31st March 2017
The New Rules of Web Design
Redesigning your e-commerce website can be hugely beneficial to your business and can help increase sales and keep customers returning. Your website must be user-friendly, engaging and up-to-date. Modern technology is rapidly changing and for your e-commerce business, it is important to keep up with changes in the digital world. Making sure that your website is well presented and your products and descriptions are up-to-date is important to generate greater conversion rates. According to research, 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the top criterion for deciding if a company is credible or not (Stanford University). If you haven’t updated your website in a while and you notice that your sales are declining or that you are not keeping up with your competitors, then you may want to consider redesigning.
In this post, we’ll look at four important reasons why you may want to redesign your e-commerce website to boost activity and sales.
Without a website that opens efficiently on mobile devices, you will be missing out on potential sales from buyers using smartphones. The use of smartphones for making purchases is rapidly increasing with 79% of smartphone users having made a purchase online using their mobile devices in the last 6 months. By creating an excellent user experience for mobile devices this will increase customer visits to the site and will help you save the investment in a dedicated mobile application.
With mobile devices, users are subject to dropping offline frequently, and this needs to be considered when designing. Another constraint facing user experience design on mobile devices is the size of the screen as mobiles can only display one window at a time. When designing for mobile devices, it is also important to consider how the devices are held. User journey simplification is a popular technique, allowing users to spend less effort completing a task or making a purchase. Other popular techniques include full-screen experiences, clear visual hierarchies, and progressive disclosure (which involves sequencing information and actions across several screens as to not overwhelm the user with too much content at once).
Another reason to redesign your website is when there is a decrease in activity on your site and you are not attracting new customers or subscribers. This could mean that you need to redesign your website with better UX (user experience). UX is important to make it easy for customers to buy and navigate the website which encourages them to buy often.
However, before redesigning, it’s important to consider if additional factors are contributing to the low sales. Once you have decided that your website needs an upgrade, it would be very beneficial to research other most-viewed sites and pay attention to features that are not present on your own. If you apply popular trends and innovations to make your website captivating, this will likely cause a rapid increase in sales.
ASOS is a great example of a website with good UX design. The opening page has a simple design, an eye-catching image and a clear call to action, so the customer knows exactly where to click. Other features that make ASOS’ UX stand out, is their ‘quick view’ feature, which gives customers all the information they need whilst saving them from clicking back and forth between pages. Another standout feature is their video catwalk for each product, allowing customers to properly view the items giving them more confidence to buy.
Amazon, the biggest e-commerce website in the world, also has many great examples of well designed UX. Most notably, their one-click checkout system allows an efficient check out process for customers and alongside their bundle deals and customer recommendations, this gives the customer an easy and efficient experience making them more likely to return to the site and buy again.
Graze is another e-commerce website with great UX design. The opening image immediately tells the customer all they need to know and there is a clear call-to-action. As well as this, there is a clear discount advertised, helping to draw in new customers. The page is also visually pleasing and the wording style used continues the theme of the brand.
By applying some of these UX design ideas to your own website, this could hugely increase your user activity and could help to increase conversion rates.
If your website is taking more than 2-3 seconds to load, it’s time to consider changing this. Even a one-second delay in page load time has been shown to cause a 7% loss in conversion and 11% fewer page visits. Customers don’t want to waste time waiting for a website to load, so redesigning your site to have more efficient loading times is essential for keeping customers interested and returning to the website. Although planning for this cost can be challenging, low speeds will continue to decrease business.
Some quick changes can be made to speed up a website. Firstly, if you use a CDN (content delivery network) to host your media files, this can immediately save up to 60% bandwidth. CDNs reduce the load on single servers by hosting your files across a network of servers across the world, meaning that users will be downloading files from their closest server.
It is also important that you choose suitable hosting for your venture and it can be very helpful to host with a professional configuration.
Another way to reduce loading time is to minimise HTTP requests. According to Yahoo, downloading all the parts of the page, such as images, stylesheets and scripts takes up 80% of a web page’s load time. An HTTP request is made for each element, so the more on-page components there are, the longer it will take for the page to load. You can check the number of HTTP requests your site currently makes using the browser’s Developer Tools on Google Chrome.
If you routinely need to add new products, change prices, descriptions or pictures without the help of third-party experts, this is also a reason to consider redesigning your website. Consulting a CMS development company to help you deal with content update issues and redesign strategy would be beneficial in this instance.
There are many CMS platforms that can be used for your e-commerce site, and some of the easiest to use include Shopify and Woocommerce. Shopify is the best fit for small to medium-sized businesses or if you are just starting with your e-commerce business. They have many ready-to-use templates and allow the selling of physical or digital goods. The platform can be easily customized to meet your requirements. Woocommerce is a WordPress plugin that can be used for developing your website on the WordPress platform and can be used free of charge. It is easy to install and has a diverse range of features.
There are numerous reasons why you may need to redesign your e-commerce website. As well as the reasons mentioned above, others could include security issues, bad reviews, marketing costs, and matching target audiences. If any of these situations apply to you, redesigning your website may be the solution to better business.
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