11 Best Practices For eCommerce Websites
The web design industry has witnessed so many changes and advancements. Undoubtedly, these changes have been positive, in most cases, and they have made the web experience much easier and convenient. Now, getting to the main point, we all know that almost all businesses are offering services to buy/sell products online. This whole selling and buying procedure is commonly referred as eCommerce. Now, if you plan to have an eCommerce website, you should do a good research on it because you will need to use a lot of different technologies such as online transactions and transferring funds online.
Designing an eCommerce website is not at all an easy task and a designer will have to go through a lot of hurdles. As a designer/developer you need to make sure that you provide your users’ with a clean experience.In order to do this we want to bring to your attention a few best practices for eCommerce websites and by following them, you will definitely feel a difference in your buying/selling.
1. Less Complicated, Easy & Simple:
It does not matter what kind of product you are selling in the market, make sure your website offers the easiest way to buy it. Putting in too much of information will only annoy your user. Everything should be clean and crispy enough for the buyer to understand. Obviously, you will have images and advantages of product to display, just make sure that you display them wisely. Create a hierarchy first and then display things over your website. Remember, simplicity is the key here. Visitors will buy stuff only when they do not have to go through a complicated procedure.
In an e-commerce business, search tools are crucial and thus you must provide the best e-commerce search tool for your website. The search must be accurate and yield precise results. Any inaccuracies in the search results can create aching problems while shopping, making it very difficult to make a purchase.
2. Provide Quality Images:
Selling of your products depends a lot on the way you present them. Make sure that you upload quality images of your product. They will attract the visitor and only then he would want to buy your product. If you will not display quality images, do not expect visitors to buy it because when it comes to online shopping, pictures play a major role.
3. Username OR Email Address?
While buying a product, users’ will have to create an account on your website. Make sure you allow them to use their email address in order to login rather than insisting them for a username. Usernames are not easy to remember, email addresses are. This might sound a very simple and ordinary practice but this will definitely help you a lot.
4. Product Details:
When a customer visits your website, be sure to provide him all the necessary detail related to products. You should leave no stone unturned, which means a customer should not leave your website with so many questions in his mind. If I was visiting a store physically, I will have a sales man right in front of me to guide me about the product. Your website should act as a sales man.
5. Visible Contact Information:
Your contact information should always be clearly visible and easily accessible. A customer should be able to contact you as soon as he faces a problem or even has a question. If a customer has to make an effort to look for your contact information in order to be able to get in touch with you, you do not have a very user friendly eCommerce website.
6. Convenient Cart Page:
When it comes to a cart page, give your customer a free hand. You should not restrict him from making changes. He should be able to make changes, remove anything if he wants too. The design and features of a cart page will obviously be according to the kind of products you deal in but whatever it is, allow your customer to make changes. He should not have to refresh the page or go back and forth for every minor change.
7. Search Field:
It is very important to have a search field in your eCommerce website. Not only this, a user should be able to access search field from every page. A lot of visitors will be search oriented and instead of digging into your website to find a desired product, they would want to search for it directly. So make sure your website’s search feature works properly. Also, do not forget to add images in your search results. A lot of online buyers are more interested in images first.
8. Recommended Items:
Your eCommerce website needs to have ‘Recommended Item’ feature. With every product, you can display other related/relevant items. This practice will help you in raising your sales bar.
9. Avoid Hidden Charges:
If you really want your eCommerce website to be a successful one, make sure you do not deceive your customers. Product charges, payment method and delivery charges; everything should be mentioned clearly and once the product has been purchased, there should be no hidden charges. If you do this, you will lose a loyal customer forever.
10. Payment Options:
If you want everyone to purchase, make sure you provide them will multiple payment options. PayPal is not available everywhere and not everyone uses the credit card. Research on the payment methods available and then try to give your customers as much options as possible.
11. Simple and Easy Form:
Order processing for should be simple and easy. Only ask for the important and necessary information. Asking for too much of redundant information will frustrate the customer.
Mobile eCommerce Websites:
Thanks to the smartphones, eCommerce websites are being accessed via mobiles as well. So you need to have a mobile version as well. Although, the practices are pretty much same to web ones, let us still take a look at best practices for mobile versions of eCommerce websites.
- As mentioned above, on mobile version you should have a search field which is easily accessible.
- Social networking websites are being accessed via mobiles like anything so make sure that social media websites are an essential part of your eCommerce website.
- Make sure you design a responsive website so that it is functional on all devices.
Above mentioned are just a few but the most important practices for running an eCommerce website successfully. You will find a drastic change in your Sales if you follow the practices mentioned above. Please feel free to share with us your ideas and suggestions regarding a successful eCommerce website.
Thanks so much for these insightful and helpful tips and info! as a designer I try my best to make sure that sites are pleasurable to use and easy to navigate, as well as look good. Mike.