With the way the world of ecommerce has exploded in recent years, it’s become easier than ever for almost anyone to start a business and start selling products online. While it’s certainly easy to set up this kind of operation in the first place, there are still a few distinct traits that separate the more successful ecommerce store from the failure. I already know which camp you want to belong in, so read on! Here are some brilliant design traits which every ecommerce store should have.
The first thing you need to make sure your ecommerce store has is a clear value proposition. Demonstrating your value to the customer is an incredibly important part of running any business. When your business is in the ecommerce arena, it becomes even more important. For a lot of sites, it’s also going to be one of the big deciding factors as to whether or not the customer is going to stay any longer and convert or bounce off to one of your competitor’s sites. Conversion is your bread and butter, remember! With giants like Amazon and eBay floating around, a strong value proposition is extremely important. It will be there to give anyone reading it a strong sense of your brand, and convince them why they should be buying from you, rather than some other store. Comb through the value proposition you’ve been using so far, and don’t waste any time drafting one that’s even stronger and more engaging.
Your ecommerce store should also have consistent and appropriately detailed product descriptions. This feature is extremely important for creating a greater sense of professionalism, and yet a lot of people running ecommerce stores add and remove product descriptions almost at random. Your product descriptions serve a very important purpose, so don’t let them just sit there if they’re not exactly ideal for the professional image you’re trying to get across. Of course, if you’re not all that great at copywriting, or your time is just a little more stretched than usual, then you can afford to change things up slightly. For example, let’s say you sold a general spread of home products, including décor and electronics. People care more about how an ornament or a piece of furniture looks in their room, rather than the function of it. For these kinds of products, show them some high-quality pictures from a few different angles. Then, garnish it with a passage of brilliant copy which will make the product seem even more beautiful in the eyes of your target market. When it comes to something like a TV, however, you can afford for the product description to be much more thin on the ground. No one cares about what a TV looks like; what they do care about is the specs it has. By and large you can just list these with bullet points and it will be more than enough. If you haven’t already, set a good standard for your product descriptions, then stick to it.
Another important design feature for any ecommerce site is a sense of visual hierarchy, and at least some visible attention to Fitt’s law. This may sound like we’re getting into the inner circles of web design here, but I assure you it’s not as complicated as you may think! The visual hierarchy of your site is a method of manipulating the layout in order to draw your customers’ attention to the more important elements of your ecommerce site. Part of this is keeping the functional layout more or less consistent throughout the pages on your site. For example, if there may be a row of tabs right at the top of the page, which takes you to different sections. The grid of thumbnails beneath that take your customers to products, and any text in a particular colour is linked. Although you’ve never seen the webpage I’m talking about, I’m sure you’ve got a pretty good idea of what it looks like already. This is the exact effect you should be aiming to have on your customers. After one little skim-read of the first couple of pages, they should have a decent idea of how to navigate and use your site. Furthermore, you should be using Fitt’s law. This basic convention states that consumer’s eyes are naturally drawn to larger objects. Incorporate this to goad your target market more towards conversions. It could have more of an impact than you expect!
Finally, you need to make sure your site maintains a professional and trustworthy image absolutely everywhere. When you’re up against all the sellers on Amazon, and countless more ecommerce businesses, brand recognition is very important. Once your brand is strong enough, you’ll never have to put any more work into convincing your customers that you’re running a professional business. we already talked about your value proposition, which likely contained some kind of big promise made to the customer. When the rest of the site shows that you can consistently keep that promise, your brand is sure to become much more trustworthy. As you can imagine, you need to take a very customer-focussed approach here. We all have qualms about buying from an online store we’ve never been to before. Think about what would worry you, and go about getting rid of those worries. Some customer testimonials are always a good thing to have. You may want to link your visitors to the online order fulfilment service you’re using. Let’s face it, their site may be better than yours! Press releases are also a brilliant way of convincing your customers of your professionalism. Get yourself mentioned in Forbes, Entrepreneur, LinkedIn and some other good platforms, then post the links all over your ecommerce site. Those famous logos in the borders give a great little booster to your professionalism.
There you have some of the most important traits of a good ecommerce store. I know the niche is highly competitive, but with pointers like these and high-quality products, you’ll have very little to worry about!