Originally published on Kays Harbor Blog by Mahijeet Singh
eCommerce sales basically come down to numbers. A number of conversions you see are related to how much traffic your shop gets. For example, if you have a 15% conversion rate, that means you need 15,000 website visitors in order to sell 1,000 items. And we tend to ignore the most important aspect of conversion rate optimization (CRO) and that is Design. It plays a major role in optimizing your store to boost your eCommerce conversions.
How to boost your eCommerce conversions with the help of design?
In order to increase sales, you have two options: increase traffic or increase conversion rate. By focusing on how to improve your eCommerce conversion rates, you can get more out of your current traffic.
Keep these website design tips in mind in order to increase your conversion rate and finally see more sales:
1. Harness the power of rich media
Rich media can seriously improve the design of your eCommerce website. Rich media refers to audio, video and other types of high-quality media that your customers can interact with.
For example, you may want to put a product or help videos on each page of your website, demonstrating how to use the product or offering a more detailed view of it. Or, you may want to give customers 360-degree images of your products.
2. Visually point to your calls-to-action
Every call-to-action on your website is important because it’s what will guide the customer to do what you want them to do. However, a call-to-action is worthless if the customer doesn’t ever come across it. Use directional cues to show customers where the call-to-action is.
For example, you may want to put a container on the home page that has, “Get started!” in bold letters at the top and an arrow pointing to a short form the customer should fill out. Or, if you’re showcasing a model interacting with a product, have the model look directly at the product instead of at the viewer. The viewer’s eye will follow what the model is looking at and look that way too.
3. Arrange visual elements in a hierarchy
One of the main design principles of an eCommerce site is to think about how the viewer’s eye will move through your content. Eye movement often follows an “F” shape.
Let’s say you want to showcase a product along with a testimonial and a call-to-action. First, you want the customer to see the name of the product, then the product itself; you’d place the name or title of the product on the top left and the image next to it on the right.
Then, you’d want the customer to read the testimonial to increase social proof, so you’d place it on the bottom left, where their eye will go naturally. Lastly, you want them to complete a call-to-action, so you’d place it to the right of the testimonial.
4. Use bigger images
eCommerce stores need to give their customers all the information possible in order to encourage a sale.
Your customers should be able to view a product from several angles and zoom in on specific areas. Image quality plays a big role when you want to boost your eCommerce conversions.
5. Be smart about videos
Some brands love using videos on their website, some don’t. What’s best for your business will depend on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to. That said, if you do opt for video, make sure your customers can access the same information even if they don’t or can’t watch it.
Some website visitors won’t have the right technology to watch your video and other visitors may simply not want to. Include a transcript of the video or description so that you can still get the point across.
If you are looking forward to a video strategy, consider reading these best ways to use video to boost your conversions.
6. Build a responsive website for all devices
People aren’t just shopping online via their computer anymore. They’re also using mobile devices to research and shop. Focus your eCommerce development efforts towards a mobile store as well.
It’s necessary to have a responsive website to boost your eCommerce conversions, and ideally a mobile version, too, so that customers can access all the information they need on an easy-to-use website no matter what device they’re using. Your visitors shouldn’t have to pinch or pull the webpage in order to view it easily.
7. Keep the homepage simple
If you have too much going on, customers will have to process everything they see, which can dilute the experience you actually want them to have. Simplify your homepage, make everything unified and be clear about what you want the customer to do next. Your call-to-action will perform best if it’s inside a container because it will stand out to the viewer.
Useful reading: Design principles of a modern eCommerce store
8. Make it easy for customers to make a purchase
Often, brands will require customers to sign up for an account before they can check out. Customers who don’t want to end up on your mailing list or who don’t have time to create a profile will abandon their cart, meaning you miss out on the sale.
While you should always have an option for people who want to create an account, you should also offer guest checkout to everyone. Just because someone opts to check out as a guest, that doesn’t mean they won’t be a returning customer.
9. Simplify the checkout page
Your checkout page needs to be simple — you don’t want your customers distracted when they’re moments away from making a purchase. Some brands even remove primary navigation from their checkout page. You can always refer to the Kissmetrics’ list of 40 best practices to improve your checkout page conversions.
You don’t need any graphics or information that isn’t relevant to the purchase on the checkout page. Additionally, get rid of any form fields that aren’t required to complete the order. You can always ask the customer to provide additional information after they’ve made a purchase.
10. Create larger “add to cart” buttons
If it’s not easy for the customer to see how to add an item to their cart, they may move on to another part of your website, or even to another brand’s website altogether.
The “add to cart” button should be large and obvious. It should also be placed exactly where a customer will naturally want it — underneath the product description or next to the price, for example.
11. Consider how the colour choice affects your customers
This is something you may have already done during the branding stage, but if you’re designing your brand and your website at the same time, it’s a good idea to take note of how different colours affect viewers.
For example, yellow is used to convey youth and optimism, while green is more commonly connected to wealth. Knowing what brand message you want to convey will help you decide the best colors for your website.
Grasshopper’s colour branding quiz helps you determine which colour best describes your company!
12. Be smart about how you use white space
Too little white space can make it difficult for the customer to know what to do next; too much white space can make your web page look disconnected or unfinished. Basically, though, important forms and buttons should be on white space so that they stand out, but there shouldn’t be too much negative space around them, because everything should look complementary to everything else.
13. Make contact information easily accessible
Think about how your customers will contact you. If you have a brick and mortar store, you need your physical address prominently placed on every page. It is essential to include a well-designed contact page since it is the source of stronger relationship building with your customers.
If you sell highly technical products, you’ll need to make it easy for customers to submit a support ticket. If you’re selling items that people tend to have a lot of questions about or customization requests, make sure your phone number and email address are easy to find.
14. Create a sense of urgency
When your product is presented in a way that makes customers think they could miss out on a great deal if they don’t act fast, you create a type of urgency that encourages sales. This is an excellent way to boost your eCommerce conversions.
Create limited time offers, show when an item is low in stock and offer free shipping if a product is purchased within the next few hours.
15. Use human models whenever possible
Customers are impacted more when people are included in some of the product photos and this is an awesome eCommerce conversion rate optimization strategy! Your visitors will find it easier to relate to your products and to imagine them in their life if you have human models.
This is simple to do if you’re selling clothing, but it can be trickier to figure out if you’re selling other types of products. However, showing how real people can use your items is a great way to increase conversions.
16. Prominently display the price
Even if your items are priced high, you shouldn’t hide the cost out of fear that the customer will get scared away. Customers don’t want to search for the price of an item or get a surprise when they’re ready to check out.
Always make sure to make the price prominently displayed to make shopping easier for your customers. The harder the process, the more likely it is that they’ll go elsewhere.
By first figuring out how your conversion rate can be improved, you’ll put yourself in a better position for making even more sales when you’re ready to also increase traffic.