Ecommerce is one of the most competitive and lucrative industries on the Internet.
That means if you want to succeed, you need a website that’ll deliver an exceptional experience to your customers on every page. If you don’t, you can be sure you’re losing valuable customers to your competition.
Regardless of the products you sell or the demographic that you want to target, these are five key steps to designing any ecommerce website.
1. Make it easy to find products
First, you need to make sure your customers can find the products they want from any page and at any time.
This means you need easy-to-use navigation menus, intuitive search functionality, and clear labeling on all of your pages.
With those three qualities, any customer on your site can find the products they need in no time.
Easy-to-use navigation menus
These menus are the top-level categories that hold all of your other sub-categories of products.
So if you sell men and women’s clothing, one of these categories might be “Shirts.” If someone clicks on that category, they should go to a page that has more specific kinds of shirts, like “Men’s Shirts,” “Women’s Shirts,” and “Children’s Shirts.”
With that kind of organization, someone can click through your categories to find the specific products they want to buy.
Intuitive search functionality
An advanced search function is a breath of fresh air for ecommerce customers.
This lets customers look up exactly what they want right away. So, still using the clothing example, if they don’t want to go through three levels of categories to find a medium-sized black T-shirt for men, they can type that into the search bar and find the results they want.
Creating a high-level search function takes a lot of time and testing, but when you get one that works, it’s a great addition to your site.
Last, this quality is critical to ensuring customers can find what they want.
Clear labeling means you’re using as few words as possible to describe a product with a unique title.
So if someone’s looking for medium-sized T-shirts for men, they should be able to see all the different kinds of T-shirts you have according to that criteria.
Whether the differences are in colors, vendors, or some other criteria, a customer should be able to know what makes a product unique with one quick glance.
2. Highlight the product
Now that your customers can find your products, you need to highlight them to make sure they sell.
This includes titling your products uniquely, as we previously mentioned.
But in addition to that, it’s important to showcase the product on an individual page.
These individual product pages should include high-resolution photos of every product, a unique description written by someone at your company, bullet points of the product’s most important qualities, and — most importantly — the price.
All of this information gives your customers a great idea about what they’re going to buy. It also helps them compare products against one another so they can make the best purchase.
In other words, if you want to sell products, make sure you give your customers as much information as possible about each one.
If one product is actually a part for a larger product, tell them that. Or if it works really well with another product, mention that as well.
The more they know, the more likely they’ll be to buy, and the more revenue you’ll earn.
3. Make it easy to buy multiple items
Not every shopper is at your website to buy one item and leave. In fact, a lot of them want to buy multiple products at once.
That’s where it’s handy to have a cart feature.
Carts let your customers collect items from your site and buy them all at once when they’re ready to pay.
Carts should let customers add or remove products, and they should display the total that someone will pay for all of their purchases. That way, customers know everything they need about what they’re buying.
On the downside, using carts can lead to customers abandoning their purchases halfway through.
If that happens, you can send an automatic email to users (if they’ve given you their email address) to remind them that they have a full cart, ready for purchase.
That reminder may seem like spam, but it’s actually helpful for people who are interrupted as they’re shopping.
Most people wouldn’t just leave a cart for no reason — and that means they’ll probably want to go back to it and finish shopping later.
Sending someone a friendly reminder can make all the difference between a lost customer and another sale.
4. Show product scarcity
One of the biggest ways you can earn more on an ecommerce site is by showing product scarcity.
In physical stores, customers can see scarcity by looking at how many products are left on the shelves. That prompts impulse purchases, which leads to more revenue for those stores.
But you don’t have that luxury with ecommerce.
Instead, you have to show product scarcity some other way.
The simplest way to do that is to include a brief sentence next to every product that says how many products you have left in your warehouse.
If you have boxes upon boxes of product, you can just say “In Stock.” But if you’re getting close to the end of your supply, you can include a message like “Only 4 left!” to express urgency.
That sense of urgency encourages customers to buy a product since most people don’t want to miss out on something that can improve their lives, even if it’s a T-shirt.
Plus, you can move the last few units of old product by showing scarcity as well. If a vendor no longer creates a product, but you still have some in your warehouse, turn it into your advantage by listing how few are left and that it’s out of production.
Together, that creates a sense of urgency that’ll turn any potential buyer into a happy customer.
5. Let anyone buy
Last, if you want your ecommerce store to succeed, you should make it as easy as possible for people to buy from you.
Most importantly, that means you shouldn’t make someone create an account just to buy a product.
If you do, your customers have another big step between them and their purchase. That’ll incentivize them to find what they want somewhere else.
So if you want to run a successful ecommerce company, make it as easy as possible for people to buy from you. Otherwise, they’ll get it from someone else, like Amazon.
Bonus suggestion: Don’t store credit cards
It might be convenient to store credit card information, but it’s not worth the risk of losing that information to hackers or security lapses.
Cover yourself from a liability standpoint by not storing credit card information. It keeps your customers safe from identity theft, and it keeps you safe from lawsuits.
Find the agency that’s right for you
Now that you know the best ways to create your ecommerce website, it’s time to find an agency that can help. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best web design agencies in the industry from all over the world. If you want an ecommerce website that’ll help your business grow, find a partner that’ll make it happen!
Check out our list of ecommerce web design rankings today!