the standard desktop size, the texts and elements will appear small when viewed on mobile. Needless to say, this makes it very hard for users to browse your website. Sometimes, elements may even be “misplaced” due to gross differences in screen size – and that can include your “purchase” button!
At this time, when people are increasingly using their mobile phones for their everyday life, the importance of responsive design simply needs no discussion. So, if your design is still “unresponsive”, well, it’s time to make it “responsive”!
2) Make navigation convenient for users
Your users should not have a hard time searching for their products. If they cannot find the product they’re looking for, they simply won’t be able to buy it – and they probably will not return to your store.
Here are some tips for a better navigation design:
- Have your search bar ready – believe it or not, some stores do not even have a search bar (or they do have, but it’s near impossible to find)! Your search bar should be easily found, and be sure that it’s functioning properly (e.g. it properly delivers result to search terms).
- Be wise in your categories – Be sure that your category is sequenced in a logical manner. Also, be sure that the products are placed in their proper categories – a misclassified product can cost you a sale if the customer did not find it in the category he/she expects the product to be in.
- Consider adding filter options – Filter options can greatly improve the search for users. Instead of browsing through listings or categories that are irrelevant to the user, the user can simply look for whatever they need by filtering only what they want and leaving everything else out.
3) Use pop-ups wisely
Most users are annoyed at pop-ups. But it’s not really because pop-ups themselves are annoying; rather, it’s because of how they are used. Some designers seem to think that bombarding their users with pop-ups will make them give their e-mail address away or answer some mini-survey. Instead, users race to the “X” button quicker than the speed of light!
Instead of bombarding users with your pop-ups, minimize them and try to make them as less intrusive as possible. For instance, have them only at the beginning of the page and not when the user busy browsing for products. Also, choose your animations wisely: generally, a fade animation is less intrusive compared to quick ones.
4) Make your product more “viewable”
To understand what is meant by “viewable” here, consider comparing the shopping experience from a physical store vs. an online store.
In a physical store, the customers can get a “full view” of the product – they can see it in person, touch it, have a feel for it, etc. On the other hand, customers who shop online only have photos (and sometimes, videos) of the product they are looking for. This limited view can affect their decision-making process – for instance, even if your product is of high-quality, if it looked less on the pictures, customers may not purchase it.
That being said, the products should be presented in the best possible light (i.e. using high-quality photos and videos of the products). Aside from that, you can also offer options such as zooming in the product image and 3D viewing. This allows the users to have a better view, giving them more chance to see the overall look of the product.
5) Make a high-quality and professional-looking design
Okay, this should be a given but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. This is because, for some reason, some websites are poorly designed. Needless to say, it’s bad for business – a poorly designed website can give a negative impression on users. At best, they may think that your store is a low-quality store (and so are the products); at worst, they may think that you’re a scam!
If your design is falling behind, take time to work on it. In some cases, it can make or break your store!
6) Consider using chat bots
The last but not the least, consider using chat bots. Chat bots are great because, compared to the traditional contact form or even social media links, chat bots offer a quick way to message the store manager. If your customer have some questions or concerns, it’ll be more convenient for them if you have a chat bot ready.
Of course, using a chat bot entails that a representative must be available 24/7 or at designated times. If you or a representative is unavailable for a particular timeframe, simply let your customers know that you’re offline and when you’re available. You can also use automated messaging for basic FAQs.