There are many factors contributing to the success of your ecommerce business, and your website is one of the key factors. Any potential customer will form an opinion on your business by browsing your website. This is why you should pay great attention to the design of your website.
Each type of design communicates something: sobriety if you use a simple black and white colour scheme, playfulness if you use surprising animations and bright colours, and so on. When you communicate your design brief to a web developer, think of your website as the digital extension of your business and brand image.
Apart from these considerations, you must have certain design elements to encourage a purchase. We have already covered the topic of psychological factors which create the buying impulse. Now we will give an overall rundown of the best practices you should incorporate in the process of designing your website.
- General Considerations
There are a few do’s and don’ts which apply to the overall design of your website, not a specific section of it. In terms of do’s, use lots of whitespace and limit blocks of texts to a couple of paragraphs. Don’t make your home page a sort of summary of the entire website, with too many links, photos and sections.
Remember the role of visual hierarchy when designing each page:
- dominant colours for CTA buttons,
- white space between key page elements (product name, photo, product description),
- proper position of these elements on the page to attract attention and guide the viewer in a natural flow towards the CTA button.
- Navigation and Functionality
Great design (also known as user interface – UI) means nothing if the viewers cannot use the website easily to fulfil their needs (user experience – UX). Therefore UX is an intrinsic part of web design.
Simple elements of UX such as bread-crumbs, a large clickable logo to bring the user back to the home page, and an interactive sitemap will help the user browse your website easily, without having to guess what they have to do to reach a certain page or to return to a previous one.
A simple search box, properly displayed on each page is also a must – many users are in a hurry and want to reach a specific page or product instantly.
- Make Product Pages Stand Out
Of course, the core part of your ecommerce website is the products section. Each product page must be carefully designed to encourage a purchase. This means:
- a careful choice of font style and size,
- high quality photographs,
- persuasive copy,
- a bold and visible CTA button.
All these elements need to be placed on the page so that they do not compete with each other for visual attention. Instead, the viewer’s browsing flows naturally from the product title to the photos and copy, and then to the CTA button.
- The Shopping Cart
If there is one web design element where you should not try to be original, it is the shopping cart. When it comes to parting with their money, people look for known and trusted checkout designs and processes. They want to feel in control and to be assured that they have all the information they need before they click the final Order button.
Thus, it is recommended to choose an industry standard online shopping cart and to refrain from customising its design elements.
- Consistency in Everything
Last, but not least, your entire website must have a unified, consistent look. Even the boring but mandatory Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions pages must be customised to look and feel as a part of your website, not some kind of appendage.
It is not easy to brand this type of page design, but you can do it if you stick to the general colour scheme, typography and visual hierarchy which you used throughout the entire website.