How to design a great eCommerce site

What makes a good eCommerce site? 

Note: this article is sourced from Shopify, however other eCommerce providers will have similar features available.


The four elements below are what make a good eCommerce website:

  1. Trust
  2. Good visual appeal
  3. Responsive format for mobile and web 
  4. Easy Navigation

Trust

Three essential trust indicators every business should include on their website are:

  1. Contact Information
    • Provide customers with your contact information - include an email and if possible, a phone number and mailing address.
    • An About page – also helps customers feel like they are buying from a real person.
  2. A return policy
    • A return policy increases sales and lowers cart abandonment by giving customers the ability to send back items(s) If they are not satisfied.
    • Gives customers the trust and sense of confidence that they can return items outlined in the return policy.
  3. Technical certifications
    • You can use graphics or badges to show your security compliance and all the payment methods you accept.

Good Visual Appeal

Product Images

  • Include product photos with a white background and lifestyle photos of your products in use.
  • Products photographed on a white background = gold standard in ecommerce photography.
  • The white background makes it easier to see the details of the item and strips the branding from the product.
  •  Lifestyle photos help customers envision themselves in or using the product.

Site Fonts and Colours

  • Colours can be used to spark interest, emotion and draw attention to specific sections of your website.
  • Limit to two main colours – primary colour and secondary colour
  •  You can use Dribble to look at colour palettes.
  • Website accessibility: Use colours that are contrasting to ensure people of all ages and abilities can read and see your text.
  •  Typography – use dynamic and interesting fonts that convey emotion behind the message.
  •    Limit to two fonts – create a hierarchy between them. Example: Title and Body.
  • Pick a body font that is readable and accessible - designed for screen reading. 

Responsive Format for Mobile and Web 

“70 % of digital media time is spent on mobile devices.”

  • A non-responsive design can result in number of lost sales.
  • When choosing a theme/design, test the user flow on mobile to see if you are satisfied with the mobile optimization. Select a theme with an easy-to-follow mobile navigation.

Easy Navigation

  • Your website navigation should help customers find products quickly and easily.
  • Good navigation helps improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  •  Improves online shipping experience for users and helps merchants increase their sales and products.

Guidelines to follow:

Keep it simple: Use only a few headers in your navigation menu.

Example headers you can use in your top-level navigation.

  • Shop with Product Categories
  • About Us
  • Best Sellers
  • Contact Us

Other navigation links can go in your site footer (the section at the bottom of your website).

Example footer labels you can use in your footer.

  • Shop with Product Categories
  • Return Policy
  • Terms of Service
  • Contact Us

You can also add a sub-navigation menu to include other important links and links to product collections.

 

Source: https://www.shopify.ca/blog/best-ecommerce-sites

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