Ask any retailer and they’ll tell you how difficult it is to actually sell a product, even when a customer can see, touch and try it on. Today, with the emergence of ecommerce, the task of a retail salesman has just got a lot tougher.
That is why, your ecommerce site must work extra-hard to make browsing, choosing and buying a product super-easy. So that, the customer ends up buying even though they hadn’t intended to do so in the first place.
In order to sell, I mean really sell, you must invest time and money to create a website that is engaging, attractive and super user-friendly. But I know that it is easier said than done. That is exactly why I am putting down the must-have essential features for your website. Trust me, you cannot go wrong if you inculcate these features into your online store. So whether you are just starting out with a new business, or interested to maximize your productivity on your existing site, you need to know what sets great ecommerce sites apart from the good ones.
Essentially, it all boils down to creating a great User Experience (UE) on ecommerce product pages. As you must be knowing, an effective User Experience (UE) needs relevant, useful information designed neatly – that takes the user seamlessly through the buying process.
Here are some design elements that will make your ecommerce website rock like never before, and which you need to break through the ecommerce clutter.
1. Descriptive Product Names for Your Online Product Pages:
Descriptive Product Names will give more clarity to the customer as well as boost Search Engine Optimization for your ecommerce website. For instance, ’24 Carat Gold Ring’ gives more clarity than just ‘Gold Ring.’ The name must also be unique or else it will make finding them through search, really difficult.
2. Killer Homepage:
With an ecommerce site, you need to make your homepage the most attractive. You can do so, one, by making it visually mind-blowing and second, by putting your best product and product features upfront in a captivating manner. Whether it’s a piece of clothing or the latest gadget you are selling, you should convey your USP right off the bat.
Image Source: patagonia.com
As you can see from Patagonia’s homepage above, both the compelling visual and message proclaiming their strength of having a corner on the market are upfront, so that visitors are instantly hooked. Additionally, their free shipping offer is there to drive sales. Further, to reduce clutter and avoid any distraction, they have put only two navigation menus – one to take them to the store and the other to the news articles that jive with their brand. A great example of a homepage.
3. High Quality Product Photos:
The importance of awesome product photos for your online store cannot be over emphasized. It’s good to keep in mind that the clients you are targeting have to fall in love with your product picture – it’s akin to ‘love at first sight’. They should be so enamored that your product becomes simply irresistible, after all unlike the brick and mortar store, where they are used to holding it or trying it on, your ecommerce customers can only see it. And when it comes to making a killing online, the only way you can achieve this is with great product pictures.
Image Source: brooksandkinney.com
This example of great product photography is from the Brooks and Kinney website. They have kept it very simple and neat. Customers will be able to empathize exactly how the product will feel in their hand. They have succeeded in creating the feeling of oneness with the product, making it seem almost like customers are choosing it offline – without doubt great photography and use of layout design.
4. Amazing Product Descriptors:
When it comes to product descriptions for your online store, you really need to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Descriptive product content will give not one but several reasons to pick your product.
Image Source: frankbody.com
For example, look at the product descriptors for FrankBody. As a highly specialized beauty care company with only a few products, how are they still making a killing? The answer for all we know might just be in their descriptive product descriptions. Additionally, optimize the descriptions for search by including important keywords so that they rank high in search engine rankings.
5. Call-to-Action Button:
The Call-to-Action button must be very noticeable with its size, color and text. Make sure you optimize all the elements necessary to make the call-to-action stand out prominently. Also, take note that different colors and words have separate connotations in separate countries. For example, see how Amazon changes its CTA text on its US and UK website to adhere to the local flavors.
Example of Amazon:
Amazon US page give their CTA text as ‘Add to Cart’ while Amazon UK page write it as ‘Add to Basket.’
6. Great Responsive Themes:
Because mobile accounts for 50% of all ecommerce traffic, it has become absolutely essential that your store is optimized for customers who prefer mobile shopping. Making your ecommerce store mobile responsive will guarantee that more than half of your customers can easily browse and start buying from your online store.
Image Source: Brooklyn
For instance, Brooklyn is a clothing brand that uses responsive themes that adjust automatically to look good on all screen resolutions whether it’s a laptop, tablet or mobile.
7. Add a Size Selector:
Size is a major factor that matters to people when they come to your online store. Just imagine how minutely they inspect and try on a product at an offline store, and you’ll get the point that I am trying to make about size. For people across the globe, the concept of small, medium, large, extra-large or double XL differs considerably. That is why; keeping the provision for a size selector and a size guide to inform them about the measurements in inches and centimeters is a good idea. Use a pop-up size selector that appears while the user is hovering over a product image.
8. Related Product Sidebar:
Usually it has become the norm for ecommerce sites to recommend you additional items that go with the product that you’ve already purchased. Your ecommerce site has to have a “you might also like” section, if you’re looking for conversion and sales.
Here’s a great example from Yeti’s Rambler collection:
Image Source: intl.yeti.com
They literally placed every product that was small enough to be hand-held into one collection, calling it The Rambler Collection. They gave it a compelling description, showing clearly what each of the option was.
9. Super-Easy Check-Out:
Never underestimate the impact that an easy checkout makes on the customer in the overall shopping experience. Easier it is for the customer to hit the ‘buy’ button, the more they’ll appreciate your company and your site, and the more likely are they to become loyal, repeat buyers. Be it ordering varying quantities of an item, last shopping details, or even the card details for speedy checkout, every factor, however small will add to a great shopping experience and contribute towards making brand evangelists.
10. Product Reviews and Testimonials:
Reviews are an important tool for your ecommerce website – that aids the customer to decide on the product. The conversion rate of reviews shared by customers on social media are as follows: 5.3 times higher for LinkedIn, 40% higher for Facebook and 8.4 times higher for Twitter. Having negative reviews may sometimes be counterproductive but you could have a smart strategy to research and solve the problem for the customer.
11. Add to Wish List:
Give people a choice to buy later. Sometimes we aren’t convinced enough to buy instantly, though we could always come back later. So having an option of ‘Add to your wish list’ is always a good thing to have.
12. Show the Cost Savings:
Often, if a product has been discounted, the product page shows the original price along with the discounted price. It is a smart move to show both the percentage saving and the actual saving that the customer has made on the product.
13. Social Media Integration:
Another ecommerce design element that needs to be integrated to boost your conversion and sales in a big way is to have your social media links displayed on your site.
Image Source: idealfit.com
Check out a social post from this company – IdealFit. They have used their social media pages 100% to their advantage by promoting free giveaways of new products.
14. Live Chat Widget:
Boldchat’s live chat performance benchmarks reports that “chatters are 2.8 times more likely to convert than visitors who don’t chat.” Surveys have shown that chatters tend to buy 12% of the time. For desktop chatters it is 14% while for mobile it is 7%. Chatting is a great tool to connect with the buyer and create a good impression by clearing any doubts they may have about the product.
15. Use Breadcrumb Navigation:
It is always a good idea to let users know where they are and to help them understand the product hierarchy as well as navigate to other areas of interest.
16. Engaging Product Videos:
It has been proved that in today’s fast paced lifestyle, visuals undeniably work better when conveying a message. That is why many companies are using product videos to improve customer understanding of the products.
17. Delivery and Return Information:
Be relevant on the product page with information like delivery and return details so that customers have peace of mind and don’t hesitate while buying. Additionally, posting the total cost on the product page eliminates the surprise of a high shipping cost.
18. Test, Optimize and Test Again:
The best way to test product-page performance is to keep testing out new ideas and concepts with A/B testing and keep optimizing your product pages. This testing could be as simple as seeing which button color drives the most conversions. Alternately, you could also embark to find out whether customers have a tendency to click on lifestyle photos of products or flat, blank white background photos.