There are few certainties when it comes to the ever changing world of e-commerce. Where one approach finds success something similar might not even register. Hundreds of thousands of online entrepreneurs and website design firms will tell you the same.
And while you may bring more to the table than a plucky attitude and some homemade nittings, how you stand apart from every person doing the same exact thing will determine the interest of any potential customer.
Appearance is a foundational cornerstone to marketing a brand. The same way you put on your pants every day to face down logistical challenges, you should be thinking about what your brand is wearing.
There will come a point in any dedicated seller’s career where sales start matching the output of their efforts. If they want to consistently grow they have to start getting creative about reaching the public. If you fall into this category and don’t have the resources to invest in a firm to do it for you, here are some helpful tips to get you started on designing your own ecommerce site.
1. Check Out other E-Commerce Websites
Don’t feel ashamed or even hesitant to do so. This is a tried-and-true method for inspired decoration choices. For a burgeoning merchant to create a brand that is truly unique and isn’t derivative of others would be something quite token in itself; there is no better place to start thinking of meaningful ways to elevate your buyer’s experience than by taking stock of those who see a lot of traffic already.
Is there a certain way these sellers convey themselves? Are products introduced in long-winded text-block with vague specifications or direct, informative statements? How do they arrange their search bar and clickable links? Is it spaced evenly for ease of use? This leads to the next useful tip.
2. Keep it Simple
The focus should always be your product and your brand, and how those two support each other. What exactly is your brand? What does it provide? How does the product sold convey the brand’s objective? If you cannot answer these questions in short, it’s time to return to the drawing board.
Far fewer users than not actually take the time to decipher even a well-made website top to bottom. In fact, a recent Nielsen Norman Group Study shows that high-literacy users typically only read up to 28% of the total available text on any given website, though they believe the actual number is closer to 20%.
A cluttered page structure and walls of disorganized text will only deter them further. Consequently, this means users will likely look someplace else.
3. Establish Brand Objectives Early
If a customer is seeking something specific to their needs and looks to your product to satisfy them, how are you going to ensure that they are met? Going back to the idea of deciding brand objectives, going into business without one leaves you without any identifiable credibility. It’s a company without a face and aesthetic.
The entrepreneur should blend their core values directly into their product line. This way it sends a clear message to your customers that they’re in the right hands, and it certainly makes it easier to find you among competitors.
Just by being direct about what kind of person you are and what your products represent, you’ve already optimized your website’s overall experience. And now that you have your market’s attention, the next task is keeping it.
4. Make your Platform Easy
What exactly does it mean to keep an e-commerce website simple? It can be a tricky task, especially since there’s no concrete consensus on what a user can tolerate. But it’s a safe bet that they don’t want their time wasted by a labyrinthine home page. Organization gives the appearance of guaranteed professionalism and good business practice.
The personableness of how each block is meticulously arranged is a stunning example of how inspiration can leap from the screen to a customer’s mouse. It should also be sure to send an overall message of what the site can do for a customer.
Always be sure to maintain a ladder structure in your pages to help guide customers to their desired destination. A user absolutely shouldn’t be confused as to what will send them where or the exact purpose of every link they click. The most direct path to their needs is your priority.
There are methods you can use to make this happen. Study up on fonts, typography, and make key terms stand out with their own flair. Properly space the content into scannable material that’s easier for the eyes to read. Conveying information works to help a user rather than hiding it from them.
This is the best incentive they have to keep returning to a platform they know is reliable. But there’s so much more to the aesthetics of a site than brute simplicity and functionality, especially if each piece of the puzzle doesn't always fit together by itself. This is where consistency comes in.
5. Be Consistent with Presentation
If a user wanted to search for something specific and almost every website they’ve ever been to has that functionality built into the top of the page, why should they be expected to look at the bottom? If the size of one picture conveys a sense of importance over others that may be present, is it the customer’s fault for assuming that the smallest wasn’t what they were looking for (even if it really was)?
There is a level of expectation that comes with visiting any website because society at large has been doing so for the past several decades. Going off-road is one way of getting creative you may want to avoid.
You should also establish early on what kind of utilities offered by the website are given more attention. Do not clutter your page with baseless visuals. Only ever-present something extra if it is important for the user to know. If a user needs to understand that you provide a certain service, it can’t be hidden behind fancy slogans.
Think of how these definitions are given shape. The legibility of your paragraphs can be severely affected by overindulging in garish fonts.
Take special care that you properly space, font, and size your information. Including the more distinctive puzzle pieces first can help you better define what you want to happen around them.
6. Use Color Psychology to Your Advantage
Now that your domain is pristine, professionally maintained, and attracts new clientele, how can you improve those functions? With a striking look, of course! And it’s not just for decorating—colored text can help users find pertinent information.
It can also be used for pointing out otherwise random paragraphs, graphic and video animations, and sound links. If arranged in a thoughtful manner, these visuals reveal almost as much as your product’s initial introduction!
This doesn’t mean that you need to stick with one pre-selected palette. Actually, what colors you use end up not mattering so much by themselves.
It’s how these choices come together that highlight pertinent information. If one chooses red to represent something specific, incorporating other colors in its shade to expand on it would be a consistent and aesthetically pleasing choice.
Color is also highly advised due to its provocative nature. Monochrome palettes do little to stir a user into action. A recent study by UX actually compared the rate of clicks between a blue button and a red one and found that, generally, the red button found 34% more clicks.
Another by HubSpot showed that their red button out-clicked their green one by 21%. Bold colors appear to incite bold decisions.
7. Think like a User!
As stated before, users don’t typically spend a majority of their time reading through every word a seller has on their site. Rather they are seeking something particular and will click on pages that appear to relate to their needs. This is not somehow a failure of the rest of the website for not keeping their attention.
The website is supposed to cater to the user, not you. It’s almost certain you’ve visited a website before and were dissatisfied with its functionality. Why replicate that same feeling for someone else?
If you still struggle to connect with an audience, it might be a good idea to research some user behaviors and tweak your site based on active feedback. This could get you even better numbers!
Even better, it gives the user the sense that the website was tailored to them specifically, leading to even more interaction.
8. Don’t Stop Here!
A website is a personable manifestation of your company and as such, should present itself like any other professional. But don’t be afraid to take what was stated here and play around with it.
As said before there is no sure-fire way to success so anything is worth a try. If there’s something about the average website’s function that’s always bothered you, make the change! Always help users find what they are looking for and they will remember you.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve your e-commerce site to maximize your output and make that bottom line.
If you’re prepared to uphold your obligation as a seller and push a brand like almost nothing that’s ever been done before, practice with these tips and maximize your traffic. You may be surprised by the results!