When the pandemic first struck, many business owners had to scramble to get online sales up and running, or risk losing out to competitors who already had an e-commerce advantage. Fast forward a year or two, and many independent retailers are finding that online sales are starting to dip, ‘abandoned cart rates’ are increasing, and in-person shopping has yet to return to pre-Covid levels. So, what’s a store owner to do? One way to get sales up is to revisit your website and make essential design changes that increase your customers’ enjoyment of their online shopping experience.
Here are our top 6 design and UX tips that we use to help increase conversion rates while improving the overall shopping experience:
1. Prioritize mobile friendly & mobile first designs
Knowing that more people now shop or browse online stores from their cell phones than from laptops/desktops, it is essential that your website is responsive and looks amazing on all devices. That means it must have mobile friendly design built in. Ensure that your fonts sizes are accessible, photos are sized properly, menus are easy to find, and everything looks clean and well-organized.
If potential customers have to expand their screens or scroll endlessly to find what they need, they will quickly skip to another site’s store to get what they need more easily.
2. A picture is worth … a lot!
If you’ve been using poor quality photos taken in bad lighting, we’re here to tell you that today is the day to stop doing that. Perhaps you use stock images that don’t quite capture actual products, or worse – your site has the dreaded “no product image”? If so, all of that is a big turn off for shoppers. Give them high quality images and detailed product descriptions so they feel more confident about their purchase and head straight to the checkout!
Here are some excellent DIY product photography tips that you or your staff can master without the need for a professional photographer.
3. Minimal navigation - for the win
Your customers want to find everything they need with as little clicks or scrolling as possible. Design your site to keep information and products orderly, searchable and minimalistic.
Leave pop-ups, crowded info and wordiness or clutter out of the equation and your customers will thank you.
4. Easy breezy checkout
Tired of seeing so many abandoned shopping carts? If you have a higher-than-average shopping cart abandonment rate, your checkout process may be too complicated. Give them an exceptional customer experience, explain each step of the process in plain language, and provide a Frequently Asked Questions section to help alleviate concerns. Resist the urge to include email sign-ups, forms, add-on items, or other distractions while they are trying to check out.
Another great tip is to ask someone (who doesn’t shop with you already) to test your site and they can walk you through their shopping experience first-hand. You’ll get great feedback that helps improve your online processes, so your customers stay happy.
5. Lightning speed
Today’s consumers have grown accustomed to ultra fast websites and get impatient when sites are too slow. That’s why your site needs to ensure every page and product image loads quickly – even 2 or 3 extra seconds can make a savvy shopper log out and move on.
6. Social media savvy
Finally, increase your online presence – and sales – with properly photographed, well-designed social media posts. This helps you to build a community of loyal followers who love to see your latest offerings, deals, tips and more. You can use free graphic design software (such as Canva) that helps you design social media templates specific to each platform. It’s important to get your photo sizing/colours/fonts just right and adhere to your branding guidelines.
Your e-commerce website is your ‘storefront’. Just as you would ensure your physical location looks clean, welcoming, styled and organized, so too should your website. With these few design upgrades, your audience will enjoy a rich user experience and come back for more.
If you don’t have the capabilities to make your own website improvements, connect with the design team at Element 6. We provide customized web and social media services so you can get what you need, and only what you need – to reach more customers and boost sales. We can’t wait to work with you.