• Christian Michaels

5 Fundamental Features for Ecommerce Website Success

Ecommerce; with so much competition out there, it’s a fine line between soaring success and falling deep into the gutters of Google. Pretty exciting, isn’t it? Of course it is far more exciting should your Ecommerce journey be heading in the upwards direction. As a web design agency, we happen to know the much sought-after formula to Ecommerce success and unsurprisingly, it sits with super smart web design. Millions of businesses have set up online to try their luck at making a mark and becoming the biggest fish in an E-ocean. You may be reading this with an Ecommerce website that isn’t generating sales as it should, or perhaps this is your first step to joining an online market. In either case, we want to take this time to tell you some of the most important components to Ecommerce web design and why they are essential to your online success.

Web Design for Mobile Shoppers

Long gone are the days where a mobile phone was used to make calls and send the odd text message. Now these pocketed computers are our greatest allies in making our everyday easier, and enabling each of us to become multi-tasking magicians. Between work and weekends, taking the kids to their 10th activity of the week, and somehow managing to fit in cleaning, cooking, and the odd trip to the gym, we barely have the time to do the food shop, let alone go shopping for that upcoming wedding of our second cousin twice removed, the blinds for the bedroom, and the bulb to replace the one that went out weeks ago.

Thankfully, wonderfully, we have our trusty mobile and a wealth of online shops that can be accessed on lunch breaks, the daily commute and from the sofa, where the touch of a few buttons will deliver everything we’ve ever wanted to the front door. Great Ecommerce websites are all designed with the mobile shoppers in mind. That means having a fully optimised mobile version of the website so that users can quickly and easily make their way from the homepage to checkout. Not only important for your users, the mobile usability is a crucial ranking factor for the Google search engine. You can learn more about that here.

Easy Ecommerce Website Navigation

Simple navigation is something that we frequently come back to in our blogs. This isn’t only because we enjoy the endless analogies (remember that frustration of the lying satnav, or when you can’t find the free-from section at the supermarket, or making your way through unmarked sales shopping etc.) Easy navigation is essential for a positive user experience and is a significant Google ranking factor.

Let’s take a look at user experience. More than just your website’s menu bar, navigation refers to the on-page action and transition between pages. A skilled web designer knows the rule; the simpler the better. Easy navigation is important to any website but arguably more so with Ecommerce websites since users are usually limited by time and should your website not serve up what they’re looking for quickly, they’re likely to move on to your competitors.

Professional Optimised Product Images and Video

This should be an obvious one, but let’s make it even more so. You arrive on a website with clear images, a zoom function, and a video showing the product in action. You arrive on a second website selling a similar product, slightly cheaper, but the images are very grainy and limited in number. Which business do you buy from?

Ecommerce success is so much down to trust and quite simply, in order to trust that you’re buying a quality product from a legitimate online retailer, the website must look smart and professional, and much of this rests with product images and videos. When we talk about optimised images, this refers to the quality of the image alongside the file size. High quality images have larger file sizes and with many images on a given page, these will slow down the page loading speed – a potential deal-breaker for any online shopper. A good web designer is able to find the happy medium between file size and image quality that will have your website users happy to click ‘Add to Basket’.

Informative and Engaging Website Content

As a new or relatively unknown Ecommerce business, forming an online relationship with your users and growing their number is an enormous part of the challenge. As we said earlier, it all comes down to trust-building and having a way with words is really important. With each of our Ecommerce clients, our in-house content writing team take on the website content and take the pressure off of clients. From product descriptions to subheadings and About pages to Meta Descriptions (this is the text that appears on the search results page) we ensure that the same informative, engaging, and human voice is maintained throughout the Ecommerce website.

It’s all well and good having a delightful story on your website, the stuff that could inspire a tear from the stoniest of people, and certainly a sale, but unless your website can be found on Google it’s all for nothing. Professional website content writers also understand the importance of writing for SEO purposes – that’s search engine optimisation. When it comes to content this is largely down to keyword inclusion. Of course as with all things in life, balance is vital – too many keywords jammed into your website and Google might regard it as spam (as will your users), too few and Google may not deem your website as relevant. In either case, your Ecommerce website is unlikely to sit on page one and unlikely to get the traffic you need for online success.

Keep the Checkout Process in Check

Oh the checkouts; that dramatic and potentially devastating part of any Ecommerce website. It is one of the most important parts of Ecommerce web design and one of the most poorly managed. So much rides on this final stage of the user journey that is often referred to as the ‘conversion killer’ by those in the know. Pretty intimidating, right? Fortunately, there are a number of web design elements that can ensure a clear and swift route to a conversion from user to consumer. These include:

• A clear Call to Action button with a large ‘checkout’ label • Display security logos • Have images to show what products are in the cart plus an edit/delete option • Display an easy ‘contact support’ option • Optimise for fast loading time - particularly for mobile users • Show shipping options and prices clearly • De-clutter – you want a clear, clean page

As ever, it’s all about making things as simple as possible and instilling trust.

There you have it; just five of the fundamental components to a successful Ecommerce website. Of course there are many more rather technical website features that your chosen web designer will implement in order to get your website onto page one of the search results and those sales soaring. To learn more about the potential of Ecommerce and for a free consultation about your Ecommerce website, get in touch with the team at Christian Michaels today.

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