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Strategies For Designing Ecommerce Websites That Convert Visitors into Customers

Multi layered brick-and-mortar business and the virtual online business are as different as chalk and cheese! An online purchase is motivated by a desire to buy a particular product or service. The consumer behaviour influenced in the complex process of the former is actually the result of the motivating desire to go online.  This was just an illustration because the user experience that we refer in our design circles is quite similar to the motivating and multilayered desire process.

The disparity between the highest and lowest conversion rates in any industry is due to user experience and undoubtedly the main reason. In the same breath however, can two eCommerce websites marketing the same products and services be equally successful even if one of them has a reputation of being an inferior user experience?It is a big “NO”.

In fact a recent study revealed that a small change ie., ability to filter products, made by a retailer made a world of difference to the user experience. Consequently, the revenue scaled up by leaps and bounds.

While there can be many ways and means that could be responsible for conversions by improved user experience, but this write-up tends to delve more on user experience perception relevant to eCommerce.

We offer six very pertinent design strategies in a platter that guarantee your eCommerce website which is going to be instrumental in your sales objective and nothing else. Take a look.

  1. Forsee Your Customers’ Expectations :

a) These prospects know what to buy.

b) These potential customers go around and browse through, window shopping…eh!

Now you have got to apply your prudence by appropriately designing search   capabilities and navigation website that addresses both the above group of   customers.

a) Sometimes search functionality tends to be redundant if you are planning to offer only a single product or for that matter include only few products. But on the other hand it becomes vital to have a search function right on the landing page that is not only visible but also has an optimal utility when you have a large quantity of products to promote.

Studies have revealed that a typical Internet user has a short attention  span  and normally avoids going through a maze of rigmarole, particularly if  he is  clear about his search. In fact, if your prospect plans to buy a specific product, you wish that his search is rapid without any hassles of getting distracted during navigation. Moreover it, his search, should not be distasteful  even when a range of products get browsed through along the way.

Basic functionality for search based keywords and tags are a must. A step further that refines suggestions and results will go a long way in  establishing your website, in terms of popularity. Be wary and don’t take things for granted in the eCommerce industry; as start-ups like Elicit has the potential to allow for additional control over the search pattern of users.

b) These potential customers are indecisive with a wavering mind set. They generally pass their time by scanning through your product range and are uncertain as to what they are looking for. The need of the hour is to address this issue. But how? We build a navigation system that would give the prospective customers a brief of every product available in the range, category-wise. Care should be taken that the navigation system should be accessible and user-friendly. Additionally, with a proviso for intuitively refining and choice for reversing with consistency maintained throughout the site.

Devising an effective user-centric taxonomy is very vital in relation to Search function indexing as it is a key to both effective search and navigation on Commerce websites.By studying the user pattern of search, you need to clearly comprehend yourself how to group and categorize your product   range to facilitate customer search.Want to increase your conversion and Average Order Value or AOV and reduce your bounce rates? Create a website that is designed to cater to  rapid search and navigation functions for customer comfort.

Tip:    In an attempt to showcase all your products, desist from cramming  and cluttering with a collage of your products in the same navigation bar.  This will only confuse your customers.Use sub-pages instead. For example Macy’s categorizes and groups its products into broad categories    thereby allowing the visitor to explore in detail by hovering over any of the main links.

 

  1. Your Website – an Entity With a Personality

Relatively speaking, all websites have personalities, in a way, as eCommerce websites play a major role of a brand to get identity and it gets etched in the minds of the customers. The website symbolizes and represents the brand and you wish it further exemplifies your products in terms of ranking and values in the market. If simply put, you think of your website as a person and personify it ideally to target customers as they would want your website to be.You could surmise websites as per the industry by giving trending names like ‘glowing beauty’ for cosmetic brands, ‘hi-style’ for apparel brand, ‘hide all’ for leather accessories or ‘hog-it’, for fast food restaurants etc.,Having appropriately christened your website with the correct personality,the next step would be to get in place the layout, color scheme, suitable fonts for tagline texts, photographs and images.  Choice of an overall pleasing design suitable for the website needs to be adopted.While at it, personality does not mean to amplify and make a hash of the whole project. Brazenly ostentatious presentation of the website may back fire.  Avoid being flashy and gaudy, for a true personality as in real life, conveys the real attributes of your website.For the purpose of reference have a look at the clean, natural and simple look at the website of the Danish ceramist MaleneHelbak’s ecommerce website which has been presented with eye catching visuals and discreet design understanding.

  1. Group Your Products Together

Sorting and organizing things are the propensity of human nature. This is being done constantly and relentlessly. We attempt to connect and associate one object to another by their proximity to each other. Similarly, inan eCommerce website,you can increase your conversions and Average Order Value (AOV) by simply grouping products together.  These could be complimentary (which can be toiletry items clubbed with cosmetics) or sale pack products without discounts.

  1. Quality Photography a Must

Product imagery has become a necessity in an online shopping industry. An exclusive table top image of the products showcased on the website has become essential in the past few years.  The web is a visual medium and keeping in tune with the trend, the quality of photography has become all the more glam. Before purchasing a product,the visitor to the website relies on the photographs which are the only reliable indicator about the product other then the notes on details, price and specifications.No body likes their product to be misrepresented by poor quality photography. With premium services like Death to the Stock Photo or Gratisography, it is not difficult to procure and feature beautiful photographs on your eCommerce website.  It is inexpensive despite its quality.

  1. Purchase Process Optimized

Everyone detests lengthy procedures be it in banking or shopping.  Online shopping is meant to be done in a comfort zone, anywhere without any hassles.To go for high conversions the actual purchase process should be simple and direct.Minimally designed with not more than two pages virtually placed conveniently between your customer clicking “Buy”/“Add to Cart” button and final checkout would be a great help making shopping process a joy and satisfaction.What displeases, if not offends customers is asking them to register before they can even consider making a purchase.  Asking customers to furnish contact information and other general details puts them off and you could run the risk of losing prospective customers.Some British and European brands showcase key items on their Shopify-hosted  main website check out page. It would be ideal if your check out pages is kept easy and distraction-free even if you were to use Shopify as an enterprise selling host of different products.

Tip: Your trump card is the visibility of the shopping cart icon; so it has to  be kept visible always as a gentle reminder or a cue to the visitor to buy.  It is actually a skeuomorphic design such as the trash can which is visible and      omnipresent.These little techniques make the online purchase process a pleasure to shop.Happy shopping!

  1. Mobile Responsive

Formerly, but not very long ago, your website was being viewed only on a desktop PC.  Times have changed and it is now increasingly being viewed on mobile devices in addition to laptops and tablets. Therefore evidently, conversions can be scaled up where mobile devices could be instrumental in the strategy of getting your user experience.

check if your website is mobile-friendly or not is a useful tool of a trending marketing strategy.

Over 38% of the websites in the US, were visited on Smartphones says a recent study conducted by Adobe. The study sample in the UK was an over whelming figure of 52%! Looking at the potential offered by the mobile revolution, the study recommended improvisation in this direction. It suggested streamlining the mobile experience to increase your website’s conversion and ‘stickiness’ – a key measurement of acquisition and landing page performance.  Incidentally, the Fallen Hero mobile website comes to the rescue.  It makes it easy to browse and view products without any problem.What more, it offers a no hassle check out page where the delivery and payment options are available in the cart view page; neatly and aesthetically presented.

Conclusion

The suggestions and strategies listed for eCommerce is strictly based on a design perspective.  However, for achieving success in eCommerce website, your selection of design and sales efforts should compliment each other. Moreover, Check out this article for a list of sales strategies that can be implemented within your user experience.  Capitalize on it.

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