So, you think it’s easy to set up an ecommerce site and start selling things. The actual work might be easy, thanks to content management systems like WordPress, but selling real things to real customers is a lot harder. Website design is a big part of the equation. Good design is critical to ecommerce.
Online marketers talk a lot about SEO. They should. SEO is the fuel that drive search engines. But in its purest form, SEO only drives traffic to websites. It doesn’t sell stuff. For that, successful ecommerce retailers depend on the strength of their products, their pricing structures, shipping costs, and their presentation. The presentation part is where good web design pays off big.
Designed Around User Experience
There is a temptation among new ecommerce retailers to obsess over function. No doubt that function is important. An ecommerce site needs to present a retailer’s products. It needs to have a working shopping cart and the ability to process credit cards. But there is something else a good ecommerce site offers: a pleasant user experience.
These days, function is built-in to content management systems and online shopping carts. Ecommerce retailers really do not need to do much to make sure their sites are fully functional. User experience is a different story. You know that yourself if you do enough online shopping. There are just some ecommerce sites you cannot stand using. You don’t like the experience.
Easy to Navigate
One of the keys to a positive user experience is easy navigation. You want customers to visit your online store and find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. You know that if it takes too long, they are likely to abandon your site in favor of a competitor.
Navigation should be simple enough that visitors can find what they want in just a few clicks. It should be intuitive to the extent that visitors do not have to guess about where to find things. If you need an example of an ecommerce site that offers a positive navigation experience, check out the Plurawl website.
Plurawl is a NY apparel brand with special emphasis on authenticity in the LatinX community. Their LatinX hoodies, t-shirts, hats, and artwork are intended for a niche audience. Website visitors can quickly and easily find what they want because the site has been designed with navigation in mind.
Other Factors to Consider
Easy navigation is not the only factor that contributes to a positive user experience. There are others, not the least of which is speed. Again, the Plurawl website is a good example. Every page on the site loads very quickly. You are not left waiting around for half a minute every time you click a link. Speed is good. Customers love it.
Good web design also leads to websites that are pleasant to look at. They are easy on the eyes, with carefully chosen graphics, fonts, and color schemes. Where scripts are utilized, they are kept to a minimum.
Even non-sales content is important. We are talking things like blog posts and videos. In the ecommerce world, visitors like to see this kind of content because it gives them a reason to continue going back to their favorite stores. Website design needs to account for that. It needs to accommodate regular content updates.
Good website design is critical to ecommerce success. Products rarely sell themselves, so retailers need to design their sites to give customers that little extra to push them over the finish line. Fail to do that and an online store isn’t likely to succeed.