Having a strong online presence is key to driving business objectives. Visitors are able to engage directly with your brand and make a purchase for a product or service. A cohesive marketing strategy helps your website rank higher in the search engines and attract customers through different platforms.
But even traffic is no guarantee your store will produce results.
Visitors are quick to make an impression. A website that is built to low standards or has a poor user experience will significantly affect conversion rates. How a product or service is presented plays a major role in how well it is received by your target market.
The design of a website is incredibly important and often means the difference between failing to gain any traction or making consistent sales. The latter is far more preferable for obvious reasons. Making simple changes can dramatically boost sales for your online store.
The following are four design changes to implement to optimise an e-commerce site for increased sales.
1. Clear Navigation
The navigation menu allows visitors to easily browse category pages and find the right products. A clear structure is a must or visitors are likely to leave in frustration. The menu should be displayed in a prominent location at the top of the site or on the left hand side.
The menu should also be kept as simple as possible with broad categories at the top. Drop down menus can then be used to give visitors the ability to drill down even further. Here is an example from UGG that shows this in action:
Hovering over one of the categories automatically displays subcategories. This function is critical as it allows customers to find exactly what they are looking for.
Another important feature is the search bar. Some visitors prefer to browse the different categories while others know exactly what they want. Including a clear navigation structure and a search bar appeals to both groups without losing sales.
2. Display Featured Items
Store owners have a great deal of flexibility in terms of design. One way to increase engagement and increase sales is to feature items directly on the homepage. This can be popular items or products on sale to entice buyers.
Zappos uses this to great effect by displaying shopping recommendations for shoppers:
The homepage can also be used to highlight current sales or even as a way to navigate through different categories. Here is an example from Target:
Which layout works the best? There is no single right answer but the key lies in experimentation and constant testing to measure the impact on sales. This aspect is critical as customers react differently depending on how products are presented.
3. Add Customer Reviews
Social proof is incredibly powerful as it lends credibility to your business. It can also be applied to individual product pages in the form of customer reviews. Customers on the fence will feel more positive about their purchase if they are able to see how previous customers rated the product.
Amazon offers the perfect example as customer ratings are displayed beneath the product title:
Customers generally welcome feedback especially for larger purchases. Displaying product reviews provides shoppers with more confidence and can easily be integrated into any online store. Social media features can also be added to make it easy for customers to share their experience.
4. Contact Information
Building trust early on is a paramount as customers are often wary when shopping online with a new company. The homepage should include a contact number or any other information that would be helpful for your customers.
Here is an example from Paddy Pallin of how this might look:
Including an FAQ and resource section would be beneficial to help customers with their purchase. The addition of a Live Chat feature can also dramatically boost conversions for your store. This way customers can be able to contact you directly if there are any questions or concerns.
Online shopping is expected to accelerate as consumers shift more of their spending online. This is good news as online retailers can capture more customers for their business and grow their bottom line. But the design of a website matters a great deal to increase sales.
If sales for your e-commerce store is stagnant, we can help. Our marketing professionals work closely with you to optimise your website and grow your online presence. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team.