Although it may sound counterintuitive at first, when customers use your ecommerce website without noticing each individual element it’s a good sign. Why? Because people tend to make note of what doesn’t work, rather than what does. A great ecommerce website functions flawlessly, quickly helping customers to find what they need without hassle.
In other words, the characteristics of a great ecommerce website facilitate an excellent user experience, which keeps shoppers in the buying funnel.
Here are four elements you need on your website.
You can design landing page after landing page chock full of interesting photographs, compelling copy and enticing links. But if shoppers have a hard time getting to these pages, the intended effect will fall short. Customers will probably bounce long before making a purchase.
Visitors depend on your main navigation bar to help them get around. Research shows it should contain product categories for maximum effectiveness. Including these categories in a drop-down format only can confuse or frustrate users who are in a hurry.
Branding can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, effective branding sets your ecommerce store apart from the pack—like your unique selling proposition. On the other hand, ostentatious branding can get in the way of usability.
So, keep it simple. Create a logo customers will associate with your brand and display it in the upper left-hand corner of your landing pages. Populate your website with copy reflecting your brand voice and principles. Utilize custom, high-quality images throughout your site. As Business News Daily writes, “Using images is a great way to communicate your brand’s style and feel without taking up precious real estate on your website.”
Copy, images and links are vitally important components on an ecommerce website. But it’s entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. The best way to make the important elements pop is offsetting them with “negative space,” which can be any color matching your website’s background.
This foundational element in web design provides necessary visual breaks for users. It helps people retain focus and mitigates the potential for overwhelming them with information. After all, the human brain can only process so much information at once. Incorporating intentional negative space on your landing pages will help guide users toward what really matters, while helping you avoid cluttering your website.
Ratings and reviews are some of the most influential factors for shoppers on the brink of making a purchasing decision. Sure, high ratings and positive reviews are always preferable. But even negative reviews are important because they indicate authenticity. If all the reviews are glowing, people may become suspicious about their origin. Meanwhile, if you choose to forgo displaying reviews at all, you’re missing a huge opportunity to establish trust with your customer base.
Fast, Secure Checkout
Customers frequently make it all the way to the checkout stage before abandoning their shopping carts. If customers feel suspicious about the cybersecurity strength of your payment processing system, they will leave. If you try to force customers to create an account before proceeding, they’ll often exit your site instead. So, prioritize security and speediness when you’re establishing your checkout system. Remember: You can always ask customers to create an account after they have already confirmed their purchase, but doing so beforehand can kill your chances at earning a conversion.
The characteristics of a great ecommerce website boil down to usability, branding and convenience. When in doubt, put yourself in your customers’ shoes.