Designing An Ecommerce Website That Converts

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john-stoneBy John Stone, Business Consultant at Algorithmseosydney and Nirmal Web Design

An e-commerce website’s primary purpose is of course to direct visitors into a sales funnel. But to achieve a sale, it needs to do a whole set of other things. Firstly, it needs to create an enjoyable experience enjoyable for the buyer. It needs to support the customers through the entire purchasing process by providing them an effortless and positive user experience. A good e-commerce website needs to minimize and resolve any problems that might arise during the search for a specific product and its subsequent purchase by the user. Let’s see how you can create a pleasant user experience and increase your conversion rate along the way.

Put an emphasis on value proposition

Emphasizing the value of your e-commerce website is a vital part in the conversion process. With an ever-decreasing worldwide attention span, many people tend to form opinions about websites and brands quickly. Highlighting your brand in the best possible light not only leads to sales, but also ensures the customer will come back and use your services again. This can be achieved by using catchy headlines with clear and readable text and with a straightforward subtext that highlights the value proposition. You can also put an emphasis on discounts, free shipping, referral programs, etc.

Add visual hierarchy to your website

The internet has become a predominantly visual medium. What this means is that every part of it is literally fighting for user’s attention. This is why organizing and prioritizing content is vital for clear communication of your client’s particular message. Visual hierarchy is used to point the user’s attention to a specific object or a part of the page you want them to click on first. The bigger the object in question, the easier it is to get the user’s attention to stick to it.

Streamline the navigation process

Navigation on an e-commerce website needs to be easy to use for the visitors. This is where most people tend to make a mistake and cram as many options as they can into their websites. Try to avoid overwhelming the users with too many options and put some thought into the way you organize your content. You can also divide the navigation into subcategories and make the search for products even easier for the users, and reduce to a number of clicks it takes for the visitors to get where they want.

Improve the search experience

When it comes to e-commerce, there are two main types of customers, those who don’t know what they want and those who know exactly what they want. The search experience needs to contain the least amount of steps and to be as effortless as possible in order to get the customers to the product they’re searching for. Make the search bar more visible and use names and descriptions that contain the proper keywords. This leads the customer not only to the product they’re looking for, but also any related products that might interest them.

Use the right product filters

Most visitors have a very broad idea of what they actually want to get. A good e-commerce website must always use proper product filters. This helps the users to focus more easily on the items which match their personal needs. You can set specific filters for brands, materials, prices, sizes and much, much more. Additionally, you can place the filters in a more noticeable position on your website or present them to a user when he visits the category page.

Simplify the checkout process

You might not be aware of this, but a staggering 69% of shoppers online don’t complete their purchase and abandon the cart mid-process. More than one factor needs to be considered when this happens, but a simple and streamlined checkout process can only make the overall experience better. This can easily be done by eliminating any distractions from the checkout page and breaking it into smaller steps to help the customers focus on doing on task at a time. You should also avoid forcing users to register and instead let them check out as regular guests.

Work on creating a credible environment

Providing customers with trust indicators is a sure-proof way of ensuring their online safety. These include having positive testimonials from other businesses, using the press and the media for marketing, showing off the number of successful transactions and even user-submitted product ratings and reviews. Established numbers are the best indicator of success. All of these add up to ensure the best shopping experience for your customers and guarantee that they’ll be returning back to your store in the future.

Conclusion

These are just some of the steps you can take to increase your conversion rate. Online purchases are driven by buyer intent and you should always strive to offer something to satisfy it. Buyer intent is a part of a complex process that has a direct influence on customer behavior. Providing the customers with an excellent experience every time they visit your website is a sure-proof way to convert casual visitors into customers.

About the Author: John Stone is a business consultant at Algorithmseosydney and Nirmal Web Design. Through years of experience, he became a devout believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur.” You can get in touch with him on Twitter @JohnJamStone.

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