When it comes to running a profitable e-commerce website, high-quality digital marketing firms know just how important talented web developers are to the process. Designing a website that runs as smooth as butter and looks effortlessly modern is no easy task. Designing a website that runs as smooth as butter, looks effortlessly modern, and seamlessly handles online shopping transactions is another challenge entirely. Yet in the hyper-competitive e-commerce industry, this blend of functionality and design is absolutely critical if you want to develop a lasting online presence.
Professional web developers will tell you that there are a number of critical e-commerce website design criteria you need to meet in order to do this. What does your e-commerce website need to survive?
- User-Friendly Navigation
Obviously, your website needs a smooth navigation feature, yet so many e-commerce websites miss the mark on this basic test of quality web design. Your navigation features should be clearly visible whenever a user lands on a new page, and they should be instantly recognizable to even the most casual browser. In addition to a menu (most often a drop-down menu), you also need a search bar where users can instantly find other products. Finally, a simple shopping cart icon should allow users to view their cart at any time. Without these simple-yet-critical features, online shopping will be a real chore, and users will take their business elsewhere.
If your web page fails to load after three seconds, even if it loads part of the way in that time, you are in for a world of hurt. This is because a shocking 40% of people will leave your page in that seemingly short three seconds. Next time you go to a website that holds fleeting interest for you, pay attention to how long you will wait for it to load. You might find that you are actually part of the 40% that leaves. To avoid sacrificing ever-important page views, web developers recommend optimizing your landing pages to load quickly and to host your site on reliable servers. Even if you’ve already done this, keep a close eye on your bounce rate and load time, or hire web designers who know how to keep an eye on these metrics while you’re minding the store.
- Mobile Mobility
Modern web design is synonymous with mobile-friendly web design. Sometimes, you will visit a website on your computer and be able to tell it was designed for mobile devices. While these mobile-first stores aren’t an issue for people shopping from their desktop computers, the opposite is actually a big deal breaker. When people visit an online store that hasn’t been optimized for their phone or tablet, the site is often ugly bordering on unusable. Nip this in the bud by having your site designed with mobile devices in mind from the very beginning.
Web design is all about user experience (UX). Would you return to a site that you had a bad experience with? Both speed and mobile compatibility are critical to this elusive ‘perfect’ UX, but aesthetics is what ties it together. You want a strikingly simple, flattering, and intuitive landing page. You also want your store’s branding to be prominent, but not distracting. The name of the game in perfecting an e-commerce website is aesthetics. Make yours look good, and people will trust it more. If you have an ugly site, then you’ve already lost.
Web developers face numerous challenges in adapting to new design standards, technical issues, and creative blocks. A hallmark of a truly well rounded digital marketing agency is its ability to consistently produce beautiful and optimally functional websites, yet not every agency is up to the e-commerce challenge. Ask to see our portfolio to get an idea of how high we set the bar for e-commerce website design.