eCommerce is growing with leaps and bounds. A good portion of retail commerce is being replaced by eCommerce and many retailers are collaborating with eCommerce like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Konga to leverage on their platform for product sales. Over 70% of online users use the internet to search for products online. There are over 150 billion product searches a month and this trend is set to increase day by day. Social media is driving these trends further upwards since people relate to people in all aspects of life and shopping is definitely one of them. In US alone online retail sale is forecasted to cross $400 billion by 2017.
As per SmartInsights, the average conversion rate for eCommerce customers is slightly less than 3%. Businesses are focusing on how best practices can be implemented to increase the conversion rate. Few of the fundamental drivers of success for eCommerce business are great user experience, fast performance, good product pricing, exceptional customer service, fast logistics, brand perception, larger product catalog and so on.
Following are few of the many design tips which any eCommerce website whether small or large can implement and benefit from:
1. Smart Filters
Time is money. Same goes with users who are on your eCommerce website. Think about what all things you can do to make the shopping experience more pleasurable. Saving their time to make the right product selection is definitely one of them. Ensure your website has dynamic filters for product selection in terms of different categories, sizes, colors, availability, variants and so on. This will help the users reach to the specific product which suits their needs in very less time. Not doing so is like having a big supermarket where customers need to walk a lot through different aisles to find the right product.
2. Website Performance
eCommerce websites are generally heavy since they carry a lot of data about products and corresponding images. Loading time can be one of the biggest reason for turning away potential customers. If an eCommerce site is making $50,000 a day, a delay of 1 second in page loading can create a potential loss of $1.25 million a year. Ensure you know the exact loading speed of the website and are taking all the necessary steps to reduce the same. Fundamentals for good eCommerce website development includes choosing the right technology, having a robust architecture in place, ensuring database optimization is implemented, product images are optimized, front end aspects like CSS & JS minifications are done and so on.
3. Refresh your Product Catalog
People love looking at new product selections to choose from. As an online retailer, you need to make sure you have a good size of product portfolio for your customers and keep on upgrading the same. Home page and Inner page banners need to be changed at regular intervals to showcase the new catalog offerings and promotions. This plays a crucial part in increasing user engagement for the website.
4. Return Policy and Contact
One of the major challenges of every online shopper is what if “I don’t like the product once I receive it?” “What if it doesn’t feel like the way it looks?” Provide them the solution for this problem by offering an easy return of items and a transperant return policy on your website. If the users aren’t sure that the product return will be accepted or not, chances are very high that they will not take the risk to purchase it.
5. Reviews & Social Media
People buy things based on trust. Trust can be established based on what other people feel about the product who have already brought the same. It is vital to ensure that every product has a review & rating section whereby users are able to provide their feedback on the product. Give your customers the ability to share the product & purchases via Social media as this will dramatically increase your brand recognition and increase traffic to your website with potential customers.
6. Use High-Quality Images
This is probably among the most neglected element yet among the most important things to do. Your website should showcase the product images which are high quality and increase product perception. As per the studies, a good amount of our purchasing decisions are based on how we feel for which images create more impact as compared to text. For example, if your business is into online clothing then you can have pictures of the clothes with attractive models, which is not feasible in a normal store.
7. Pricing Strategy
Everyone hates hidden charges. People do not want to go through doing all the math when they are doing the shopping. In other words, shopping is sort of leisure activity and you should be able to provide that experience. It makes sense to showcase the product pricing and delivery charges on the same page so customers can get a complete picture and can make immediate decisions.
8. Keep the Product Page Clean
While it is important to ensure you provide complete visuals and a textual description of the product you need to ensure that you do not overdo it. It is also wise to have a related product or similar product section on the same page. One should ensure the balance is maintained while doing the same.
9. Make strong About us and Contact us Page
Unless you are Amazon, eBay or bigger eCommerce brand, chances are very high that first time customer would love to know more about your business prior to making a purchase. Your “About us” page should give a clear description about the company, management, history, team and so on. Also your contact us page should give clarity into your registered office, local offices (if any), address, email, Phone number and so on. Make the most out of these pages to showcase who you are and build more confidence.
10. Keep things Simple & Easy
Include things like Guest buying option whereby you are not forcing users to register to your website to purchase a product. A quick checkout option helps to reduce the hassle. Again, while you would like to cross-sell items to customers who are checking-out it should be very subtle and non-intrusive else the shopping experience would be affected.