What are the best practices for ecommerce website design in the UK?
If you’re a web designer, agency or an ecommerce website owner yourself; these tips should come in handy as they are just as relevant to professionals and newbies alike.
Even taking five minutes to read part of this article (bookmark the rest for later) and tackling a couple of these issues can help get you ahead of the competition. Simply Optimising your ecommerce website imagery can help your customer journey and help conversion rates.
Optimise your product imagery
Product imagery is a crucial aspect of eCommerce website design as it plays a significant role in influencing the purchasing decision of the customers. The visual representation of your products on your website’s design, can either attract or repel your potential customers.
Therefore, it is crucial to optimize your product imagery to enhance the user experience and increase your conversion rates.
How you should optimise your product images
High-Quality Images: Your product images should be of high quality to showcase the details and features of your products accurately. Use high-resolution images with a minimum of 1000 pixels in height or width. Customers want to see what they are buying, and blurry images can discourage them from making a purchase.
Consistent Image Size: Use a consistent image size for all your products to maintain the aesthetics of your website. When you use the same image size, it creates a sense of uniformity and makes your website look professional. It also makes it easier for customers to browse through your products.
Multiple Angles: Provide multiple angles of your products to give your customers a better view of the product. This helps customers make informed decisions about the product and can reduce the chances of returns or complaints.
Zoom Feature: Incorporate a zoom feature on your product images to allow customers to zoom in and view the product details. This is especially important for products with intricate details or small features that customers want to see before making a purchase.
Lifestyle Images: Include lifestyle images of your products to showcase how they can be used in real-life situations. This helps customers to visualise how the product can fit into their lives and can increase the chances of a purchase.
Consistent Background: Use a consistent background for your product images to maintain consistency and a professional look. A white background is commonly used in eCommerce websites as it provides a neutral backdrop that highlights the product.
Optimising your product imagery is a vital aspect of eCommerce website design. High-quality images, consistent image size, multiple angles, zoom feature, lifestyle images, and a consistent background are some of various elements of the best practices to consider for improving the user experience and increasing conversions on your eCommerce website.
Help Users Discover What They Need on the Home Page
The home page is the first point of contact for users when they visit your eCommerce product listings website. It is crucial to make a good first impression and help users discover what they need quickly and easily.
Clear Navigation: Provide clear navigation on the home page that directs users to the different categories and sections of your website. This helps users quickly find what they are looking for and reduces the chances of them leaving your website.
Search Bar: Incorporate a search bar on the home page to allow users to search for specific products or keywords. Make sure the search bar is visible and prominently placed on the home page.
Featured Products: Showcase your featured or best-selling products on the home page to grab users’ attention and encourage them to explore your website further. You can also provide recommendations based on their browsing and purchase history to personalise their experience.
Deals and Discounts: Highlight any ongoing deals, discounts or promotions on the home page to attract users and encourage them to make a purchase. You can use banners or pop-ups to draw attention to these offers.
User Reviews: Display user reviews and ratings on the home page to provide social proof and build trust with your potential customers. Positive reviews can encourage users to make a purchase, while negative reviews can help you improve your products and services.
Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure that your home page is mobile responsive and adapts to different screen sizes. With the increasing use of mobile devices for online shopping, it is crucial to provide a seamless experience across all devices.
In conclusion, helping users discover what they need on the e commerce store home page is an essential aspect of eCommerce website design in the UK. Clear navigation, search bar, featured products, deals and discounts, user reviews, and mobile responsiveness are some of the best practices to consider for improving the user experience and increasing conversions on your eCommerce website.
Simple search function. This can really improve your online purchases
One of the key elements of a successful eCommerce website is a simple search function. A well-designed search function can greatly improve the user experience and make it easier for customers to find the products they are looking for.
Why you should have a simple search function
Time-Saving: A simple search function allows customers to quickly find what they are looking for without having to browse through multiple pages or categories. This saves time and enhances the user experience.
Convenience: Customers appreciate the convenience of being able to search for products on the website. A simple search function makes it easier for them to find what they need, which can increase the likelihood of a purchase.
Accuracy: A well-designed search function provides accurate search results based on the user’s search query. This reduces the chances of customers getting frustrated and leaving the website.
Personalisation: A simple search function can be personalised based on the user’s search history and preferences. This can help customers discover new products and make relevant recommendations.
Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices for online shopping, a simple search function that is mobile responsive is crucial for eCommerce websites in the UK. This ensures that customers can easily search for products on their mobile devices without any hassle.
Improved Conversion Rates: A simple search function that provides accurate and relevant search results can greatly improve conversion rates. Customers who can easily find what they need are more likely to make a purchase, which can increase revenue for the eCommerce website.
In conclusion, a simple search function is a crucial aspect of eCommerce website design in the UK. It saves time, provides convenience, improves accuracy, offers personalisation, is mobile responsive and can improve conversion rates. eCommerce websites that incorporate a well-designed search function are more likely to provide a positive user experience and increase revenue.
Create a Convenient Content Taxonomy
A content taxonomy refers to the way your eCommerce website categorizes and organizes its products and information. It is important to have a well-structured and convenient content taxonomy as it helps customers find what they need quickly and easily.
Organize by Categories: Organize your products into clear and distinct categories that are easy to navigate. This helps customers find what they need faster and reduces the likelihood of them leaving your website.
Use Subcategories: Use subcategories to further refine and narrow down the search results. This helps customers find products that match their specific needs and preferences.
Use Descriptive Names: Use descriptive and clear names for your categories and subcategories. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that customers may not understand.
Provide Filters: Provide filters such as price range, colour, size, and brand to help customers narrow down their search results. This makes it easier for them to find what they need and reduces the chances of them leaving your website.
Create Landing Pages: Create landing pages for your categories and subcategories that provide an overview of the products available. This helps customers quickly scan and browse the available options.
Incorporate Search Functionality: Incorporate a search function that allows customers to search for products based on keywords, brands, or categories. This makes it easier for them to find what they need quickly.
Creating a convenient content taxonomy is crucial for larger eCommerce websites in the UK. By organizing products into clear categories and subcategories, using descriptive names, providing filters, creating landing pages, and incorporating search functionality, you can help customers find what they need quickly and easily. This enhances the user experience (UX), improves engagement, and increases the likelihood of a purchase.
Coupon codes. Offering a promotion is a staple to improve sales
Coupon codes are a popular promotional tool used by eCommerce websites in the UK to drive sales and increase customer loyalty.
Why you should use discount codes and coupons
Attract New Customers: Offering coupon codes is an effective way to attract new customers to your eCommerce website. People are always on the lookout for a good deal, and a coupon code can be the deciding factor for them to make a purchase from your website instead of a competitor.
Increase Sales: Coupon codes can help increase sales and revenue for your eCommerce website. By offering a discount, customers may be more likely to purchase products that they were previously on the fence about.
Encourage Repeat Business: Coupon codes can also be used to encourage repeat business from existing customers. By offering them a discount on their next purchase, you can incentivize them to return to your website and make another purchase.
Track Marketing Campaigns: Coupon codes can be used to track the success of your marketing campaigns. By creating unique coupon codes for different campaigns, you can see which ones are generating the most sales and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Improve Customer Loyalty: Offering coupon codes can improve customer loyalty and help build long-term relationships with your customers. Customers appreciate feeling valued and rewarded, and a coupon code can do just that.
Generate Social Media Buzz: Offering coupon codes can also generate social media buzz and increase your brand’s visibility online. Customers are more likely to share a good deal with their friends and followers, which can lead to increased traffic and sales for your eCommerce website.
Offering coupon codes is a staple for improving sales for eCommerce websites in the UK. They can attract new customers, increase sales, encourage repeat business, track marketing campaigns, improve customer loyalty, and generate social media buzz. By incorporating coupon codes into your marketing strategy, you can increase revenue and grow your customer base.
Essential e-commerce user experience tips
Creating an exceptional user experience is crucial for the success of any eCommerce website.
Main points for UX
Simplify Navigation: Keep your navigation menu simple and easy to use. Customers should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
Optimize for Mobile: More and more customers are using their mobile devices to browse and shop online. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices, with responsive design, fast loading times, and easy-to-use mobile menus.
Ensure Fast Loading Times: Slow loading times can cause frustration and lead to customers leaving your website. Make sure your website loads quickly to improve the user experience.
Provide High-Quality Images: High-quality images can help customers make informed decisions and improve their overall experience on your website. Make sure your product images are clear, well-lit, and show the product from different angles.
Simplify the Checkout Process: The checkout process should be simple, quick, and easy to use. Customers should be able to complete the checkout process in just a few clicks, without having to enter too much information.
Offer Multiple Payment Options: Offer multiple payment options, such as credit cards, PayPal, or Apple Pay, to cater to different customer preferences.
Display Customer Reviews: Displaying customer reviews can help build trust with potential customers and improve their confidence in making a purchase from your website.
Provide Excellent Customer Service: Excellent customer service is key to improving the user experience on your website. Make sure you have a clear contact page with phone numbers, email addresses, and chatbots for customers to get in touch.
Creating an exceptional user experience is essential for the success of any eCommerce website in the UK. By simplifying website navigation, optimizing for mobile, ensuring fast loading times, providing high-quality images, simplifying the checkout process, offering multiple payment options, displaying customer reviews, and providing excellent customer service, you can improve the user experience and increase sales on your website.
Easy navigation will increase sales
Easy navigation is essential for any eCommerce website in the UK. A well-organized navigation menu can help customers quickly find what they are looking for and lead to increased sales.
Easy navigation benefits
Improve User Experience: Easy navigation improves the user experience by allowing customers to find what they need quickly and efficiently. Customers are more likely to stay on your website and make a purchase if they can easily find what they are looking for.
Increase Sales: Easy navigation can lead to increased sales by making it easy for customers to find and purchase products. Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they can quickly find what they need without having to search for it.
Reduce Bounce Rates: A poorly organized navigation menu can lead to high bounce rates, where customers leave your website without making a purchase. By improving navigation, you can reduce bounce rates and increase the likelihood of customers making a purchase.
Improve SEO: A well-organized navigation menu can also improve SEO by making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website. This can lead to higher search engine rankings and increased organic traffic.
Enhance Brand Image: Easy navigation can enhance your brand image by showing that you care about your customers and want to provide them with a positive user experience. A well-organized navigation menu can make your website look more professional and trustworthy.
Increase Customer Loyalty: Easy navigation can also increase customer loyalty by making it easy for customers to find what they need and return to your website for future purchases. Customers appreciate websites that are easy to use and will be more likely to return to your website if they have a positive experience.
In conclusion, easy navigation is crucial for the success of any eCommerce website in the UK. It improves the user experience, increases sales, reduces bounce rates, improves SEO, enhances brand image, and increases customer loyalty. By focusing on improving navigation, you can create a better user experience and increase sales on different pages of your website.
Minimise Form Fields at Checkout Page
The checkout page is a critical part of any eCommerce website in the UK, as it is where customers make their final purchase decision. One factor that can impact the success of the checkout page is the number of form fields customers are required to fill out.
Benefits of minimising form fields
Improve User Experience: Minimizing form fields improves the user experience by making the checkout process quick and easy. Customers are more likely to complete the purchase if they do not have to spend a lot of time filling out unnecessary form fields.
Reduce Abandoned Carts: Lengthy checkout forms can lead to higher cart abandonment rates, where customers leave your website without completing the purchase. By minimizing form fields, you can reduce abandoned carts and increase the likelihood of customers completing the purchase.
Increase Conversions: Minimizing form fields can increase conversions by making the checkout process quick and easy. Customers are more likely to complete the purchase if they can do it in just a few clicks.
Improve Trust: Minimizing form fields can also improve trust with customers by showing that you respect their time and privacy. Customers may be hesitant to provide too much personal information, so minimizing form fields can help build trust and increase customer confidence in your website.
Reduce Errors: Lengthy checkout forms can also lead to more errors, as customers may make mistakes when filling out unnecessary form fields. By minimizing form fields, you can reduce the likelihood of errors and make the checkout process smoother for customers.
Minimizing form fields at checkout is essential for the success of any eCommerce website in the UK. It improves the user experience, reduces abandoned carts, increases conversions, improves trust, and reduces errors. By focusing on minimizing form fields, you can create a smoother checkout process and increase sales on your website.
Encourage customers to review your products
Customer reviews can be a powerful tool for any eCommerce site in the UK. They provide social proof to potential customers, build trust, and help improve search engine rankings.
Benefits of product reviews
Build Trust: Customer reviews build trust with potential customers by providing social proof. Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they see positive reviews from other customers who have already purchased the product.
Improve Search Engine Rankings: Customer reviews can also improve search engine rankings by providing fresh, user-generated content. Search engines value user-generated content, so having customer reviews on your website can help improve your website’s visibility in search results.
Increase Sales: Positive customer reviews can increase sales by providing social proof and convincing potential customers to make a purchase. Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they see positive reviews from other customers who have already purchased the product.
Identify Areas for Improvement: Customer reviews can also help eCommerce websites identify areas for improvement. By reading customer reviews, websites can see what customers like and dislike about the product and make improvements accordingly.
Enhance Customer Engagement: Encouraging customers to review products can also enhance customer engagement. By giving customers the opportunity to share their opinions, eCommerce websites can create a sense of community and encourage repeat purchases.
To encourage customers to review products, eCommerce websites can send follow-up emails after a purchase, offering incentives such as discounts or free shipping for leaving a review. Websites can also make it easy for customers to leave reviews by including a review section on the product page and providing clear instructions on how to leave a review.
To create effective product videos, eCommerce websites should focus on the product’s features and benefits and keep the videos short and engaging. Websites can also use product videos to showcase how the product is used in real-life situations or in a demonstration format.
Whilst not a high priority for a web store, it can be a great converting tool for things like custom printed graphics for a motocross bike with a video showing a gleaming custom graphic on a bike slow motion riding past the screen.
On the other hand, something like a simple DIY tool may not do the trick. Videos are great for social media marketing however.
FAQs for Products
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sections are an essential and valuable addition to any eCommerce store. An FAQ section can provide customers with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions and can also save time for customer support teams.
Benefits of an FAQ section
Provide Information: An FAQ section can provide customers with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions. It can help customers better understand the product’s features, pricing, shipping options, and return policies.
Save Time: An FAQ section can also save time for customer support teams by providing answers to common questions. This can reduce the number of inquiries and support tickets, allowing customer support teams to focus on more complex issues.
Improve Customer Experience: An FAQ section can also improve the overall customer experience by providing a convenient and easy-to-use resource. Customers appreciate having the information they need readily available and can lead to increased customer loyalty.
Increase Sales: An FAQ section can also increase sales by addressing any concerns or questions customers may have about the product. This can help customers feel more confident in their purchase decision and can lead to increased sales.
Boost SEO: An FAQ section can also help boost search engine optimization (SEO) by providing fresh, informative content. Search engines value informative content, so having an FAQ section on your website can help improve your website’s visibility in search results.
To create an effective FAQ section, eCommerce websites should focus on answering the most common questions customers have about the product. Websites can also use visual aids such as images and videos to better illustrate the answers to these questions. It’s also essential to ensure the FAQ section is easy to find and navigate.
How much does it cost to build an e-commerce website?
This is a full article by itself, click here for costs of building an e-commerce website
Obviously there are self-built options and some are solid, however you’ll end up with a mediocre site at best. Sorry, it’s the truth….
That’s before we start talking about everything else involved like content, UX, ads, social media campaigns, responsiveness, functionalities, payment gateways, copy, user-intent. I’ve attended a couple of meetups of online business owners and there’s always people within earshot talking about how their Shopify site was easy to use but it hasn’t gone anywhere……
Website creation has become a lot easier, however the extras behind the scenes have become more complicated by a factor of ten for every little bit of user-friendliness that web design now entails. That goes double for e-commerce.
Mobile App: A good extra if you expect repeat orders
An online store is a questionable choice for an app. It comes down to how many online sales you expect to get from each customer.
Yes, most people use a mobile device for browsing the web and completing most actions, even purchasing. However app development is costly and can be very awkward to implement. We often try to dissuade our clients from choosing such an extra.
It seems like such an obvious advantage however it does not seem to do much to entice potential buyers unless it’s a frequent, repeat order product like weekly meal plans prepared by a local fitness eatery.
Good UX design, good images for mobile phones and a loyalty program is much more effective for most other use cases. We can provide an app, but it is costly and one we are very careful to agree to provide, don’t overestimate how enthusiastic your DIY store customers are about buying your concrete.
Make it easy for your customers to pay and spread the cost
Payment options are a great way to enhance your conversion rate and convert a potential customer into a real one. People are sketchy about trusting a website with their payment details and even though I know it’s not that much of a concern, I still harbour such paranoia too.
Our favourite solution is a great, big yellow and orange Amazon pay button. This means that instead of having to drag yourself around the house and find a bank card which translates into more people not bothering to complete the order, they can instead hit the Amazon pay option which automatically loads their Amazon app and pays using their trusted brand.
They never have to worry about trusting you with their bank details. This = more completed orders.
Another interesting idea is allowing someone to spread the cost over several months. This is only really a consideration if you have products starting with a triple digit price tag.
It does however convince more people to buy your product.
Related product pages are an easy addition and a no-brainer. How often have you been browsing Amazon or Ebay and seen the “people who liked this also liked” slider of products? It’s enticing and an easy way to at least keep people on your e commerce site.
Let users compare products
This is a special use case for when two or more products have similar attributes and one may be a choice over another. Such as sofas where people would like to see them side by side and see the dimensions to decide which takes their fancy.
This can be awkward to set-up and can add to the website price and software, so think carefully before you decide you need this. It’s easy to trick yourself into how amazing your brand is to your customers and so you decide to throw everything at it when all people want is a phone case.
On that last note, I’ve picked the brains of experts and consultants(people who get paid stupid amounts of money to tell you how crap your business is) and a recurring theme I’ve seen is people overestimating how great and impressive their brand should be.
If you’re selling a high end vodka, then yes go for all the bells and whistles and sports cars in the imagery.
If however you are selling basic t-shirts, the website design and product presentation should have more simplicity as people just want a simple product and to go about their day. They don’t care for how the £6 t-shirt was woven from cotton strands that were each individually hand-rolled in Italian oils by supermodels. Be honest with yourself at what level your brand is and stick to it.
We offer complete ecommerce website design packages with optional extras and payment methods. Get in touch if you want to get started today.