Whenever I’m browsing online, regardless of whether it’s to buy a product/service or research something, I pay attention to the website’s layout. If a particular website’s design is clunky and difficult to use, I’m less likely to trust the company and whatever they’re trying to tell or sell to me.
And it turns out I’m not alone. 48% of people say website design is the top factor when determining a business’s credibility and 38% will stop engaging with a site if it’s unattractive. For businesses that rely on commerce, your website design matters.
Here are some easy tips that can help you improve your e-commerce customer experience (CE), content and website design:
- Optimise your product imagery
- Enable your customers to easily find what they need
- Ensure your product information is accurate
- Include customer quotes
- Build dynamic page designs that use a mixture of content blocks
- Create a clear conversion path
- Offer a variety of customer service functionalities
- Optimise for different devices
- Ensure branding is consistent
- Ask for customer feedback
1. Optimise your product imagery
From pixelated images to huge image renders and even those sites with little to no product photos at all – we’ve seen it all! Don’t join the crowd. Only 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 advise 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. Some more affordable alternatives include Affinity Photo or Luminar
- Invest time on taking photos of your products - customers are always more likely to buy products if they can see what they’re buying looks like. And again, remember to take good quality pictures. The better the quality of the picture, the more attractive the product becomes.
2. Enable your customers to easily find what they need
The harder it is for your customers to find what they need on your website, the less satisfied they’ll be with your brand. Imagine walking into a store, only to be greeted by a confusing layout and disorganised mess. Not very impressive, right? That’s exactly how website visitors will feel when they encounter a site that clearly doesn’t have user experience at its core.
Here are some considerations:
- Simple is always The more things you have going on, the harder it will be to guide your customers towards your intended call-to-action (CTA)
- Have a clear navigation menu and appropriately named sections so your website is organised
- Include a search bar with relevant filters. You could take this to the next level and offer search results personalised to the individual customer (e.g. based on their previous interactions with your company)
- Have one clear CTA on every page, especially your homepage
- If your product/service catalogue is extensive or you cater to a very broad range of customers (e.g. B2B and B2C), consider setting up separate e-commerce websites
3. Ensure your product information is accurate
Whatever your visitors and customers came to your website to do, make sure you only offer accurate information. This can include:
- Stock/warehouse levels
- Product descriptions
- Product imagery, videos and other media
A great Product Information Management (PIM) system that’s integrated with your commerce and ERP solutions will help.
4. Include customer quotes
Feedback from real-life people is a perfect way to build customer trust and entice sales. So, when you’re designing your website, look for ways you can show off customer feedback.
Will you have a product/service ratings section? Will there be a case studies/client testimonials page? Can you add videos and images?
5. Build dynamic page designs that use a mixture of content blocks
Content blocks are building blocks that you bring together to create your webpages - for example, image sliders, text blocks and videos.
Mix and match your content blocks to create a great customer experience. 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.
One of our B2C customers, Natura Brasil, has designed and built a great website. Featuring full-page image sliders, service content bars (shipping, service, etc) and product sets (like best-sellers), it’s a perfect example of how a business can offer an outstanding e-commerce customer experience.
6. Create a clear conversion path
Use colour to guide your customers towards the pages/paths that are important to your web store. Consider contrast - 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.
Your company likely has a style guide/brand guidelines. 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 adjusting your guide to enable online conversion rates to increase.
7. Offer a variety of customer service functionalities
As well as simplifying your checkout process and website navigation, make it easy for your customers to reach out to you. Have a ‘contact us’ page with your customer service details on. But also consider a live chat function, an automated chatbot, integrated social media channels and an FAQs section.
Different people want different things and the more variety you can offer to your customers, the happier they’ll be.
8. Optimise for different devices
People don’t just browse via computers or laptops these days. Many people like to conduct research via their tablets. Even more people like to use their phones.
My point? Test and optimise your website for a range of devices. You don’t want to alienate some customers by offering a great user experience on mobile but not on tablet (for example).
9. Ensure branding is consistent
Today’s consumers are usually flicking from one website to another or one app to another. Here’s an interesting statistic - 85% of customers start a purchase on one device and complete it on another. What this means for you is that you must ensure your branding and experiences are consistent across all devices and channels.
For example, when your customers browse your website, then move onto your corporate Instagram account, the colours and messaging should be the same. If they speak to your customer service team, the tone should be similar to that used on your website.
And if customers visit your physical store (if you have one), it should feel like your website - and vice versa!
10. Ask for customer feedback
Although it’s natural to think 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?
As 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.
The right commerce platform can drive online sales
Effective e-commerce website design boosts conversions and helps contribute to your overall online success. Even 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.
Want to take your web store to the next level? Check out these examples of great e-commerce websites. Your choice of commerce solution also matters. All customers want are great buying experiences and that consists of swift responses, personalised engagements and brand consistency.
Offer your customers their dream experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce. It’s the ideal solution that can take orders and service customers, all day, every day. Learn more about the solution via the button below.