Nowadays it is the era of information, using Internet has become to one of the most important parts for many people’s daily life. In the past few years, more and more Ecommerce websites have popped up with much safer and more secure online environment. And more and more people have realized the convenience of online purchasing. Thus, there are lots of business opportunities for many enterprises to build and design their own Ecommerce websites to expand their markets. For that reason, having a professional and user-friendly websites to attract customers is becoming significant advantage for companies. Although selling online provides huge new markets for many businesses, there are still plenty of problems to reconsider when designing an Ecommerce website. The major common problems are included as: Lack of a clear value proposition, unclear product descriptions, confusing navigation bar, bad shopping cart design, poor logistical tracking system, and poor trustworthy for customers and low quality online customer services etc. These problems can kill your Ecommerce store at the beginning of your business!
In this article, we can acknowledge that a good web interface design is very important to designers. It may affect customer’s first impression on the website. For the layout design, the web page shouldn’t look too complicated and crowded for users. The space between the textual parts, color of the background, the usage of images, styles for buttons will affect user’s impression on the web pages. It is important to provide a good vision effect to your audience.
Here are some terrible examples for ecommerce webitses. I took a screenshot from a website who sells the lighting and flashing item (As the image I have uploaded as cover). Probably the designer of this website wants to make a connection to their products, the layout looks very colorful and images are too small for customers. The designer makes this site with a black color background and colorful textual parts which looks like a rainbow. And this vision effect can disturb customers to focus on reading the contents of the website due to the flashing characters.
This is another terrible website for cars sales. I pick this screenshot as an example for designers to avoid these mistakes. To be honestly, I don’t even think it is a website to buy a car and it looks like an unprofessional comedian official page at first. The site is full of useless and junk information which make customers feel complicated to browse. The structure of the website is not even organized. What’s worse, its unserious and ridiculous style makes the website lack of trustworthy. Without trust, the customers will certainly not buy on this ecommerce store. There are too many junk information and advertisements on the two sides and footer of website. In my perspective, it will make people think it is a fake website who sells bad quality products and the owner can be a scammer.
From the above two examples of disasters, we can learn that sizes of product images, product description, website layout structure, the color of text and background page and trustworthy of websites can be the common mistakes for many web designers. In order to express the products in a clear way, here are some few tips about interface designing: Putting a large beautiful image that shows items in use on homepage It can demonstrate value and desire clearly to customers. Don’t put too many images which may look crowed and unorganized. Using simple and clear language to communicate why it is worth to buy Just use some easy language to make website look clean and simple. Some social proofs Magazines and media mentions may add credibility to your website. It is helpful to increase the trustworthy of customers, especially for those who use the website for the first time. More detailed product information Using large and clear images for the products with detailed information, such as sizes, materials, weight and so on. It also depends on the types of product.
According to HubSpot (2011), nearly 76% customers think how to find information easily is the most important factor in the design of a website. In other words, the design of website shouldn’t look too complex and the guidelines should be clear and easy to understand. Therefore, a clear navigation bar will play an important role in user’s experience on website.
Here are some good examples for website design, the layout and structure looks both clear and organized in the following link. In general, the white for background color is suitable for most Ecommerce websites, which make whole structure and text parts look clear and simple.
In general, the top level of ecommerce navigation should provide a clear product category labels which describe a board range of products. But for an ecommerce website, the design architecture needs lower levels. Thus, the relist subcategories are very necessary for customers to find products from the general to specific detail. Besides, the top level of navigation should be clickable and tappable for users.
Potterybarn is an very good learning example for designers. The navigation and subcategories are both functional for users. When you try to tap the furniture label on the top level of navigation bar. The subcategories will automatically show up in different sections with more detail. The customers can easily access to the furniture they need for different rooms.
As I have mentioned that customers want to access the information easily, the article show that an adequate site search engine is extremely important for customers to find their wanted products. If customers know exactly what products they want, they will choose to use search engine rather than browsing categories and filters.
Here is the good tutorial video to build a good SEO for Ecommerce websites. For web developers, they should figure out which keywords are most commonly matched to search for related products before publish any products online. Then, they have to put keywords into the page URL string, title tag and the description meta tag. All product images should have proper keywords in their alt meta tags. And the related products’ results should be shown up with the ranking of popularity.
Shopping cart is an important element of an Ecommerce website. It should allow customers to add or remove multiple items flexibly and to choose the quantities or other options about products. For designers, they should make sure shopping carts can let customers to add an item and return to the previous page they were if they need to continue to shopping.
A mini shopping cart can be convenient within a small area of page for customers while they have to go back to previous page again. Personally, I think using mini carts is a very effective way to provide a good shopping experience to customers. Before customers start the checkout process, a full page cart should provide a preview for customers to edit the products and total cost (Also should display the shipping fee).
This is the one-step checkout page from bellroy (A Ecommerce site who sells wallets). All the information forms like billing address, shipping method, payment method and review are included. Compare with Apple, it makes the checkout process smoother for customers. The article shows that one-step checkout is faster and easier to understand. Personally, I suggest designers using one-step method to design the checkout page.
The step-by-step checkout method can be a guideline for customers to follow. It is a well-structured process and customers won’t confuse about it. Basically, the step-by-step checkout process may display in four different steps: Login/Register (Guest), Billing & Shipping, Payment and Confirm the order. Each step will distribute to different single page. For example, Apple Company is using step-by-step checkout method. To compare with step-by-step method, one-step process looks much simple which covers all elements in one page.
However, some detail information like billing address, shipping method and payment are significant for both methods. As designers, I suggest should provide more options for our customers. For shipping method, we should at least provide two options for customers to choose, because sometime customers need the products urgently, then the express will be their best choice. As usual, many ecommerce websites only have this three payment options: Master card, Visa and PayPal. But we have to consider about the customers who have different preference on payment methods like POLi or BPAY.
After purchasing successfully, tracking your order is another important step for customer. Further information can reduce customer’s inquiries about the status of order and make them feel secure. Apart from some big Ecommerce websites like eBay and Amazon, many ecommerce websites are lack of a good page for customers to check their tracking status of their items. Take my personal experience for example, I am a fan of Lego and I always use a website call Brick Link to purchase Lego parts or sets. But the status of order will be only showed in pending, shipped and completed. There is no more further information about the tracking. As a result, the seller had to send me an extra link and tracking ID for package tracking via Email. It means I have to go to other logistics website to check the status of my order, no mention to the notification.
The blog has pointed out some important tips and some easy coding for build the function of tracking. For web developers, it is necessary for them to put all functionalities on one tracking page for customers to check further information about the status of order, rather than using a third-party logistics website to check the tracking. eBay’s tracking system can be a good sample for many Ecommerce websites. All the process will be updated with further details and customers will also receive a notification at the same time. The details should be tracking number with a link, estimated delivery date, inform customers about the status and allow them to view complete delivery details.
Shopping online has brought convenience to people’s daily life. Nowadays smartphones are now taking the hold of entire market and people can do many things on their mobile phones. With the fast increasing of online shopping trend, mobile shopping has become more and more popular these days. By the end of 2016, Smartphones have even taken the place of computers by increasing their contribution to the E- Commerce Market. For the Ecommerce web designers and developers, keeping yourselves updated with current trends is important to gain more opportunities. The major trends of Ecommerce app can be presented in these six aspects: Mobile digital assistant, Voice search, Virtual reality Ecommerce, Chat while you shop, Mobile wallet and Contextual shopping. All these features can bring great convenience to improve user’s shopping experience. In my perspective, VR in Ecommerce and Mobile wallet are more important.
When people are talking about VR, many people will know VR technology may have a great impact on our future life. For Ecommerce, VR can offer high customer engagement which can provide customers opportunities to view the products and services. It is beneficial to customers to make a good decision before they start to purchase. Here is the video link to show how VR works on mobile shopping. It is a good example to show how to use the mobile phone by VR to view the products. This is a good video show how it work.
Using mobile wallet to do payment is much easier than traditional payment methods like cash and bank cards. I believe more and more people will start to use mobile wallet to make payments in the future. Failing to adopt mobile wallets could mean missing out on huge market opportunities. The mobile wallet apps like Apple pay, PayPal and Android Pay can also provide safe online transaction. It is necessary to design the in-app purchasing page for every ecommerce app.