Published on 15/10/19 by James Vjestica.
The ecommerce retail experience continues to become ever more prevalent due to the continued increase in consumers buying products online. This has led to businesses making a more conscious effort in their ecommerce presence and, more importantly, their overall website design. A professionally designed website will demonstrate that your business is trust-worthy which is essential when trying to gain custom from potential customers. If your website is poorly designed or is unclear as to what it offers, the chances are your customers will be left unimpressed and buy products elsewhere.
This article will be broken down by providing top ecommerce design tips and guide you in creating an ideal ecommerce website design for your website. Additionally, we will also provide visual examples by citing our favourite designs in 2019 from several of our clients and explain why they are outstanding.
Ok, so first thing’s first, what should you consider when designing your website?
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes
A great starting point is to take a step back and look at the project through the eyes of your customer demographic. It would be wise to browse through your competitors’ respective websites and make a note of what works well, what should be avoided and how you should implement what you wish to include. Aspects to take into account could include the overall layout, simplicity, images and branding. Several of these will be discussed further later in the article. Above all, however, keep it simple – overcomplicating the design can look busy and scare off your customers.
Once you have your website up and running, you should ideally have a fresh pair of eyes browse through your ecommerce design and critique accordingly. You can either ask a friend or even hire someone to act as a customer and provide vital feedback on what works well and what improvements could potentially be made. Once you have this information, you can make the required amendments to make your website the best version as possible.
Make sure your branding is spot on
Trust plays a huge factor when people buy products online. Most commonly, consumers actively look to purchase from established brands as these are tried, tested and ultimately more trustworthy than a business which is unfamiliar to them. Sadly, the chances are you won’t reach ‘John Lewis’ status any time soon, which is all the more reason for you to put major planning into your branding as it will be the blueprint for your business. A strong brand is more likely to be trusted by potential customers.
Devising a brand strategy for your company can be challenging as the idea is for you to be unique and stand out from your competitors. An effective technique would be to ask yourself several questions in the planning process to deter what direction your brand should take, examples could be:
What is our unique selling point?
How would I sum up our brand in three words?
What do I respond well to on the ecommerce websites I purchase from?
How do I want the tone of the website to be?
Once you have an idea of how to define your brand, you can then take that identity and infuse it into your overall design. Remember, your company brand should be at the forefront of your business plan as this will build the strong foundations to develop over the long term. Your branding will act as the DNA of your ecommerce business and the stronger this is, the more successful your conversion rate.
Choose your colour scheme carefully
When designing your website, do not underestimate the influence your colour scheme can have on your potential customers. Colours can play a major role in how your brand is perceived by others, which will be a deciding factor as to whether they will purchase from your ecommerce website or not.
The reason for this is because colours can inspire different feelings and emotions, for example, red is associated with excitement and passion while blue invokes trust. Once you understand the psychology behind colour, you can use it to your advantage to boost your conversion rate by driving sales. A great example is to ensure that your purchase buttons are red to help them stand out – it has even been found that this technique can increase conversion rates by an impressive 34%!
Colour is one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal – read further into colour psychology and decide which colours would be most beneficial for your business.
A high-resolution image paints a thousand words
Put simply, if you do not use high resolution images, your target audience will not take you seriously at all. When a potential customer visits a website, the minimum expectation is to see a quality image of the product they wish to buy. Anything less than this will lead them to leave your website and look elsewhere.
Uploading professional images of all your products – ideally shot at different angles – will look professional and will build trust among your customers. As we have already established, the more your brand is trusted, the likelier it is that customers will be willing to purchase products from you. Putting this into practice, research has shown that using relevant, high-resolution images can increase your conversion rate by a whopping 40%!
How do you go about getting these high-quality images? You can either hire a professional photographer to take the pictures for you or take them yourselves with a DSLR camera. There is no right or wrong, but if you choose the latter, make sure you have completed the required amount of research, training and practice!
Don’t be shy – show your great feedback with a testimonial section
In terms of trust signals, there aren’t many better than a strong testimonial section. A testimonial section acts as evidence for potential customers to read that you offer quality products and generally conduct yourself professionally. These testimonial sections can be created several ways, including:
- Creating a testimonial page on your website
- Using ‘Google Reviews’
- Using third party review websites such as ‘reviews.co.uk’
There is no right or wrong in terms of which approach you take. However, there is nothing wrong with using more than one – you can never have enough good feedback! However, you should be aware that there is nothing to stop customers from writing a bad review as that wouldn’t be fair. In other words, you should set up your testimonial section(s) once you are confident that your ecommerce business is fully optimised while offering quality products and service.
Be organised with a navigation bar and product filter
A navigation bar is a must if you want your website to be as user friendly as possible for your potential customers. A product filter can also be used to further specify searches if the customer wishes. Focussing on the former, a navigation bar allows users to easily manoeuvre through a website to find what they are looking for. This menu should remain constant across either the top or the side of the website to ensure it is always visible.
Remember, we stress that you want the navigation bar to be user friendly and for this reason we strongly advise that you avoid loading up too many options, as doing so could be too cluttered and lead to confusion. In order to avoid this potential obstacle, if you have a vast range of products, you can use a drop-down menu to organise your categories easier.
Once one of these categories are visited by a potential customer, you can also include a product filter to further specify their search. This saves them from scrolling through all your products by allowing them the option to find exactly what they are looking for. These parameters can include aspects such as price range, colour, size, brand and fit among others. Putting this into practice, an example could be a male user looking for a red, medium shirt in a slim fit. These boxes can then be ticked and all the products that fit this description will be shown. The simpler you make your website to use, the less chance there will be of your potential customers leaving your website after initial visit and causing you the headache of having a high bounce rate.
Great eCommerce Examples 2019
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some great examples of website design from several of our clients:
WoolOvers – Brilliant Branding
WoolOvers have clearly invested a significant amount of time into their branding strategy. Once arriving on their homepage, it is clear to see that their niche market is knitwear from the high-resolution images that they use of knitwear products and their tagline ‘Natural Knitwear Experts Since 1989’. The high-resolution images are used throughout the website and are shown for each product. These images are also taken in such a way that they provide ideas as to occasions when they can be worn.
In terms of the colour scheme, the header and footer use a shade of green while the remainder of the site has a lot of white space and neutral text. This is used consistently throughout the website and essentially portrays an image of being fresh and energetic which makes it easy on the eye. The text is also consistent throughout the website as the font ‘Nordic Nights’ is used which looks both professional while also helping to maintain the friendly tone.
These features combine effectively to create a solid, individual brand for WoolOvers. Due to this, the website looks professional and is therefore likely to evoke a feeling of trust among their target audience and potential customers. WoolOvers’ website is a great example of how simple features such as images, colour scheme and font can help create the brand that you want.
You can visit their website at: woolovers.com
Suit Direct – Rave Reviews
Suit Direct is a great example of how to use a testimonial section to effect. In their approach, they have decided to use a third-party website (Feefo) which clearly shows how many reviews have been submitted, the overall star rating and the customer comments. This page can clearly be accessed on the Suit Direct website towards the bottom of the page with an image of the ‘Feefo’ logo which is hyperlinked to the customer review page. There are also customer quotes here to provide a preview of the testimonial which are overwhelmingly positive.
This review section acts as a major trust signal on their website as it clearly shows that the vast majority of customers have had an overall positive experience with Suit Direct. These reviews therefore help provide the image that Suit Direct is a reputable company that can be trusted for both quality products and a reliable service.
You can visit their website at: suitdirect.co.uk
You can visit their testimonial site by clicking here
Moss Bros – Outstanding Organisation
Moss Bros have optimised their navigation bar and product filter effectively as it ensures that the website is user friendly. The navigation bar has nine main options, which are broken down into sub-sections when the curser is placed over them. This allows any potential customer to see all the products associated with the respective heading e.g. ‘suits’ showing all types of suits including ‘2-piece suits’, ‘3-piece suits’, ‘business suits’ etc. This navigation bar drop-down looks tidy and does not require the user to scroll on their screen, making it simple to find the product(s) they are looking for.
In addition, the navigation drop-down also includes images of the respective sub-sections which makes this drop down interesting to look at while also providing a visual representation of each specified product. This makes it more likely to catch the attention of a potential customer for them to click on one of these links to continue their journey through the website and hopefully add products to their shopping basket.
Once one of these links are clicked on, the entire stock of that option is shown. However, to make life easier, there is a simple product filter at the top of these pages for the customer to specify their search even further. For example, this could be used to find a 42-inch chest, slim fit, grey, Hugo Boss jacket. Once these options are filled into the user’s liking, they will then be able to specialise their search to something more niche. Again, this increases the chances for the transaction rate to be higher as it provides the option for potential customers to take control and purchase a product they already have in mind.
You can visit their website at: moss.co.uk
B&Q – eCommerce Excellence
Our final case study spotlights a very successful non-fashion retailer – B&Q. This example will show how all the previously mentioned features are brought together to great effect. When browsing the site, the initial impression is that a clear branding strategy has been utilised. Right from landing on the page, you are welcomed with high-resolution images of hardware products which makes it clear what B&Q specialise in. These high-resolution images are used across the website for each product, always providing a visual representation for the potential customer.
B&Q’s logo is orange, which is a theme that runs throughout their website, which is especially the case when products are involved as the ‘add to basket’ button is always this colour. This is a smart use of colour as orange is associated with meanings such as joy, warmth, creativity and happiness which all have positive connotations. These connotations alongside the fact that the colour orange is easy on the eye combine brilliantly to create a friendly tone throughout the website. It also makes it more enticing for the customer to click on the buttons across the website.
Regarding B&Q’s testimonial sections, they have two mediums; review sections of each of their products and ‘Google Reviews’ pages for each of their stores. Focussing on the former, each product has the option to leave a review by either providing a rating out of 5 and/or provide a comment. This is effective as it provides essential feedback to both B&Q and potential customers as to how well received the product is while also showing an insight into its quality (or lack of).
The ‘Google Review’ pages are included for each of B&Q’s geographic regions. Using the Nottingham store as an example, if ‘b&q nottingham’ is searched on Google, a ‘Google Review’ section will appear on the right-hand side of the first page. This is handy for potential customers as it provides key information including the address, photos of the store and a visual location on ‘Google Maps’. Additionally, like the product review section, it allows customers to provide a star rating and/or a written review in relation to the store. Again, this is a great trust signal as it shows that the store is legitimate while also proving its reliability.
B&Q have optimised a navigation bar that is simple to use for potential customers. There are 10 main options across the top, which can be broken down into sub-categories once the curser is placed on one of them. At this point, you can see all the stock that is available within that respective main option. This navigation bar drop-down looks tidy and does not require the user to scroll on their screen, making it simple to find the product(s) they are looking for.
Interestingly, although there isn’t a product filter across the website, a filter is available on certain pages. One of these is the ‘kitchen’ page, which provides a ‘try our kitchen visualiser’ option. This provides the options of the layout, style and colour of your potential kitchen. Once you click on one of these, you are taken to a visual representation as though you are stood in the kitchen itself. You can then click on edit buttons to further edit your kitchen mock-up, such as amending the cabinets, worktops, flooring and walls. This is a great feature as it allows the potential customer to uniquely interact with the site by essentially being their own interior designer – a fantastic USP that not every hardware store offers.
These features combine effectively and cohesively to create a consistent, unique brand for B&Q. Due to this, the website looks professional and has a great range of quality trust signals that will no doubt evoke this emotion among their target audience and potential customers. B&Q’s website is a great example of how simple features such as images and colour scheme along with having their own USP in the form of a digital kitchen design option can all combine to assist in creating a high-quality ecommerce experience.
You can visit their website at: diy.com
Why Choose Remarkable Commerce?
Are you looking for a new ecommerce design for your website or require one designing from scratch? We are a specialist eCommerce software vendor with a highly experienced team of developers. Established in 1999, our track record has proven that our expertise achieves outstanding commercial results as we work with some of the most prestigious names in the retail industry including Moss Bros, Jeff Banks and Style Library.
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