Effective Ecommerce Site Design
Site design in general and especially effective Ecommerce site design is subjective. One mans opinion of what is better is different than another. What we like, you may hate, and what you hate, we may love. The real truth is that Ecommerce conversion rates are what determine whats effective ecommerce site design and whats not. For this post from our Ecommerce Crash Course we are going to focus on elements that we think are crucial regardless of whether you believe your page should be purple or black. While you are working on your site you will need to at least have a splash page up to welcome users.
Coming Soon Launch Page
The first thing you are going to want to do is put up a “coming soon” page. I’m not referring to the pages you remember seeing with flashing barricades. You at least want something that helps build the hype and more importantly starts building your email list. In our book we talk in detail about selecting an email marketing company and some of the options available. For now lets assume you have already decided on your email delivery provider. You can get a free list of our picks and get a list of our resources by signing up for our 5 step Ecommerce course at the bottom of the post. The email provider we are talking about is not to be confused with your internal company email provider but actually the company you are going to use to send newsletters or upsell messages or specials.
Your main objective for your launch page is to tease the visitor with a little information and to collect email addresses for the launch of your site. There are a number of options for you to easily put this together and the largest one out there is LaunchRock. They offer a free or paid version with different functionality. Launch Rock lets you easily setup a launch page collecting emails. You will want to make sure you are connecting your email collection to your email provider and launch rock will walk you through this for the major providers. If you are using a hosted shopping cart solution like Shopify they have a built in coming soon page that you can modify to your liking and customize the colors etc. You will want to add a link to sign up for your email list and connect that to a link you will obtain from your email provider.
The most important thing to consider with these coming soon pages is that its designed solely for collecting emails. Less is more. Tease them and get those email addresses. Start building your list now.
The Actual Ecommerce Site and Effective Ecommerce Site Design
When designing your site you need to remember to focus on what is important. Your ultimate goal is to make your site simple and easy to use. I can’t stress the importance of this. You would be surprised how many sites have trouble executing on this. You want to design with the intention of removing obstacles to the sale. When someone is ready to checkout or pay let them do so. Below is a list of some design principles we find important.
- ➔ The top of every page should have a link to your shopping cart.
- ➔ Buttons should be large and clear to read
- ➔ Input boxes should be large and easy to enter your information
- ➔ Less is more. Don’t be wordy when you don’t need to on payment pages
- ➔ Don’t require a full account registration to make a payment
- ➔ Repeat your navigation in the footer of the website
- ➔ Make sure your logo at the top of the page always links to the homepage
- ➔ Use large wording where you can
- ➔ If you have dark backgrounds use light text and vice versa
There are obviously hundreds of other things to consider from a cosmetic standpoint but this is a list of items we consistently see on other sites. You need to make sure you address these simple fixes.
When thinking about effective Ecommerce site design you must consider mobile phones. Mobile design is something that has emerged over the last couple of years and something I think everyone needs to consider at this point. What I’m referring is the concept of making your website responsive.
What is Responsive?
Responsive web design customizes the display of your site for each type of device. For example an iPhone will receive one view and a desktop user on a large screen will receive a different view that is optimized for the larger screen. Responsive web design is not a mobile app that you have to download from the app store.
People are using smartphones more often than their desktop computers and if your site is not easily browsed on a phone, people will go elsewhere. While it is tough to give an exact number of smartphone users, it is clear that more and more users are using smartphones to shop and make purchases online. We are seeing sales of more than 50% being performed on a smart phone. That is a fact that can’t be ignored and one you should consider up front. While this may sound complicated, don’t be afraid. When building your site you can purchase responsive themes. I would recommend you highly consider a responsive theme. It is going to convert shoppers more easily and will save lots of time and headache in the future when you ultimately realize you need one.
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