It was the day after Cyber Monday 2023. John logged into his ecommerce store’s backend and eagerly checked his sales numbers for the big weekend. To his dismay, despite all the marketing efforts, his conversions were lower than expected. “Where did I go wrong?” he wondered.
After analyzing the metrics, traffic was not an issue. John’s store had a steady stream of visitors over the 4-day period. However, the bounce rate was over 60% and pages-per-session was less than 2. There was clearly an issue with the user experience leading visitors to leave without making a purchase.
John did some more research and realized he needed to optimize his website design and functionality to convert that incoming traffic into sales. According to Statista, the global ecommerce market was projected to hit $5.4 trillion in sales for 2023. With online shopping continuing its astronomical rise, standing out from the competition with a high-converting website is key. Here are some pieces of ecommerce website design advice we would give John to boost user experience on his online store.
Here are 5 ecommerce website design and development rules of thumb John learned for optimized conversions:
Focus on Speed Site:
Speed critically impacts conversions. According to Cloudflare, a 100ms delay in load time can decrease conversions by 7%. For ecommerce, those extra few seconds lead visitors to abandon their carts. By optimizing images, minimizing HTTP requests, compressing files and more, site speed can be greatly improved. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights help diagnose speed issues. The target for an ecommerce site should be under 2 seconds load time.
Improve Mobile User Experience
With over 50% of ecommerce traffic coming from mobile devices, the mobile experience is vital. Some best practices include using responsive web design, minimizing typing needed, making tap targets large, and listing critical information like contact details, cart and search front and center.
Guide Users With Clear CTAs:
Calls-to-action guide visitors through the conversion funnel. Strategically placed buttons with clear messaging improve conversion rate optimization(CTA). For example, using contrasting colors, descriptive language like “Add to cart” and directional arrows are proven to increase CTA click-throughs.
Layer Trust Elements
From secure payment badges to money-back guarantees, trust elements increase user confidence in purchases. In a survey by Baymard Institute, 32% of shoppers said they abandoned carts due to a lack of trust. Displaying security seals, using high-quality images, implementing user-generated content like reviews, and optimizing page elements can improve trust perception.
Personalize With Segmented Recommendations
Personalized product recommendations convert 3x more than generic suggestions. Using segmented recommendation engines to serve curated products based on interests, past purchases, and other data provides a tailored user experience. Tools like Magento Commerce and Shopify make setting up various types of recommendations simple.
By learning from the analytics and optimizing his ecommerce website design for conversions utilizing these rules of thumb, John can be able to increase his Cyber Week 2024 sales by 25% year-over-year. With a faster, mobile-friendly site boasting trusted elements and segmented product suggestions, visitors will convert to customers at a much higher rate.
Just like John, online retailers need to continually experiment and learn from analytics to create the best user experience. With projections of ecommerce capturing 24% of global retail sales by 2025 according to eMarketer, now is the time for brands to differentiate themselves with conversion-focused design.
The Importance of E-commerce Website Design
A well-designed ecommerce site has a huge impact on conversions and sales. Beyond the 5 rules listed above, implementing Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) principles in the design process leads to improved metrics.
According to research by Adobe, enhancing web design increases average order value by 21%. Additionally, a study published in Target Marketing Magazine found good website aesthetics make users:
- Less price-sensitive (43%)
- More trusting of the site’s security (62%)
- More likely to make a purchase (47%)
With data showing properly balancing creativity and conversions in design drives more revenue, retailers need to utilize research, testing, and analytics.
Optimizing for Specific Platforms
While those 5 fundamentals work across platforms, further customization based on the ecommerce solution used improves sales.
Magento Design Tips
For the flexible, enterprise-level Magento Commerce, best practices include:
- Utilizing built-in marketing tools like automated emails to guide users
- Optimally configuring the layered navigation filters to make finding products easier
- Crafting SEO-friendly URLs for enhanced organic discovery
As an open-source platform built for development teams, its custom integrations provide opportunities for unique enhancements.
Shopify Design Tricks
For simplicity and ease of use, Shopify rates well. Some top tips are:
- Using Sections as visual guides on pages
- Selecting a mobile-optimized theme
- Experimenting with built-in conversion widgets
The app store offers plenty of extensions for additional features like loyalty programs and product reviews.
BigCommerce touts robust enterprise functionality made easy. Ideal design practices are:
- Displaying quality lifestyle images shot on models
- Activating ratings and reviews app for social proof
- Building custom single-product pages
With native integration with platforms like WordPress and Google Shopping Actions, plenty of room for innovation is available.
Other Factors Impacting Design
Along with the platform, other elements influence ecommerce site design like:
- Type of products sold (physical, digital, custom)
- Content presentation
- Brand persona
- Purchase complexity
Testing different layouts, content styles and promotions based on these factors also improves conversions.
Continual Optimization is Key
Just like John in the opening, all brands must continually experiment, test new ideas, and optimize based on performance data. The platforms make iterating easy through features like reusable Sections (Shopify) and tools like Split Testing (BigCommerce).
As online competition gets steeper, taking the time to analyze metrics and polish design is required to stay top-of-mind with consumers. The guidelines provided serve as a starting point for differentiation.
Get in touch with our experts today for your ecommerce website design and redesign to take your sales to new highs this year.