To whom was your e-commerce website designed to appeal? Before you answer, think carefully about how your site was designed, when it was designed, and who did the actual work. A thorough analysis may reveal that your company’s target audience isn’t actually being targeted at all.
It takes a great deal of knowledge to understand what makes customers tick. Without that knowledge, e-commerce entrepreneurs are left with little more than the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. But that is no way to approach e-commerce website design.
There is no shortage of online retailers who put a ton of time and effort into website design only to see their businesses languish on the scrapheap of internet irrelevance. Many of these e-commerce entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they inadvertently designed their websites for themselves. It is normal, but certainly not ideal.
Encouraging Customers to Buy
Every customer who lands on an e-commerce site represents someone who can buy. The word ‘can’ is the key operator here. Why? Because solid e-commerce website design is about conversion. It is about making sure customers who can buy actually do so.
A successful e-commerce website encourages customers to do what they came to the website to do. How does a successful website accomplish this? Through a number of key features:
- Easy Navigation – There is nothing better for an e-commerce site than easy navigation. Website design should get customers where they need to go quickly and efficiently. Customers should never have to hunt for what they want.
- Detailed Descriptions – Customers rely on product descriptions when they cannot see and handle a product in person. In this regard, details are the key. The more information, the better.
- Easy Readability – Product descriptions should be detailed, but not presented as long paragraphs too difficult to digest. A successful e-commerce website offers easy readability, including bullet points for all those details.
- Accurate Photos – Accurate photos of the product in question are a huge selling point. Consumers are more likely to buy if they have visuals that they can lay their eyes on. The ability to zoom in on photos is another big plus.
It is very easy to design a site based on what appeals to you as a business owner. But successful e-commerce website design requires flipping the script, so to speak. It requires looking at your website through the customer’s eyes.
Your Electronic Storefront
An e-commerce site is an online retailer’s storefront. It is an electronic storefront designed to accomplish the same thing as a brick-and-mortar store. In light of that, think about what the most successful big-box retailers do with their stores. They lay everything out in a manner that is most conducive to promoting sales.
Did you know there is an exact science to laying out a modern grocery store? There is a reason nearly every grocery store leads customers through the produce first, then on to the bakery and deli. Market research has revealed that this design puts customers in the right frame of mind for buying.
Department stores follow similar strategies. They place the various departments – both in the total space and relative to one another – with the goal of leading the customer on a journey of purchases. Department store layouts are eerily similar across different brands because the industry has hit on a formula that works.
E-commerce website design follows its own formula for leading the customer on their journey. So, who designed your e-commerce site? If it wasn’t designed by someone who understands the customer’s point of view, it may not be performing as well as it could.