e-commerce website best practices

8 essential e-commerce website best practices for conversions

Creating a winning e-commerce website design that provides a seamless user experience (UX) can be challenging. With each design choice, from information architecture to site-wide navigation and individual page layouts, the odds of making a sale can shift in one way or another.

That’s why it’s critical to follow e-commerce website best practices, as poor design choices can have a significant impact on profitability, which is especially important for businesses with small profit margins.

To help you succeed in the competitive e-commerce landscape, it’s essential to gain the trust of your potential customers quickly. Your ultimate goal is to establish long-lasting relationships with your customers through your e-commerce website.

However, building trust can be a challenging task as people’s perceptions of trust can change rapidly. That’s why it’s crucial to create an e-commerce website that can withstand trends, be trustworthy, and stand out among the competition.

By following e-commerce website best practices, you can create a website that provides an excellent user experience, builds trust, and helps your business thrive.

Be Intentional About Your Images

Blvckhair hero section with high quality images e-commerce website best practices
Source: Blvckhair NG

When it comes to e-commerce website design, it’s crucial to be intentional about your images. By using crisp, high-definition product images on your homepage, you can immediately capture the attention of your potential customers.

Since our brain processes visual information faster than written text, using hero product shots can help new visitors quickly understand your main value proposition. This is one of the best web page design tips.

It can also help generate excitement about your offerings.

This is one of the critical e-commerce website best practices to follow to establish credibility and build customer trust.

Additionally, research conducted by the Baymard Institute found that shoppers are more patient with technical hiccups in e-commerce website performance when they are presented with vibrant imagery.

Depending on your business needs, you can use a stand-alone hero image to showcase a single product. Or create a carousel that spotlights goods in different categories.

It’s essential to update your carousel regularly to inspire returning shoppers with new arrivals and seasonal offerings. By following e-commerce website best practices, you can create a visually appealing and effective website that helps you attract and retain customers.

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Showcase The Most Important Aspects of The Business On The Homepage

Femmes Place home page categories
Source: Femmes Place

To optimize the user experience (UX) of your e-commerce website, it’s important to make it easy for visitors to navigate and find relevant products.

One way to achieve this is by featuring popular product subcategories on the home page, in addition to a hero image of your “signature” product(s).

By showcasing different categories on the home page, you can direct shoppers to the most relevant site areas without requiring them to use the main navigation or search feature.

This approach can help to minimize the steps in the purchase path and improve the conversion rate of your website.

For example, if you sell fashion clothing items, you could feature subcategories such as “Men’s Clothing,” “Women’s Clothing,” “Accessories,” and “Sale Items” on the home page. This way, visitors can quickly access the section that interests them the most and start browsing the relevant products.

By incorporating these e-commerce website best practices into your design, you can create a user-friendly and engaging homepage that enhances the shopping experience and ultimately drives conversions.

Find out The Cost Of Building a Website

Always Use Categories and Subcategories to Display Taxonomy

Proper website taxonomy is essential for e-commerce websites, especially for those with larger product catalogues. Creating a logical structure to group different pages into categories makes it easier for users to navigate between them.

Therefore, it’s important to divide your product catalogue into appropriate categories and subcategories.

It’s crucial to ensure that each product is listed under the correct category and subcategory, as listing a product under multiple categories or subcategories can be confusing for users.

However, directing users towards overly narrow category scopes can also make them underestimate the size and diversity of your inventory.

On the other hand, providing too many options within a single category can be overwhelming for shoppers. This is one of the critical e-commerce website best practices to follow.

Use Customer reviews and social proof

Natural Girl Wigs Natural Hair Wigs & Extensions for Natural Queens
Source: Natural Girl Wigs

Customer reviews and social proof are important aspects of e-commerce website best practices. Including customer reviews on your product pages can help potential customers make informed purchase decisions. It can also increase your site’s conversion rates.

Positive reviews from satisfied customers can also serve as social proof, giving credibility to your products and brand.

In addition to customer reviews, social proof can also come from sources such as social media mentions, influencer endorsements, and awards or certifications.

By prominently displaying these types of social proof on your site, you can build trust with your customers and strengthen your brand’s reputation.

Overall, incorporating customer reviews and other forms of social proof into your e-commerce website can help drive sales and improve customer loyalty.

Have Consistent Branding

Welcome to IKEA Global
Source: IKEA Global

Consistent branding is crucial for any e-commerce website. Customers who are familiar with your brand will expect your website to reflect your company’s look and style.

To create a seamless customer experience, take an omnichannel approach with your branding, which provides a consistent experience across all your digital channels and physical locations.

If you’re using a template for your website design, customize it to match your branding by using the same colours and fonts you use on your business cards or shopping bags.

Your omnichannel strategy should also include brand voice and messaging. Make sure your website promotion copy is similar to what you use in your store or on your social media platforms.

Consistent branding can help to build trust and increase customer loyalty. This is one of the standard e-commerce website best practices to follow.

Make It Responsive Across All Devices

Best Natural Online Skincare Store In Nigeria - Pulchy Beauty Home
Source: Pulchy Beauty Home

In today’s mobile-driven world, having a website that is fully responsive is one of the most important e-commerce website best practices.

With more and more customers browsing and shopping on their smartphones and tablets, a mobile-friendly website design is essential for reaching and capturing this audience.

When your website is responsive, it will adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions, ensuring that your products, images, and text are displayed correctly on any device.

This makes it easier for your customers to navigate your site and find what they’re looking for. This is regardless of the device they’re using.

If your e-commerce site is not optimized for mobile devices, you risk losing potential customers who might abandon your site due to poor user experience.

In fact, research has shown that a majority of consumers are more likely to leave a website if it’s not mobile-friendly. They may even switch to a competitor’s site instead.

Remove Bloat Form Fields From the Checkout Page

Streamlining the checkout process is crucial to avoid cart abandonment and improving your conversion rate.

Did you know that the average checkout form completion rate on e-commerce websites sits at 46.4%?

One way to do this is to reduce the number of form fields and checkout steps. The average checkout flow is over five steps long and has 11.8 form fields. However, you can get by with a total of eight form fields by requesting only essential information for delivery and payment.

Delay account creation or loyalty program subscription to the next screen or a separate post-purchase step.

You can always prompt account creation in the follow-up order confirmation email when the user is thrilled with finalizing the purchase and is more likely to complete account registration or sign-up for your loyalty program.

Add a Search Bar With Auto-Complete

8 essential e-commerce website best practices for conversions
Source: Jumia

Including a prominent and user-friendly search bar on your e-commerce website is one of the best practices for improving user experience and increasing conversion rates. By making the search bar easily accessible and visible, you provide a fallback option for visitors who may have difficulty navigating or finding specific products on your site.

Using a sticky search bar, such as the one employed by Jumia, can be an effective way to help shoppers navigate a large product catalogue.

Additionally, making the search bar stand out through the use of bolder borders, contrasting colours, or different fonts can increase its visibility and encourage users to take advantage of this feature.

To improve the search experience for users, e-commerce sites should consider implementing search auto-complete functionality.

Auto-complete can help minimize the impact of misspelt search queries and provide relevant product results for mistyped queries, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.

A search bar is one of the critical e-commerce website best practices to implement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Squarespace, Woocommerce, Wix, Big Commerce, and Shopify are some of the best e-commerce platforms. These platforms offer a competitive range of core commerce features for designing, operating, and marketing an online store.

The development timelines for e-commerce websites depend on several factors, including the store size, selected tech stack, development team size, and experience. It can take between a couple of weeks to as long as 6 months.

The cost of designing an e-commerce website can vary depending on whether you do it yourself or hire a UX designer or web design agency. By using an affordable e-commerce platform like Woocommerce that offers customizable store templates, you may not spend much. The cost of having an e-commerce website designed for you can vary from 150,000 Naira to as high as 6 million Naira depending on the complexity.

The most important features to include on an e-commerce website are a user-friendly interface, easy navigation, high-quality product images, detailed product descriptions, a search function, customer reviews, secure checkout, and multiple payment options. As an e-commerce web design company, we can ensure that these features are incorporated into your e-commerce website.

To optimize your e-commerce website for search engines, you need to conduct keyword research and incorporate those keywords into your product descriptions, URLs, and meta tags. Other strategies include optimizing your images, creating high-quality content, building backlinks, and making sure your website is mobile-friendly. Our digital marketing team can help you with these strategies.

Some effective ways to increase conversion rates on your e-commerce website include improving your website’s speed, reducing the number of steps in the checkout process, including clear calls-to-action, providing social proof through customer reviews, and offering free shipping and promotions. As a brand strategy and content writing company, we can help you create compelling content and marketing campaigns that convert visitors into customers.

You can ensure the security of customer data on your e-commerce website by using SSL encryption, using secure payment gateways, and regularly updating your website’s software and security patches. As a website design and digital marketing company, we can help you implement these security features and ensure your customers’ data is protected.

Strategies for promoting your e-commerce website and driving traffic to it include creating high-quality content, optimizing your website for search engines, utilizing social media and email marketing, offering promotions and discounts, and utilizing influencer marketing. As a digital marketing and brand strategy company, we can help you create and implement these strategies to drive traffic and increase sales.

Note: These are brief answers, and there are many more strategies and details involved in each of these areas. It’s always best to work with a professional team to ensure your e-commerce website is optimized for success.

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Mallami Adekunle

Kunle Mallami is a digital entrepreneur with expertise in website design, digital marketing, brand strategy and digital content writing. When he's not doing any of these, he will probably be on YouTube learning.

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