3 Essential eCommerce Best Practices For Web Design & Development

By figmints

10/02/2014

We all like familiarity—whether it’s that one coffee shop on the corner nearby, the smell of home or even that old worn-out tee shirt you keep wearing.

The same idea can be applied to the online eCommerce shopping experience.

Building your eCommerce site and optimizing web design, especially if you don’t have a brick and mortar store to represent your brand, can feel extremely intimidating—your site is your primary form of interaction with your customers. To keep your customers happy and returning to your site, your user experience (UX), regardless of the user interaction (UI), must be spot on to keep your customers coming back for more.

Here are three things to keep in mind about the user experience of your pre-existing eCommerce site or the one you’re hoping to build in the near future.

Related: Read more about the design and development of eCommerce startup Pick-Ease.

1. FOLLOW STANDARD CONVENTIONS

The parts of a light bulb haven’t changed dramatically from Edison’s model in the 1880s and neither have the components of online shopping since, well, 2000—you get the point.

light_bulb

Although eCommerce websites don’t have quite the same tenure as a household essential like the light bulb, we still expect the same habitual experience from online shopping as we do for automatically flipping on a light.

In eCommerce web design, even for a startup, customers expect that they’ll be able to view a page with a full list of products, a separate page for product specifications, and, finally, a page to enter their payment and shipping info: just three clicks. Interfere with these steps, or require an additional step, and you could be deterring a potential customer.

Our head designer, Mike, advises: “It’s all about merely giving the people what they want—they already want the online shopping experience to be a certain way. Consistency is key.

2. PROACTIVELY ADDRESS DAMAGE CONTROL

With more than one billion websites in the global commerce cyberspace, your customers are not limited in the number of available vendors providing a desired product.

As a result, even one error page can deter customers that would otherwise prefer to buy a product from your site. To avoid these errors, it is essential to constantly be testing your eCommerce site and implementing specific feedback from dissatisfied customers.

The most common time for a customer to leave your site is after placing an item in his or her cart. You can make sure that they have no reason to leave your site after this critical step by ridding your site of any potential for error messages. At the very least, if there is an error message, make it very particular.

Harris, our digital marketing guru, is a strong believer in actively winning over customers. He believes: “Shopping cart abandonment does not always translate to a lost sale. Shoppers often look at products multiple times before buying. Using that data you can send targeted deals and offers to consumers. Remarketing is a very effective way to help keep your product in your consumers mind.”

3. REALIZE SECURITY IS NO JOKE

Online security with eCommerce sites is not something to take lightly. When people are looking to spend money online, there is plenty of room for identity theft or a breach of credit card information (pssst Home Depot).

Make sure you keep your checkout process as streamlined as possible to instill confidence in your customers and ensure them that you have their best interests, including their security, covered.

Something as simple as automatically recognizing your customer’s specific credit card provider after they input the first four digits of their card may seem silly, but it’s these small things that go a long way in building customer loyalty and trust.

Keep in mind that a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is essential for all eCommerce sites. This layer encrypts your website and properly secures customer information.

Seth, our Chief Technology Officer, strongly believes security is a hallmark of eCommerce website development. “We are hyper aware of security with our eCommerce sites at Figmints. We are always thinking two steps ahead because no matter the size of your business or the number of customers using your site, a security breach is the one thing that could be detrimental to your business.”

JUST REMEMBER: KEEP IT SIMPLE

The simpler the eCommerce experience for your customer, the better. Follow standard conventions, always take care of damage control, and provide top-notch eCommerce security and your customers will notice your flawless user experience.

If in doubt, try to picture the shopping experience on your site the same way you would one of the many light bulbs surrounding you. You might change the lampshade, the light fixture itself, or even both—but you’d never change the light bulb providing the real utility for the existence of the light in the first place.

Has your company experimented with its eCommerce experience? How did it work out? Feel free to share experiences below. We’d love to hear about your experiences!