Oct 3, 2022 • 5 min read
Have you ever stumbled on a website or an online store and been amazed by its experience? The online business that would prioritize an experience over anything is the one that acquires customers effortlessly. After all, an online business is not just about online selling but providing unparalleled design experiences.
Let us take the example of a cult brand like Apple - Apple ranks 72nd for traffic in the category of “Computers Electronics and Technology” and won (or rather earned) second place compared to all other sites in this category globally.
Apple is the biggest trendsetter on social media and one of the leading online retailers in the design ecosystem and has influenced brands all around the globe. It’s robust business model and cutting-edge marketing strategy have paved the brand's way up to the top. The sleek, minimalist design is one of Apple’s USPs which translates to their e-commerce site as well as their products. This is what a brand should strive for - to maintain its aesthetic throughout its branding.
Everything said and done, Designing an eCommerce website is not a piece of cake. There is a lot to consider - Site load, responsiveness, user experience, strong online presence, etc. Although it is very rewarding to have a cutting-edge e-commerce website, it comes with its own set of challenges. In fact, you can check out our blog on how to create a killer website in a few steps to see how you can outshine your competitor's web presence.
We get a lot of queries regarding e-commerce sites, and a lot of folks to this day consider it a grey area. The other day we got an email from one of our dear readers and the crux of that email was “Amazon is a pro at selling products and has built its global online presence. Almost everyone on the face of this planet is aware of how greatly amazon has influenced the e-commerce culture. How can I, someone who holds sole proprietorship and does dropshipping business, reach 1/4th of its heights?” So basically, this small business has an e-commerce online store and despite the truckloads of effort into campaigns and investment into marketing tools, they are still not seeing any elevation in their web presence and performance.
We get a lot of inquiries like these - How to sell on Amazon, How to become like amazon, How to properly facilitate an online shopping portal, and whatnot. This is what compelled us to write a dedicated blog on the guidelines and principles of creating an e-commerce website so if you want to know how to create one that would genuinely elevate your conversion rate, you are at the right place!
Why is eCommerce important?
Well, before we dive deeper into the best practices for creating an eCommerce website, let us talk about why it has become indispensable. The Internet has massively changed the way we function. The capability to shop from the comfort of your home is like no other! Online shopping helps you get what you want while avoiding unnecessary traffic jams, parking tickets, expenditure on fuel, etc. With Cash on Delivery options, sceptical shoppers can also leverage online shopping. eCommerce Websites, from the brand's perspective, also represent it 24/7 without any geographical barrier, even during holidays.
Unlike retail shopping, one can read reviews by past customers on the product they want to buy so they can be completely satisfied and convinced before placing their order. Taking into account the negative impact of the pandemic, retail businesses suffered great losses but e-commerce truly never stopped. It may have paused for a while but it definitely did not lose its charm. Have a look at our curated list of best practices to create an eCommerce website :
Unlike retail sales, your e-commerce store’s only point of sale is through pictures, videos, and other media. This is a great opportunity to showcase your product in the best light. By using high-quality media like 360-degree views of pictures, enhancive bright colors in videos and 3D models. No matter how many marketing campaigns you run, if you don’t have high-quality media supporting your claims, you are less likely to sell. You can see a few examples on Pinterest of brands that follow this approach.
The other day I was shopping for a foundation from a beauty e-commerce store's product pages, They had a whole 360-degree view of each of their product, a 10x zoom feature on the shades, and a dedicated shade card that was shot in 4k on each, and every skin tone so the user can pick and choose what skin tone he/she is the closest to and a filter that lets the brand pick the most suitable shade for their skin tone. Awesome right? That is why e-commerce stores are widely loved by people around the world.
Using high-quality media does wonders for not just your brand, but it makes the user satisfied and overjoyed by the pictures!
Hierarchy is very important as it classifies what kind of information, be it imagery or content is prioritized in the order of importance. The most important pieces of information have to be on the top of the page, preferably the upper fold.
Modern-day users have very short attention spans. According to Statisticbrain.com, eight seconds is the average person's attention span and only 28% of words are read on an average Website. Instead of wasting time and money creating text-only Web pages, reduce the text and use attention-grabbing items such as videos, images, and bullet points.
Through visual and content hierarchy, a designer has the power to guide the user to the focal points of the website. The navigation becomes seamless and the user can easily be directed toward taking the desired action. This can be done through various structure visual facets - eg: Menu options that ease the tasks of the person and navigate them right to the call of action.
There are many building blocks to visual hierarchy in an eCommerce website design - Size, Color, Contrast, Proximity, Negative Space, Repetition, etc. In User Interface Designing, an efficient visual hierarchy supplements your marketing efforts tenfold by keeping your target market informed and enhancing brand recall. So for your e-commerce web design to create a benchmark, it is key to structure pages to reduce the bounce rate, minimize confusion and showcase your abilities in a way that provides value to their being.
Effective communication should be consistent throughout the website. In no circumstance should a user feel that he is confused in any of your product category in his journey. You must create a unique identity that would be translated into your website. This is where a lot of brands fizzle out as they start an eCommerce business in hopes that selling of goods online would be easy, totally oblivious to the fact that it would take consistent branding efforts to go a long way.
In the e-commerce design landscape, you only have one chance to portray your true, authentic self to your audience and convince them that you can add value to their life. It is not just about online sale or buying and selling of goods and services but rather creating an everlasting connection with the audience.
So doing everything in your power to make the user spend as much time on your website as possible should be your goal. How can you do that, you may be wondering? Well, by consistent communication that corresponds with your product/service, reflects them, and resonates with your brand.
Storytelling is another way to leverage this, you can check out our blog on How storytelling enhances your branding efforts to know the ins and outs of branding. To evoke a strong brand recall and stand out from competitors, one needs to make sure that its corporate identity resonates with its offerings and mission.
Although branding consistency is vital to your branding, make sure to not be too self-indulged. The main mission here would be to communicate why you built this brand and how it will benefit the end consumer. Around this you can create a solid brand messaging that will enhance your efforts in building a strong e-commerce presence.
If we talk about the 2000’s era, every single person used to view websites from a standard viewport of a desktop so designers created website layouts keeping those dimensions in consideration.
Most people nowadays shop online from their mobile phones. There are so many smartphones available in the market that you would lose count. The viewports of a person visiting an e-commerce website on an iPhone 5 vs a person visiting an e-commerce website on a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra are poles apart and a standard sizing for such devices will lead to either cramming or heaps of white space! This is where Responsiveness comes into play.
In plain and simple terms, Responsive UI and web designs are practices and principles to create web pages that look great across all devices. It also automatically adjusts for various viewports as well as screen sizes. This will ensure that you have an ideal viewer experience across all devices.
This saves the designer or a developer the hassle of creating innumerable versions of a website which in theory is only possible to a certain extent while ensuring that the person viewing your website gets an optimal user experience.
In today’s world, you can build a good responsive website through a website builder, no need for coding! Just pick one of the best no-code website builders and build a hero section that converts. Nowadays, emerging technologies like Content Management Systems and No-code Website Builders offer you the functionalities to leverage digital experiences by creating powerful and functional websites.
The human mind is pretty complex and seeks validation for completing a purchase, especially in an e-commerce store as one can not physically see the product in reality. Even if your brand is a great brand overall, if you do not have customers to back it up, your efforts will not suffice.
There are many societies and cultures in the world that hold word of mouth in the biggest regard. If a relative or friend has tried something and they have found it useful, they are bound to try your product and offerings.
Social proofing can come in form of customer reviews, testimonials for your brand, mentions in the press, probably some awards that your brand won, and mainly just information about your brand that creates buzz. Apric Studio being an e-commerce agency would recommend you to go check out Apric’s Instagram Page to see how much emphasis we give to social proofing.
Some companies go ham with their efforts for social proofing that it ends up looking like self-promotion and defeats the overall intention. You do not want to do that. Pick what would make the most impact out of the social proofing methods mentioned above and roll with it.
In an ideal world, a customer would land on your e-commerce website, make a sale without the hassle and call it a day. In the real world, however, it does not work that way! Since an e-commerce store is a visual representation of your offerings, it does not satiate the quench of someone who is interested in your product/service. They need more - better experiences, robust customer service, and an assurance that your offerings will not let them down.
A user can have a lot of questions and due to our limitations as a brand, we can not answer them all on our website in the form of FAQs. That is why it is imperative to offer a multitude of ways to get in touch - some brands do it through a well-defined contact page or chatbots while others do it through linking their socials.
All in all, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy so your potential customer can contact you for any queries they have regarding your website.
Different parts of your website will have different purposes. If the User does not know that, Tell them. If you want the user to check out a collection, Clearly place a “Check New Collection” button and make the button the primary action to be performed by the user. In this day and age, with a complex user interface that does not have any call-to-action buttons, users will click away in frustration and sway toward your competitor's products or services.
As mentioned earlier, the users of today do not have a lot of free time on their hands, if they do not see what they want within a couple of minutes, they will get frustrated and click away.
Let us say you have an e-commerce store that is a thrift store that sells vintage items. I, a potential customer happens to be searching for a faux fur coat and stumbled on your website. In this case, I would be more inclined toward finding a faux fur coat rather than anything else on your website. If your website has no search and filter functionality, I prefer to not sift through multiple pages for a potential chance to find a faux fur coat. However, if you do have a search bar - It will compel me to look at your variety and most probably initiate a purchase if I like it. In this process, the consumer may want to buy a variety of products of their choice.
You also need to include browsing categories for impulse buyers who just want to scroll through and find something interesting to buy on your website. Some brands take filtering to the next level by giving the functionality to upload a photo which will then enable them to find the closest options to the picture you uploaded. Bizzare right? Even I am guilty of leveraging this functionality by uploading pictures of designer clothes and buying an option that looks closest to it.
According to the 2019 Payment Methods Report, 6% of shoppers would click away because there weren't enough payment options.
We understand that offering all payment methods and types is not possible but offering one or two limits you to users who use these options.
Conducting a thorough audience analysis and offering an assortment of payment options like Credit Card, Paypal, Debit Card, Pay Later Schemes on the basis of what your audience uses the most would be a cutting-edge strategy for any brand.
People trust what they know, especially in financial matters so offering payment types in accordance with your audience would translate to increased sales and performance.
CMS or Content Management Systems are tools that help users create, manage, and modify content on a website without the need for any specialized technical knowledge. In plain and simple words, Content Management Systems relieve you from the stress of managing and updating your website. It provides an interface to help you modify, edit, delete, and upload content directly to the website without the need for coding while simultaneously taking care of all the web infrastructure so you can concentrate on what matters the most – your customer base!
There is an array of CMS available in the market, just pick one that resonates with you and your team and integrate it! This will not only streamline your efforts but will be super effective. If you want to know which CMS to choose from, you can have a look at our blog - 20 Best Content Management Platforms in 2022!
Content Management Systems do so much more than just supplement management. They offer real-time experiences to users across all parallels to satiate their content needs. There are a lot of Content Management Systems available in the market, If you are a techie, you may have heard of popular ones like Wix, and Joomla! , Shopify, Weebly, Drupal, etc.
If you are thinking of owning an online e-commerce store, we are sure you are already aware of how important the safety and security aspect is. Let’s be real - no one on the face of this planet wants to catch a virus while browsing through a website. As a business owner or a digital marketing agency that works for a brand, it is completely your responsibility to make your website a safe space for your users. After all, doing online selling and running physical stores have lots of differences!
Be it electronic e-commerce or fashion e-commerce, Data leaks and breaches are pretty common in today’s world. This not only jeopardizes your relationship with your users but also translates to huge losses as these viruses steal and wipe off your customer data and don’t leave any traces.
An unsecured website gives off a very bad impression to users so make sure that you keep safety as your top priority while creating an e-commerce website.
E-commerce doesn’t have to be difficult…It just has to be strategic!
An eCommerce site can help unveil untapped markets along with your target customer base. We always say that eCommerce does not have to be hard for anyone, be it a local brick-and-mortar business or a fully-fledged enterprise. A well-built eCommerce site can help you reach your end goal in no time.
We have worked on multiple projects and created many websites for businesses and we have figured out that the sooner you make a decision to fix any loopholes in your e-commerce site, the sooner your brand will boom! We are talking big in terms of sold-out inventory, astronomical growth and a network of loyal buyers.
There are more than 2.14 billion digital buyers in this world, ready to spend on your offerings if you seem to provide some kind of value to their lives. Imagine just tapping into 10% of this population and what kind of magnanimous difference it can make to your brand.
We say if you’re still doubting if you should invest in an eCommerce website, look no further. We at Apric Studio are subject matter experts in the realm of websites. Want to get your website audited for free? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org get a free consultation.
If you follow all these steps to create an e-commerce website, you are sure to ace it!
Now that you are well aware of how you can create a cutting-edge e-commerce website for your brand, check out our vault of informative and fun blogs where you can derive a lot of value!
Have any questions about creating an e-commerce website? Drop us a DM on Instagram @apricweb and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
Until then, Stay tuned for our next blog! Ciao! 🙂