When creating an e-commerce website, there’s plenty to consider. Making sure you have everything you need on the back-end in order to smoothly run your online business is important, but the front-facing side of your website – the side the customers see and interact with – is just as crucial to get right. Check out these seven website features that are essential to ensuring your customers have an enjoyable and efficient experience when shopping with your brand!
Web users today greatly appreciate websites that are both aesthetically pleasing and easy for them to navigate. If your e-commerce website is physically unappealing or difficult to use, you’re likely missing out on a significant amount of business because of it. Giving your website a visual makeover can allow customers to spend more time on your website, which will provide better leads and more frequent sales. A big part of user interface (UI) design is making sure website visitors have everything they need to navigate your pages and complete a plethora of tasks. A successful UI will enable e-commerce customers to understand the following on every page:
Once you confirm that your pages can accurately present the information above to web visitors, you can design the pages with background colors, images, and video to give your e-commerce website a more enticing appeal.
In order for users to have a smooth experience when making purchases from your online store, you must ensure that the check-out process is clear and simple to use from start to finish. When a customer adds an item to their cart, are they given immediate confirmation of this action? There should be a way for customers to view the entire contents of their cart no matter which page of your website they are currently on. Prices and taxes should be clearly marked on each step of the check-out process, and customers shouldn’t be surprised or blindsided by extra charges on their order.
If you offer free shipping on orders over a certain total, be sure to display this information in a straightforward way. Offering more than one payment option is ideal, as different people prefer to complete online transactions in different ways: Credit/debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and so on. However, your payment options should not overwhelm the customer or confuse them about the proper check-out procedure, so it’s important to provide an easy-to-use payment interface for all shoppers.
Did you know that over 75% of Americans today own smartphones? This means that the majority of users accessing your website will likely be doing so from their mobile phones, rather than from a desktop computer. Because of this fact, e-commerce businesses have optimized their websites for mobile use. Depending on your e-commerce website’s functionality, your mobile and desktop web designs can be similar or completely different.
Some website designs flow well between desktop and mobile views. However, the screen of a smartphone is much smaller than a computer monitor, which means if you have a lot of content on the desktop view of your website, you must focus your attention on a mobile-friendly version that customers will find easy to use, without cutting our or compromising any of that essential and valuable content.
Visual media like images and video are fantastic tools to use on your e-commerce website if you are looking to engage customers and draw them to your brand. In this digital age, we use image and video quality to help in determining the professionality and credibility of any organization that claims or hosts this media. Low-resolution images may take up less digital space on your website and might perhaps load more quickly but using media that is sub-par in appearance will have your customers associating your brand with a lack of attention to detail and might assume the items you sell are of lower quality than others.
There are plenty of image and video optimization tools available to business owners and web developers looking to ensure the quality of their visual content is of the highest nature. Including clear images of the products you sell and well-shot video of product demos or customer reviews on your e-commerce website will increase your customers’ confidence in your brand and will allow for a much more pleasant user experience.
Customers love shopping via smartphone because it allows them to be efficient while on-the-go. Many of us complete e-commerce transactions while multitasking, and our fast-paced world has made it necessary for everything to work as quickly as possible in order to keep us engaged. A website with long load times (and by “long” here, we’re talking about more than one or two seconds) can quickly dissuade customers from shopping there, especially if they are already in a hurry.
Even if your company sells a product that is vital to people all over the world, if it takes a while to load the images and content on the pages of your website, customers will be hesitant to return and may look elsewhere to get what they need. Optimizing high-resolution images and web content helps increase page-speed, and with the help of tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, you can analyze your website’s pages and learn exactly what is slowing down your website and what action is needed in order to speed it up.
Everyone loves a good deal! Offering special sales and discounts to both new and loyal customers can dramatically increase revenue and spread the word about your brand in a positive way. There are plenty of types of offers you can provide to online shoppers:
Don’t forget that specials and discounts are only useful if your customers know about them. Use e-mail campaigns and website banners to alert customers of current opportunities for them to save money while shopping with you.
Even with a flawless user interface, easy check-out process, and self-explanatory website navigation, your customers are guaranteed to still have questions every once in a while. If you don’t offer shoppers an easy way to get in contact with you, this can significantly reduce their desire to complete a sale and often leads to abandoned shopping carts that are never retrieved. Of course, optimizing your e-commerce website so that the answers to common questions are easily found by navigating through each page is ideal. Having an F.A.Q. page will also help to reduce customer issues and inquiries. No matter how smooth and full of informative content your website is, however, customers will always want a way to contact your customer service department. Adding a live chat feature to your website allows customers to get questions answered while they shop, and a Contact Us page gives shoppers the ability to reach out for help and to give feedback outside of live chat or business hours.
Some additional features that you can add to your e-commerce website that will benefit user experience are:
AT Integrated is a web development company specializing in e-commerce website design and maintenance. Contact us today to find out how we can help improve your company’s website and increase revenue for your business.
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