Top Factors to Consider When Designing an eCommerce Website

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Top Factors

Every business needs a strong online presence. Placing products directly in front of customers is a faster way to sell them than trying to get customers to go to a physical store. Think of Amazon: the company started as an online bookstore in 1995 and then Amazon became the world’s largest retailer, selling music, video downloads, apparel, furniture, toys, and almost anything you can think of!

With people doing so much of their shopping online, retail eCommerce sales are projected to grow to $476 billion by 2024 in the U.S. alone.

75% of e-shoppers across Europe purchased goods online in 2022 according to a key eCommerce report. To create an effective online sales engine that satisfies the needs of that huge number of shoppers, there are essential factors to consider when designing an eCommerce website. You need to think of your website’s look and feel, and include features that make your platform a trustworthy and convenient place to shop.

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Factors to Consider When Designing an eCommerce Website

eCommerce design best practices are there to guide you, as you create your eCommerce website. Below are eCommerce website tips that make customer journeys on your website an enjoyable and safe experience.

Mobile-First Attitude

To achieve the best eCommerce website design, think mobile first. Google’s mobile-first principle lets websites optimized for mobile devices appear before non-optimized websites in search results. When you build an eCommerce website, ensure it is adapted for mobile devices.

Optional Registration

When designing an eCommerce website, make registration on your platform optional. Do not force users to create an account right away; instead, encourage them to register after they’ve made a purchase. Provide benefits that come with creating an account, such as faster checkout times, discounts, and access to special offers. With an account, you can motivate users to send promo links to peers, friends, and family.

Images

A picture can convey so much more than words, which is why you should use high-quality images as the focal point in your eCommerce website design. Use multiple images that showcase your product from different angles, and remember to add a zoom-in button. The pictures you utilize should be professionally crafted to make a lasting impression on the user. Consider adding a video demonstration if it makes sense for your business. To make products stand out and keep visitors’ attention, use a white (or a similarly subdued color) background. You also want to make your images consistent across all pages, making sure that the style of the images looks the same on your website. Sticking to one image style should add to brand recognition and your overall eCommerce website design.

Product Descriptions

In addition to images, your eCommerce website design can’t do without descriptions. Since customers won’t be able to actually touch products, you should make them tangible through words. Not only are product descriptions necessary for conveying important details about products, but they also serve well for search engines, providing the keywords for your products to be easily found online. Essentially, prior keyword research will help you understand which keywords you want to rank for. Incorporate those keywords into your copy and product descriptions.

Security precaution

Designing an eCommerce website includes making it secure. Since you’re dealing with customer data, such as credit card and contact details, you need to ensure safety on your platform. You can signal that your platform is safe and secure by following the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and purchasing an SSL certificate that encrypts data. With an SSL certificate, all operations on your platform run according to the HTTPS protocol. Search engines understand that your site is secure and rank it higher than those that lack an HTTPS connection.

Technical SEO Practices

Think of SEO at the very beginning of the process and make sure to incorporate it into your eCommerce website design. To make your site easy to find in online searches, technical SEO aspects should be your key priority. When building your eCommerce website, you need to:

  • Make your page load speed fast
  • Create human-readable URLs
  • Incorporate metadata for website pages that includes a meta title and meta description with keywords to help a web page rank in search engines
  • Add alt tags that let you describe the images
  • Create the robots.txt file that tells crawlers which pages to crawl
  • Make your site run through a secure HTTPS connection that encrypts data
  • Use structured data to help engines display your website content

Shipping

The best eCommerce website design can hardly be complete without a shipping process. The shipping process is an essential part of the overall user experience. It entails:

  • Receiving the order
  • Checking the availability of the product
  • Verifying the shipping address
  • Picking the item
  • Packaging it
  • Delivering the item to the customer’s doorstep

You need to create a shipping strategy to achieve a seamless eCommerce website design. If you own brick-and-mortar stores in various locations, you can offer free in-store pick-up. You can integrate your platform with shipping companies such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL that can take care of delivery. Another way to map your shipping strategy is to offer same-day delivery — although this only works if you run a local business. If you can’t offer free shipping, consider using a flat rate regardless of the order. You can also charge a table rate that increases or decreases based on how far a product needs to be delivered. Another common way to determine shipping cost is to charge for the shipping based on the order subtotal. Let’s say you charge a customer $10 for shipping on orders between $50-100 and offer free shipping if the order exceeds $100. All it takes is some calculation on your end to understand which option is a win-win for you and your customers.

You also need to choose the packaging, keeping in mind things like the fragility of the items and their weight. To help your customers stay in the know, and for your own convenience, implement an order management system.

Business Information

You want to be transparent about what your business is and what you do. Complement your eCommerce website design with an information portal to help you introduce your business and make it accessible to users. Consider including:

  • An About page that tells users about your business and the overarching mission of your brand
  • A Privacy Policy page that tells users how their personal information is dealt with and processed
  • A Return Policy page that explains the procedure for returning and exchanging items
  • A Delivery Information page that describes the delivery options you have

By creating an information portal for your users, you establish credibility and show that you are reliable.

Payment Integrations

The ultimate goal of the best eCommerce website design is to guide users toward a purchase. It’s critical to let customers pay with the method they prefer. Along with including Mastercard and Visa payments, you may want to add PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, American Express, Apple Pay, Stripe, and Visa Checkout.

Support Options

You want to be there for your customers no matter what. You can achieve that by letting them contact your customer service through a chat, a call, or an email. You should create a help center or a back office that can address issues, should they come up. Giving a human touch to your eCommerce services platform will give customers more confidence in interacting with your brand.

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Besides the above factors to consider when designing an eCommerce website, the features you’re going to include should revolve around the user journey.

Designing an eCommerce Website: Features to include

The key to the best eCommerce website design is understanding which features are essential. Just as customers enter a shopping mall, so do they land on your website — they want to know right away where to go to get the item they want.

Create Product Categories

You should make users comfortable using your site and help them find the products easily. If there’s a range of products you sell, group them according to some characteristic features and place those categories into a menu bar.

Apply Filters

You should give your customers an easy roadmap to find the item they are looking for. So, make sure to include filtering options in your eCommerce website design. Allow your users to filter products based on price range, brand, color, size, or any other criteria that makes sense. Try to keep your filters concise to help users focus.

In case the user can’t find what they are looking for, create a page that would encourage them to continue shopping. A mere “Sorry” message is a bit discouraging. Give users a chance to explore related goods, or direct them to the home page to start the search anew.

Additionally, you should keep your customers informed about whether the product they’re looking for is in stock. Show the availability of a product on the listing page to avoid customer frustration and create an urge to buy.

Provide a Search Bar

Put a search bar on your web pages to help customers find goods in the blink of an eye. The search bar functionality pulls up all the options related to the keyword that’s entered. Put your search bar somewhere in the top center or top right corner of the pages. Apply searches for various user queries such as product names, categories, and product attributes. You can use the search autocomplete functionality to help users search faster. Helping users find what they need quickly is what makes an eCommerce website successful.

Make a Shopping Cart

Your eCommerce website design needs a shopping cart – just like you would in a real store. A shopping cart is where your customers are able to see their order and all the accompanying details. Make this page clear by including the payment, tax information, and shipping details so that there are no surprises. And make sure to include a call to action button to encourage users to complete the checkout process! Once the purchase is made, users appreciate seeing a confirmation page. You should also make the shopping cart editable in case a customer needs to fix errors in their order.

Add User Reviews

You will have more credibility if you allow users to read and leave reviews. Let users rate products and comment on their experiences. When you add the option to leave reviews, Google may reward you by displaying more information about your products in a neat way: with images, ratings, prices, and descriptions.

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Designing an eCommerce Website with Users in Mind

Online shoppers choose eCommerce websites due to convenience and speed, so your platform should offer them a frictionless experience. You need to map the user journey to understand what your site needs. Setting your eCommerce website up for success means applying UX/UI best eCommerce website design principles:

  • Deliver a simple user experience
  • Keep the look of your brand consistent and powerful through UI design
  • Ensure security
  • Apply images that showcase products and speak volumes
  • Deliver clear navigation and product search options
  • Give users a chance to leave feedback and rate products
  • Offer support and basic business information to instill transparency

These are the top factors to consider when designing an eCommerce website. Having all these principles in line will make your eCommerce website design a sensation.