5 Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Website Design
Effective e-commerce website design boosts conversions and helps contribute to your overall online success. However, if you're not the most creative person and don't have an in-house designer or a lot of time to spend on your design, you can still achieve a web store design that is optimised for conversions. In this blog post, I'll be sharing 5 easy tips that can help you improve your e-commerce customer experience (CE), content and website design.
Why does E-Commerce Website Design Matter?
My global customer success colleagues and I have the privilege of assisting Commerce customers every day. We help them to become more successful with e-commerce every day. As most of my customers focus on business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and their catalogues can sometimes hold 300,000 products or more. Therefore their spend, in time and money, on managing large volumes of products in their catalogues often leaves their web store design wanting.
At the end of the day, offering your customers a great online experience is key. B2B e-commerce is typically more traditional than business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce because your B2B customer is still a consumer in their free time. Your B2B customer might order new gadgets on a Sunday from Amazon and then visit your web store on Monday morning to order a coffee, spare parts or other supplies. The experience they have when they shop in their personal life is the same standard that they hold you to when they visit your e-commerce website. If they have a poor user experience when browsing your site, they might not find what they’re looking for and they might decide not to purchase from you.
Having a great e-commerce website design is important! User experience and conversions matter. So, let’s get to it!
Tip 1. Optimise Your Photos and Product Images
From stretched out, pixelated, blurry images to huge image renders and those sites with little to no product photos at all – we’ve seen it all! Don’t join the crowd. Be sure to use images on your content pages that are good quality, and not too heavy in terms of file size. This will increase your web store page performance as well as your customers’ user experience.
I would advice you to do the following:
- Compress your images and find a balance between size and quality, especially with full-page banners. Adobe Photoshop is the most professional design software, but unfortunately comes at a high cost. Therefore, if you want to compress your images use a more affordable software like Affinity Photo or Luminar.
- Invest time on taking photos of your products.
Your customers are always more likely to buy products if they can see what the product they are buying looks like. Even customers who always order the same product enjoy the clarification. The better the quality of the picture, the more attractive the product becomes. Conversion is influenced by many psychological factors, including a subconscious feeling of security. Your customers want to be sure they're choosing the right item when they order a product from your web store.
Tip 2. Build Dynamic Page Designs with a Mix of Content Blocks
Content blocks are building blocks that you bring together to create your webpages. For example, these can be image sliders, text blocks, newsletters, videos or Twitter feed content blocks. To create a great e-commerce customer experience (CE) on your website, you need to mix and match your content blocks. Pages that are predominantly white that display with a lack of colour and images are quickly tiresome to customers. Creating contrast helps your customers identify the different pages on offer. It also makes your web pages come alive and showcases your products in a better light.
Our business-to-consumer (B2C) customer, Natura Brasil, has designed and built a great website. One which provides its clients with an astounding e-commerce customer experience. They are experts in using full-page image sliders, service content bars (shipping, service, etc.), product sets (like best-sellers) and linking to other pages on their website. Note their use of photos and product images contribute stunningly to an effective web store design.
Commerce has many content blocks available in the standard product. My personal favourite is the video content block.
Tip 3. Create a Well-Converting Conversion Path with the Right Colour Usage
You can use colour to guide your customers towards the pages/paths that are important to your web store. It all starts by using contrast. A dark text and a call to action (CTA) button on a dark image, or a light CTA button on a light page won’t stand out. If a certain button or a CTA is relatively unimportant, give those buttons a neutral colour to signify this. If a button should lead to a conversion, make that button a colour that will stand out on the page and be eye-catching.
Do you want your products to convert well? You can influence your customers checkout behaviour by making the important CTA buttons unified and an eye-catching colour. This process of buyer behaviour is called a conversion path.
Your company probably has a style guide. So, when you pick a colour palette for your e-commerce website design, try to pick the most eye-catching colours from your company style guide. If your style guide doesn’t have any eye-catching colours, where possible, consider expanding or entirely adjusting your guide to enable online conversion rates to increase. Our customer, Kippie, managed to develop a great e-commerce customer experience that fits their brand identity. Their conversion path continues to stand out and has achieved great results.
Tip 4. Help Your Customers Easily Find Your Products
If your e-commerce website’s main menu is overflowing with seemingly endless categories, subcategories, brands and information, then you may be confusing your customers. It’s probably difficult for your customers to navigate your website and find the products or pages that they’re looking for. You can easily solve this problem by simply keeping everything simple!
Here are some great ways you can simplify:
- If you have too many items in your main menu, regroup the items to avoid overcrowding. Think about whether you need to provide links to 10 types of tyres you offer? Think of whether the plural “tyres” would be enough for your customers to understand where to click to find tyres and be provided further options?
- Leave out categories with less importance.
- Create a separate landing page or product carousel for seasonal promotions, trending items, etc. to make them stand out.
- If your assortment is just too big and targets both B2B and B2C customers, or products with a different purpose, then maybe it is time to consider setting up separate e-commerce websites? This will allow you to offer more relevant content to your customers.
Tip 5. Ask Your Customers for Feedback on Your Website Design
All successful e-commerce websites have one thing in common: customers that love the user experience. Although it is natural to think that we know what our customers want and how they work, we have to accept we don’t know everything. There’s only one way to confirm our assumptions about our customers, and that is via customer feedback. We can ask questions like:
- What product research do you do and how do you do it?
- Why would and wouldn’t you use a web store or customer portal?
- Which features influence you to make online purchases?
When you’re a B2B company, you have the unique advantage of having a good relationship with your customers. So, when you send out a survey, give just 10 customers a call or ask them to get together in a room for some coffee and provide you with feedback. The genuine comments will truly help optimise your e-commerce website design. Find out more about how to capture B2B customer feedback to improve your e-commerce customer experience here.
So, what’s next?
Optimising your e-commerce website design will lead to happy customers that remain converted. Adding images, content blocks and colour doesn’t have to take excessive amounts of your time but can have a massive impact on your business. So, it’s worth it. Simply gather your customers’ feedback, grab your style guide and get to work! If you’re a Sana Commerce customer, feel free to reach out to your team for personal advice on your website design and how to become more successful with e-commerce.
Want to take your web store to the next level? Check out these 8 examples of great B2B e-commerce websites. If you are just starting an e-commerce project then you may need the 5 common mistakes to avoid to get yourself ahead of the curve.