How To Design An E-commerce Site To Boost Conversion

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boost conversion

You definitely want to boost conversion rates of your e-commerce site!

It doesn’t matter if you are a newcomer or someone who has an e-commerce store already.

When it comes to online shopping, you obviously want to find the products in just a few clicks.

Just like any other consumer, you too, want a convenient shopping experience and to purchase from a brand you like and trust.

There are many factors that impact e-commerce conversion, from ensuring the information is easy to find, to the communication of a trustworthy brand image, are related to how your e-commerce website is designed.

E-commerce website design is way more than just fancy pictures.

All the visual elements need to work in favour of you to deliver an awesome user experience that leads to higher conversion rates, more sales and repeat customers.

Here’s how you can design your e-commerce site to boost conversion.

#1. Using high-quality product images

  • Image Size
  • Image Quality
  • Zoom Feature
  • Show Context
  • 360-degree View
  • Emotional and Visceral Appeal

#2.Adding product videos

  • Product demo
  • How-to videos
  • Comparison video
  • Product reviews

#3. Implementing web design best practices

  • Consistent palette and typeface
  • Clutter-free layout
  • Visual hierarchy
  • Urgency
  • Pre-sale customer care
  • Free shipping
  • Search function
  • Call-to-action
  • Mobile optimization

#4. Making most out of Customer reviews

#5. The Checkout

Now let’s see these design hacks in detail.

#1. Using high-quality product images

One of the biggest challenges faced by e-commerce owners is the inability to provide a tactile experience.

While shopping online, customers’ cannot touch your products.

Therefore, it is important to make the most out of the two-dimensional screen to communicate the features and attributes of your offerings.

Of course, images help you boost conversion rate. However, the amount of increase is based on what images you use and how you use them.

  • Image Size

    You must have heard the phrase ‘Bigger the better’.

    Well, not always when it comes to your product images.

    As per a recent study by ConversionXL Institute, people respond to image sizes differently for different type of products.

    The aim of the study was to compare the effects of different image sizes for a dress shirt and a hard drive.

    So, the conclusion was that consumers perceived experience goods like dress shirt as less valuable when a large image is used.

    On the other hand, for search goods like a hard drive, the product is considered as expensive when a large image is used.

    Therefore, you must consider your product type, and only then perform A/B tests to find out the optimal size for your product images.

    This would definitely help you boost conversion of your store.

  • Image Quality

    The other key design element to boost conversion of your e-commerce site is using high-quality product images.

    Make sure your product images are carefully stages and have appropriate lighting.

    Once you have the images, don’t forget to optimize them before uploading to a product page.

    Keep your file size large enough so that the image isn’t blurry. And, small enough to ensure it doesn’t slow down load time.

    As slow load time would hamper your page search engine ranking (SEO).

  • Zoom Feature

    Additionally, you must have the zoom function to show the details and texture of your products.

    This helps visitors see the minute details of the product thereby boosting their confidence to buy products from your online store by ensuring high-quality products.

    All you need to do is optimize your product images properly so that they not only look good when enlarged but also offer superior user experience without hampering load time.

  • Show Context

    Images displaying your products in action allows your visitors to visualise themselves using and enjoying the benefits of products offered by you.

    context

  • 360-degree View

    Yes, 360-degree view is here to stay!

    Show images of your products from different angles displaying every detail.

    This allows you to create in-store like experience of holding and examining a product.

    You can go ahead and use dynamic image technology that would allow your visitors to spin the image around.

    It has been observed that rotating images outperformed the static ones.

  • Emotional and Visceral Appeal

    Often purchasing decisions are driven by emotional reasons, therefore your images must be relatable.

    They must communicate positive emotions that customers would experience using your products.

    relatable

    The above image shows the product in action and creates positive emotions of enjoyment and connection people often feel while sharing treats.

    This allows visitors to visualise themselves enjoying the ice cream.

    People create powerful and visceral reactions to images.

    This is why you need to know your audience to select the images that inspire and engage your target customers.

#2. Adding product videos

Adding product videos is another design element you shouldn’t be ignoring.

In fact, videos help you boost conversion rates.

So, make sure you include videos on your landing page or product page to create excitement and provide additional details about your products.

You can add thumbnails with a play button icon to get the attention of your visitors.

The length of your videos determines how effective they are.

So, make sure they are long enough to deliver useful information and short enough so visitors watch them fully.

As per Wistia, videos up to 2 minutes long have higher engagement.

For product videos, videos that are less than 2 minutes deliver the highest influence.

So, the shorter the better.

The video is a strong visual design element for your e-commerce store.

And, you can make the most of it by leveraging the different formats that result in increased e-commerce conversion.

  • Product demo

    Product demo video is a great way to show your products in action and many retailers have successfully increased their conversion rate using demo videos.

    In fact, the online retailer Simply Hike, used demo videos and increased their conversion rates by 25%.

    You can use a model that your customers can relate to, this would help your visitors visualise themselves enjoying your product while learning how to use it.

    You can also hire influencers whom your audience relates to promote your products.

  • How-to videos

    If your audience doesn’t know how to use your products.. they won’t buy it!

    This is where how-to videos come into the picture.

    A how-to video is a step-by-step instruction guide.

    It is appropriate for products with complex features and when the audience is detail-oriented.

    Again, it helps your audience imagine how they can use a particular product.

  • Comparison video

    When it comes to online shopping, we all have many choices. Right?

    The same rule applies to your target audience, too.

    They have multiple choices!

    This is exactly why you need to include comparison videos for your products.

    An unbiased comparison video that brings your and your competitors’ product face-to-face would help your audience how your product differ from your competitor.

    This would assist them in decision making.

  • Product reviews

    Product reviews say a lot about your brand and products.

    So, with help of your loyal customers, make a product review video explaining their experience about your products.

    Consider discussing things like:

    1. how they use the product
    2. which features/functions they find most useful
    3. how using your products made their lives better, etc.

    People are more likely to buy your products seeing other people benefit from your products.

#3. Implementing web design best practices

Implementing web design best practices could help you boost conversion.

A good e-commerce store design allows customers to find the information they are looking for in order to make a purchase decision and take the required action, like ‘BUY NOW’ or ‘ADD TO CART’ buttons.

This is why you are required to figure out visual elements and processes visual information to make the buying experience frictionless.

Now let’s see some tried-and-true web design best practices:

    • Consistent palette and typeface

      Having a consistent palette and typeface is important to boost conversion.

      Therefore, you can opt for brand style guides to create a coherent user experience and visual identity.

      This would help consumers associate with your brand instinctively.

      Make sure have consistent design as consistency allows you to build trust and trust leads to conversion.

      Therefore, you must maintain a unified visual identity throughout your e-commerce website.

      Additionally, you must extent it to other online and offline marketing channels and material like Facebook, Instagram, postcards, etc.

      This ensures a coherent user experience.

    • Clutter-free layout

      The other design strategy to boost conversion of your e-commerce store is ‘Keeping it Simple’.

      Yes, opt for minimalist design approach.

      As this would eliminate unnecessary element/distraction on a page.

      And, only those elements that are important to drive conversion would be highlighted.

      You can use the grid structure to keep your e-commerce site elements aligned and clean.

      Reduce the clutter by keeping it simple and clean.

    • Visual hierarchy

      Visual hierarchy is crucial when you want to boost conversion.

      It is more than just making something bigger and brighter to get the attention of visitors.

      You need to think on how our brains process information when you are figuring out the placement of content and graphic elements.

      Normally, people tend to read from left to right and top to bottom.

      Our eye movement follows an “F-shaped” or “Z-shaped” pattern as we go down a page.

      Therefore, you must keep this in mind when you are organising your e-commerce site content.

      Example: Underwater Audio increased sales by 35.6% by rearranging the visual elements to follow F-/Z-pattern.

      By rearranging the visual elements to follow an F-/Z-pattern, Underwater Audio increased sales by 35.6%.

      f-z pattern

      image source: neilpatel.com

  • Urgency

    Creating urgency to boost conversion is a no-brainer!

    We all are aware of the fact that applying urgency helps you increase conversion rates.

    So, just make sure you consider this design element to get the attention and create a sense of urgency.

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  • Pre-sale customer care

    Sometimes potential buyers are very close to making a purchase and still have some questions on their mind!

    If you manage to answer those questions, that would end up getting you leads.

    So, to turn these prospects into leads, you can make pre-sale customer care easily accessible.

    Also, you must add a link to contact customer support on all your pages.

    Additionally, you should have a live chat support for your e-commerce store.

  • Free shipping

    Free shipping always works!

    It has been observed that free shipping offer allow you to boost conversion rate, increase average order value, and generate customer loyalty.

    So, you can use design elements to highlight your free shipping offer.

    In addition to this, you can add a dynamic element that allows users to calculate how much more they need to add to their cart to qualify for free shipping.

  • Search function

    The search function is yet another design element that helps you boost conversion of an e-commerce store.

    Your visitors are more likely to buy a product if they quickly find what they are looking for.

    So, just ensure your search bar is easy to locate on your website.

    Most websites have the search boxes in the upper right corner, and that’s exactly where users look for it.

    You can make your search bar more noticeable by using contrasting colours.

    You can also add product images to your site search window to boost conversion rates.

    Additionally, you must add filtering feature that would allow visitors to quickly sort the results.

  • Call-to-action (CTAs)

    Call-to-action buttons are very important when you want to boost conversion.

    And, in case your visitors are unable to find the “BUY NOW” button, it impacts your conversions.

    So, make sure your call-to-action buttons stand out, so your visitor can quickly differentiate it from rest of the elements on the page.

    You can use tips like:

    1. Using contrasting colour
    2. Experimenting with button shapes
    3. Checking if the CTA text is readable on all devices
    4. Keeping CTA text short and action-oriented
    5. Using the copy to reinforce your value proposition
    6. Including the call-to-action button above the fold
    7. Adding multiple CTA buttons on the page, so that visitors do not have to scroll up and down
    8. Making CTA button looks clickable so they are easy to find

  • Mobile optimization

    According to Google reports, 90% of people who own multiple devices switch between screens when finishing a task.

    This is exactly why your e-commerce website is required to be mobile optimized.

    It helps you deliver an easy-to-use interface and consistent user experience across all devices.

    You must consider factors like how your desktop layout translates onto small screens (mobile, tablets, etc.), how the most crucial elements are highlighted on a page, and how the navigation works on mobile.

    This makes it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for.

    And, when they find a product, they would make purchases!

    Ultimately, helping you boost conversion of your e-commerce store.

#4. Making most out of Customer reviews

As per a recent study, 88% of customers say they believe online reviews just as a personal recommendation.

You can break ratings into different aspects of the products.

For instance: if you are a clothing retailer, you can break down ratings into aspects like design, quality, comfort, and fit.

Additionally, next to the customer review, you can add details of the order like colour, size, etc. to make it a ‘verified purchase’.

This would help you increase credibility.

You can gather high-quality reviews that show a balance of pros and cons, highlight how the reviewers use your product, and also make comparison with competing brands.

You can also experiment with ‘review snapshot’ that would allow visitors find the most helpful reviews.

review

image source: neilpatel.com

#5. The Checkout

Your potential customers made it to the checkout. Great!

OK, wait.

Often it is observed that online shoppers abandoned a cart due to a variety of reasons.

Reasons may be:

  1. High extra costs – shipping, tax, fees
  2. The e-commerce site wanted visitors to create an account
  3. Long/Complicated checkout process
  4. The visitor was unable to see/ calculate total order cost up-front
  5. Website errors/crashed
  6. The visitor did not trust the site with their credit card information
  7.  Slow delivery
  8. Unsatisfactory Returns Policy
  9. Very few payment methods available
  10. Their credit card is declined, etc.

Additionally, the study showed that any average large-sized e-commerce store can get a 35.26% hike in conversion rate with a better checkout design.

So, make sure you reduce the number of steps/click required to complete the checkout process of your e-commerce store.

  • You can opt for A/B test to analyse a single-page checkout verses multi-page checkout process to see what works for your audience
  • If your checkout process involves multiple pages, show a progress bar
  • Let your customers check out as ‘guest’, and  create an account after the final purchase
  • Add links to privacy policy, shipping details, FAQ, and returns policy without requiring customers to leave the checkout flow. You can display the details as a popup
  • Add credit card logos and trust seals right next to payment information fields
  • Before customer completes the order, clearly show the final price and breakdown like the tax, shipping, etc.
  • Include a coupon code box where customers can easily view it
  • Provide multiple payment methods, and display their logos or icons. For instance: you can add PayPal badge, in case you accept PayPal
  • You can opt for graphic treatment to reiterate and highlight the amount of savings for every purchase

Wrap Up

You can optimize the conversion of your e-commerce store in many ways.

These are just some design elements that you can implement, but, it doesn’t stop here.

So, make sure you design your e-commerce site in a manner that it communicates your brand image and put your products in the best light possible.

Prioritize user experience, as your e-commerce store is all about the customer.

Don’t forget to test any changes you make in the design of your e-commerce store.

This would help you analyse the if you are going in the right direction.

What are your design hacks for an e-commerce site? Is it helping you boost conversion?  Don’t forget to comment below.


Also published on Medium.

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