Over the past decade, one of the most significant developments, i.e., digital retail, also known as e-commerce, is on the rise. This industry has become a global giant, particularly surging during the COVID-19 pandemic when physical retail faced widespread shutdowns.
The e-commerce sector has grown to such an extent that, if we equate e-commerce revenues to national GDPs, it would rank as the third-largest economic power in the world, following only China and the United States.
Projections indicate that global e-commerce sales will reach $6 trillion by the end of 2023, showing consistent annual growth exceeding 10%. At present, digital sales account for 25% of all transactions, providing valuable context to the sector’s significance. However, this presents challenges for businesses operating in this highly competitive market.
Currently, an estimated 12 to 24 million active e-commerce websites worldwide offer a vast array of products. The market’s competitiveness is already intense and is expected to escalate further.
Companies must invest considerable effort in making their mark to succeed in this industry. As a business owner, one critical aspect to focus on is your website’s overall design and functionality.
Why Aesthetics of an E-Commerce Site are Important?
It’s a well-known fact that customers judge a company’s reliability by its website. Within a short time of browsing, consumers decide whether to explore further to make a purchase or close the window altogether.
These brief moments are an opportunity to convert a prospective customer into a loyal one. As a result, it’s crucial to enhance your website’s general design and usability, mainly through eye-catching stock images and visuals.
Today, 54% of customers prefer businesses to incorporate visual content like videos on their websites. Consequently, over 90% of online stores are investing in personalizing the entire shopping experience. Experts believe this approach will be particularly successful in today’s competitive market. The critical factors shaping the consumer experience and, subsequently, impacting the effectiveness of your online store include overall design, user experience, navigation simplicity, and the quantity of images.
With this in mind, here are a few tips to design a stellar e-commerce store:
Keep the Layout as Simple as Possible
The first and undoubtedly most critical step is to ensure that your e-commerce store is set up to make it easier for buyers to find your products. But don’t stop there; go a step further by ensuring the entire website is user-friendly, especially for those who may not be tech-savvy. You can achieve this by prioritizing essential elements of your online business and simplifying your choices.
Maintain a clean and uncluttered overall design. Reserve space for essential pages like Contact Us, Homepage, About Us, and Products/Services. This is more than sufficient for small to medium-sized e-commerce businesses or those with a specific product niche; there’s no need to add unnecessary complexity. Many companies make the mistake of overcomplicating and cluttering their websites, which can drive customers away.
Adopt a Minimalistic Approach
Besides the simplicity of the design, it is also essential to keep the site as de-cluttered as possible. Use neutral colors and have the absolute minimum information on each page that pops up. Make visitors curious about your offerings, but don’t confuse them with short text phrases on any page.
Avoid Over-Designing a Page
Make sure your e-commerce website does not have excessive design elements. Avoid using an array of font sizes, colors, and formats. If the text becomes visually overwhelming, it may appear too promotional. Maintaining a distinct contrast between the text and the background is crucial to ensure the content remains easily readable.
Use Recognized Symbols
It is better to use well-known symbols and avoid unfamiliar icons that may confuse visitors. Using recognized symbols helps maintain clarity in your message. To minimize confusion, consider adding labels to your icons.
Put the Spotlight on Your Products
Why do customers visit online retailers? A simple answer to this question is to research and explore products they plan to buy. With this in mind, it’s clear that a website should prioritize showcasing items and ensuring ease of navigation for customers.
Highlight the top deals on the main page to improve the consumer experience and create a specific category for these products. Following design fundamentals, customers should easily find your goods with just a few clicks. Ensure your products are presented attractively with high-quality images, concise descriptions, measurements, prices, and various payment and shipping options. Since every piece of this information is crucial, keep it concise and to the point.
Designing a Mobile-Responsive E-Commerce Website Should be a Top Priority
As an online retailer, it’s crucial to recognize that a mobile-friendly website increases the likelihood of online purchases by about 70%. To expand your customer base, leverage the mobile addiction of today’s consumers. Your website should be accessible and user-friendly on all devices, including laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Ensure your site is visually appealing and functions seamlessly across these devices, considering that visitors often navigate using their thumbs and index fingers.
Furthermore, for a mobile-friendly experience, limit pop-up ads, use concise content, and optimize graphics. These factors collectively enhance the user experience.
Utilize Artificial Intelligence
Online shoppers often seek detailed information about products before making a purchase. Many online businesses now integrate virtual assistants, like chatbot systems, to provide ongoing customer support. This enhances the functionality and appeal of their websites.
Chatbots continuously learn and expand their knowledge, enabling them to handle a broader range of queries. Many companies also employ artificial intelligence (AI) to personalize the chatbot experience, ensuring customer satisfaction and encouraging return visits.
The layout and general appeal of your website are crucial to the effectiveness of your e-commerce venture. You may attract or turn away a customer based on how your website appears in seconds. You cannot take this risk because countless e-commerce websites offer products you have in store. Therefore, you must invest adequate resources to ensure your site is easy to use, appealing, and ideally customized for each client category or demography you want to reach.