With people having easy access to technologies, the e-commerce industry is booming. More online stores are appearing on the market. Creating a profitable eCommerce website with a decent design seems not to be that difficult and to a certain degree, it is true. However, building a successful online store that will stand out and bring significant income to its owner is more challenging. And, surprisingly, an eCommerce store’s design plays a significant role in its success. So, let’s break down the main elements of a great eCommerce website, how to implement your brand concept with them and some examples of the best e-commerce sites.
Before you start shaping out the design of your future e-commerce website, it’s better to understand one simple truth – in today’s business environment innovation is crucial. Retailers are bringing something new, creative, and even experimental to their online presence. They try to both amaze users and make their online shopping experience smoother. Notably, the leaders in this innovative approach are luxury brands who are usually not afraid of experiments, and the middle-market retailers tend to follow their lead. According to the research, 80% of middle-market retailers see themselves as followers. So, it’s safe to consider luxury retailers as innovators who go beyond the conventional vision of e-commerce platforms.
For example, Gucci has launched a new virtual shopping service. It allows online customers to have a real-time video-call with the store’s staff. This allows users to receive advanced service remotely and simplifies their online shopping process. Another luxury retailer that is bringing innovation to its website is Rebecca Minkoff. Who’s introduced AR experience to their website to let customers have a 360-degree vision of the products.
The AR technology itself becomes more and more present in the online stores as it helps customers to be more confident with the products they’re buying and to see how it will work in real life. But AR is not the only technological breakthrough that retailers use for building their websites. AI, too, has already grounded itself in the field of online shopping with its personalization capabilities and chatbots that provide 24/7 assistance.
As we outlined before, the retailers are trying to bring something new to their websites and this aspiration doesn’t end with the implementation of the latest technologies. Creative and captivating design solutions are now being used not only by big-scale retailers but also by small businesses and even start-ups. They help them stand out and gather the essential online attention needed for customers’ attraction. Therefore, the majority of ecommerce web design companies integrate the latest technologies into web design. However, despite the obvious need for creativity, e-commerce designers usually use the same structure and elements. These include product categories and product view pages, a cart with the info about shipping and payment. If eligible, customers’ account section, where they can see information about the ordered items and their shipment status. But these mandatory elements don’t mean that you can’t get adventurous with your design and take a fresh look at the conventional structure.
The homepage, of course, is the first thing the customers see when they visit your website and if it’s not impressive enough and poorly done, it will just push them away. The initial website page plays an especially significant role for the e-commerce website design as a user’s trust is extremely important for the customers during online shopping, and if they decide that the website is poorly made just from interacting with the homepage, they won’t be buying on that website. Another thing is, if your e-commerce homepage design is truly captivating, it will make customers spend more time on your website and increase the probability of them actually buying something.
To make your homepage an attention-grabber, you can use high-quality creative visuals or create your own illustrations. Following the latest trends and best e-commerce site examples, it’s better to keep the design simple and minimalistic, yet impressive. You can say a lot by saying very little – this applies to web design as well. Also, the initial page is the one that represents your brand identity and sets the mood for the whole website.
The product selection page, regardless of which category, allows users to browse through your products and should always be clear and provide the necessary information about the product. Users typically go through the products rather quickly, so you should create a product category page that is easy to navigate through and make sure that products’ images catch customers’ attention and compel them to explore your website further. You should keep your customers engaged and interested in the products you offer.
A great website design can assist you in achieving this. The first thing you need to think about is your website visitor: what will be the best way for them to navigate the site and how you can build your website in the most user-friendly way. For example, if you offer multiple products, it’s better to add a “filter” – a feature that helps visitors not to get lost. Or you can add the “quick view” feature that will save clients some time during shopping.
Regarding the visual part of the product category page, it’s always better to come up with original ideas. Customers are usually looking for a new experience when they go shopping in-store, so why not give them that feeling online. You can add some life to this page by playing with colors, animation, and styles.
The product view page gives shoppers a close interaction with your product and it’s where they usually decide whether they’ll buy it or not. Therefore, this page should engage your customers, capture their attention, but also help them understand whether a product is right for them to cut the deliberations to the possible minimum. For this reason, you should add features that allow people to take a closer look at your product, see it from different angles, and get familiar with the materials and ingredients it’s made of. The AR feature proves to be very helpful in this area. These details make your website more trustworthy and its visitor more confident with their choice.
To create memorable user experiences, you can get creative with various product view page elements. For example, instead of conventional product photos that everyone’s seen thousands of times, you can provide customers with more artistic or more “alive” ones. Only remember to make the product always clearly visible and recognizable.
As we stated before, the seamless navigation is vital for your e-commerce website design as it helps visitors (especially the new ones), to find exactly what they’re looking for without getting lost. It all starts with your home page being clear, with recognizable categories, and the search bar being put in the visible place; and it ends with the easy checkout, where the customers are not afraid to make transactions and can complete their purchase in a couple of minutes. Another great feature to add is “breadcrumbs” which allows users to get back to any point in their search. Also, as always, don’t be afraid to add some fun interaction for your website visitors to turn their visit into a little journey.
If you want your website visitors to relate to your brand and feel more attached to it, you should make it speak through your website design. The correct brand reflection with the help of design elements can help customers to understand what your brand is about. If you don’t know where to start, try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and see what they feel when they visit your website. For example, if you’re a clothing brand for millennials like Urban Outfitters, you want your website to be creative, modern, and appealing for that generation. If you have a specific theme for your brand, you can incorporate it into your e-commerce web design as Tower 28 did. The brand that is named after a lifeguard tower in Santa Monica styled its website in the warm summery colors and even added a little palm tree as a navigation cursor.
Another thing you need to think through is the “About us” section where you can explicitly state your brand’s philosophy and why customers should choose you. On this page, a bit of creativity can also help you. But you need to be to the point and not overwhelm your website visitors with unnecessary information. You can add a little video to this page for visitors to feel inspired and put the best-selling products on the main page to help them make a choice.
In the age when almost everyone is on social media, the retailers obtain a huge platform for promoting their products and their brand in general. Using this power for your e-commerce website can contribute greatly to its online visibility. You can start off by indicating your social media profiles on your website page. This small step is essential for establishing a link between them. Be sure to make the social media icons visible and easily findable. Also, you can enable the feature of sharing the products from your website on social media. By adding an automatically generated post with the picture pulled out from your website, your users will make a high-quality post of your product by default.
Another great way to use your social media accounts, especially an Instagram account, is to display the pictures of users that are using your products. The best place to put it is on the product view page. This way people will see a certain product in action and will be more confident with their choice. They can even want the product, even more, when they see it on other people and read the praising comments from others.
To sum up, the best way to design a great custom e-commerce website is to make your brand identity its basis. Your brand idea and philosophy can serve a great inspiration when choosing style, theme, colors, or even fonts for your design. Of course, you need to have the essential elements like product view, checkout, etc. But you can be creative with the conventional e-commerce website structure and try something innovative. At the end of the day, customers will like your products more if you present them more engagingly and interactively.
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