As with any brick and mortar store, appearance is absolutely vital to your online store. Your products may be the best on the market, and you may have stellar customer service, but a poorly designed store page will push potential customers away faster than any other shortcomings you may have.
When it comes to store design, many entrepreneurs believe the only major factor in attracting visitors and creating sales is the visual appearance of the site itself. The color scheme, logo design, and product photos all play a major role in attracting customers, however there are many other factors that should be considered when creating your store. For example, a beautiful store with complex navigation will frustrate customers in the long-run, no matter how attractive they may find the site upon their first visit. Once your visitor has begun to search for the product that best suits their needs, they’ll become frustrated if there is no easy way to navigate to and from that product. Because of this, it’s crucial that your store have optimized navigation, in order to give your site visitors an optimal stay while at your site. Include categories, and use a hierarchical design to organize your menus and pages.
Navigation is particularly key for visitors stopping by your site to browse your products, but some customers will want to search for a more specific product, rather than look for it among your store’s categories. If a customer comes to your store searching for an item and they cannot find a search bar, it’s easy to see why they may immediately leave your site. Your search bar should be visible as soon as visitors reach your store. Make it clear that your store has a search option available for your customers so they do not have to spend time looking for it. In addition, your search bar should be easy to use and should provide accurate, clear results that will suit the needs of your customers. Including product filters is one of the best ways to help your customers find what they need. Whether you sell clothes, toys, books, or tools, product filters will be very valuable to your customers as they reduce the time necessary for them to find what they want. This will help you to convert more site visitors into customers.
Part of your store’s design comes from how you display your products, both visually and verbally. Not only should your products be represented with carefully curated images, positioned in organized, hierarchical rows and columns, but they should be represented by reviews and ratings as well. Your store should appear trustworthy from the very moment your site visitors click your link, and part of this trustworthiness comes from testimonials and reviews. Highlight your best products on your home page, and include reviews and testimonials to give the products credibility. This will catch the eye of your site visitors, and will encourage them to purchase your product. In addition to testimonials, you may want to show how many others have purchased the product in order to build trust with your customer. Each of these factors plays a major role in the design of your store, as well as in your conversion rate.
Making the shopping experience easy for the customer is crucial to high conversion rates, and part of the shopping process is the checkout page – in fact, the checkout page may be the most important part of the shopping experience for most customers. In today’s eCommerce market, many sites demand that customers create an account with their store prior to finalizing their purchase. This benefits you as the store owner, but many customers want to purchase their product hassle-free. Despite the benefits you may be offering if your customer decides to sign up with your store, a mandatory sign-up prior to purchase will likely annoy many customers no matter what the situation may be. Make your checkout process seamless, allowing customers to make their purchase without the need create an account. In addition, the checkout process should be streamlined, bringing multiple steps of the process to a single page. Checkout pages should not have many distractions, as you’ll want your customer to make their purchase as quickly as possible. This cuts down on cart abandonment, and will lead to overall customer satisfaction.
Remember that your store is a tool, and should be used as such. It’s your store and you have the freedom to design it in any way you choose, so make sure to design it in a way that will help your sales and improve customer satisfaction. Your store is essentially a piece of internet real estate, and by recognizing it as such, you can begin to get the most out of your place on the internet. Personalize the shopping experience for your customers by providing them with shopping suggestions and coupons, and use your home page to deliver information about sales or deals they may like. There is no “one-size fits-all” store design, but by following the tips here, you can use the design of your store to increase conversion rates and attract more loyal customers.