From New Year’s celebration and Valentine’s Day to Cyber Monday’s and Christmas Day, it is almost like everyday we start a new shopping season. But, what if you aren’t on the buying end? What if you are a seller of products or services, how do you maximise sales this and every shopping season? If you have no clue, lucky for you with web design tips to help.
Selling products or services successfully online, require a well-designed website. This starts with the very look and feel of your website, because no one really sticks around on an unattractive, clustered site.
Whether you are using a trusted site builder from an ecommerce webhosting company or you are a faithful coder, ensure that the design you choose is eye-catching. It should also have readable colours and fonts, and your product images should be engaging and compelling. That said, having an ecommerce website poised for success is a lot more than colours, fonts and images.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful a site is if it is difficult to use and visitors find it frustrating to navigate. What you want to offer visitors is ease of use on all devices and seamless navigation. Also, remember that Security and online shopping go hand-in-hand.
Plain and simple, a great design makes things easier.
This is even more important when setting up an ecommerce site. If an ecommerce site is poorly designed the result is usually difficult navigation, trouble adding products, uncertainty of how to check chart and an even more complicated or confusing checkout process.
It goes without saying, that those issues will cause you to lose sale from an otherwise interested purchaser. But, we have good news. You can avoid the above mentioned issues by crafting an effective design to simplify the shopping process.
Here are some website design tips to help you maximise sales during and even outside of the shopping season.
1. Optimise Design to Facilitate ecommerce on all devices
Gone are the days when persons have to sit in front of a desktop computer to make an online purchase. Truth is, persons are always on the go and are usually on their smart-phones and tablets. That’s why your design has to reach customers where they are, making it possible to purchase products and/or services no matter where they are or which device they are using.
Also, ensure that your content is also optimised for all screen sizes. Your customers should have access to all the functionality of your site at all times, whether they are using their phone, tablet, or computer.
2. High Quality Security
Security must be high on the list when you start to setup your ecommerce website. That’s because your website collects sensitive information from customers, such as, full name, address and credit card credentials. Customers need to feel safe in trusting your site with this kind of information. Ensure you install anti-malware, firewalls and an SSL certificate to boost site and customer protection. Here are ten ways to make customers feel safe on your ecommerce site.
3. Allow Customers to Save Items for Later
Streamline the process of making purchases on your site. Sometimes a customer isn’t ready to make a purchase just yet, but you can offer him/her the opportunity to save items for later. This subtly encourages them to complete purchase in the future. Step up your user experience and add functionality such as favourites and shopping list. You can also allow customers to compare items and share their shopping list with others.
4. Easy to Add Items to Cart
Good job, your customer has found something and is ready to purchase! Make it as seamless as possible for customers to add an item to their cart. Ensure that you have a call to action, such as add to cart button on your products and/or servics. Also make it visible to choose sizes, colours, etc. Customers might decide to purchase at different points in the process, such as at the single product view or a product archive view. So make sure the add to cart action button is present everywhere and allows the purchase in the fewest amount of clicks.
Make sure that items in the saved product list, are easily convertible for sales. Your customers shouldn’t have to search for their cart or find it hard to add an item to it. Use popups, menu, or other visual cues to show that an item has been successfully added.
5. Make it Easy for Customers to View what’s in their cart
Lots of us eye shop even online. This means that over a number of interactions with a website we tend to add items to our cart without checking them out. From these previous interactions, it should still be easy for customers to see what in their carts. They should also be able to view how many of each item they have.
Additionally, you customers should be able to access their cart from any page on your site. You can achieve this by adding a cart icon to your primary or secondary menu that displays the total cost and/or total quantity of items in the cart.
6. Update/Change the Quantity of items that are in the Cart
Sometimes, deciding on what to buy and how many can be so hard. That’s why your flawless ecommerce website should allow your customers to alter the quantity of items they have added to the cart. Sometimes they love an item so much that they may have accidentally added a duplicate. If they choose to remove this item or change the colour and number of items, it should be simple. The process of increasing, decreasing, or completely removing items from the cart should only take a few clicks.
7. Ability to View How Much the Purchase will Cost
Whether your customer is shopping on a budget or not, it’s important that they can see how much their purchase will cost even before check out. You should clearly communicate any incentives, such as discounts, bundles, or sales, to your customers. In addition, be transparent with all added costs as well. These costs sometimes include sales tax, handling fees, shipping etc. Clearly communicating these costs on the cart page will help to affirm trust and enable the checkout process to go smoothly.
8. Communicate and Honour Delivery Time
At the end of the day, the goal of a purchase is to receive the item. Within this competitive online marketplace, it’s important that you deliver items quickly and in good condition. Be clear as it relates to your shipping options. Let customers know where you ship from, how quickly their item will be sent, and when to expect delivery. Also, make it clear if you offer free shipping for a certain dollar amount on purchases. Can customers pay to expedite their shipping? Can they track the shipping? To rise above in this competitive environment, give your customers options that can fit their needs.
9. Easy Checkout Process
Yes, another purchase! You’ve created a seamless process with your stunning design and functionality and this is the final step. Don’t lose your sale now because you haven’t optimised your check out. Do this by ensuring that customers can checkout from anywhere on your site.
Next, make you payment process very clear and simple. Specify the types of credit cards you support, and other payment methods such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. Be clear on the currency you accept and let customers know if there is a fee for converting between currencies.
If possible, try to keep your checkout process to a single page. Sometimes persons want to make a purchase without having to create an account. Give your customers that option to simply checkout as a guest, without having to create an account.
However, there are benefits of signing up, such as the ability to track orders, collect rewards points, etc. Make that visible on the site.
Making sales in off-peak season and capturing the market during the shopping season like the upcoming winter sales and Valentine’s Day is very possible. It will take some ‘elbow grease’ and deliberate website design and functionality to setup ecommerce websites that are successful.
If you follow the tips above and optimise your ecommerce site, you will definitely see an increase in satisfied customers and this will reflect in the sales. Finally, marketing is key so be sure to do online campaigns to extend the reach of your brand and increase sales.