The world was introduced to the first eCommerce website in 1995 and since then the number of eCommerce websites has grown to over 24 million. With the prevalence of Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, etc., you might think eCommerce has fully integrated itself into our everyday lives, however, statistics show that eCommerce sales are not even close to peaking. Online sales are going through the roof year on year and are predicted to grow even further as we progress into the next decade. With COVID-19 and other unprecedented events changing the way we shop and interact with brands, it is a safe bet the future of shopping will be digital hence the importance of digital design as part of your eCommerce strategy will be inevitable.
While this does seem promising in the first instance (and it sure is), it’s also a sign that an already crowded marketplace is about to become even more so. Increased competition for web traffic means eCommerce websites won’t only have to work harder to attract visitors, but also do everything possible to engage them. Whilst that alone is already easier said than done, anyone with even a modest understanding of digital marketing knows that simply engaging visitors isn’t enough to ensure they’ll convert into sales. That’s where eCommerce website design will help you make a difference in order for your business to stand out.
One way to stand out from the crowd is with good, solid digital design. The importance of consistent digital design across your marketing and eCommerce platforms is essential in today’s market. From social media and email marketing to SEA (Search Engine Advertising) and display campaigns, consistency in design key to creating a compelling brand that users will feel comfortable engaging with. As with bricks and mortar retailing, keeping consistency in design and messaging across all your channels (or shop windows to carry on the comparison) is quickly becoming an expected marketing strategy.
Getting users to the site is simply part of the battle though. An eCommerce website that is well designed will not only appear more trustworthy but by making the shopping experience easier to navigate, you should notice a lower bounce rate and a higher conversion rate. However, as we progress even further into this digital age, traits and aspects that were once perceived as cutting edge or innovative have become expected. A well executed eCommerce website design is crucial to keep your visitors on your site. The eCommerce shopping experience is now such a normalised process users can quickly tell (and be put off from purchasing) when a site is not up to the new modern standard. It usually does not take more than 3 seconds for a visitor to abandon a site again when it is not appealing enough.
Usually, a user-friendly website follows the so-called ‘3-Click-Rule’ that suggests that every page or information on a website should be accessible within 3 clicks. Although this is just a rule of thumb in digital design, the logic is sound, the easier you can make your store to navigate, the more accessible you can make your products, the more people will be able to find their product and convert. As eCommerce sites diversify in design and content across sectors it is important to pay close attention to the user journey your audience segment will need, for instance, a website selling beauty products are going to be laid out completely differently (as it would be in real life) as an auto parts store, as the user’s needs are so different. Paying close attention to creating a userfriendly website based around your consumer’s needs and goals is an important first step. You can complement this work by establishing an attribution model (which you can learn more about here) to plan your on-page marketing messaging.
Once your users have (hopefully easily) navigated through your shop it is time to convert them into paying customers with your product listings, and optimising digital design graphics and photography for your actual products are a very big part of the decision-making process. In the online environment where users can’t actually inspect, feel, or try the product, you need to make sure your photography (or representative graphics) represent the product to the best of their ability. Supplementing your photographic with informative graphics that highlight features can help reduce the barriers to purchase by highlighting aspects of the product that may have been missed with traditional photography. With higher valued products, using 360-degree graphics or augmented reality can really set you apart from the competition. The ability to interact with an object really adds a certain level of tangible value and allows the audience to better connect with the product.
We’ve now talked about the importance of digital design for eCommerce for a couple of paragraphs. If you would like to find out how we actually applied this to our client Inside Out Living by incorporating 360-degree graphics into their eCommerce website design,check out our blog about 7 Benefits Of 3D Modelling & Product Rendering For eCommerce.
Image Credit: Vector created by stories