Your perfect ecommerce store? Sounds like the holy grail? Not necessarily.
There is a lot of research available that recommends which components should be included in ecommerce website design in 2019, exactly how each component should operate and the precise location for each component. Following these guidelines should increase website conversion rates, leading to more sales.
There are the basic components that each website requires as standard, as well as the more technologically advanced and unusual features that could make a big difference in bringing customers to your website and ensuring that the site converts their interest into making a purchase.
Then there are the ideal requirements that your customers and your business need your website to feature to ensure that you are able to offer great customer service using the resource, skills and experience that you have available
Ecommerce Website Design in 2019 - Must-Have Features
We’ve carried out some research, looking at recommendations for ecommerce sites in 2019. The following stand out as must-have features to include in your ecommerce site for great conversion rates:
1. An auto-complete search that is always highly visible at the top of your store.
2. Intuitive filtering options that at the very least should include: price, relevance, popularity and rating. Depending on the products or services you sell, there are likely to be additional options as well, such as size, colour, etc
3. A checkout page as free from distractions as possible. Once your customers are making a purchase, you don’t want their attention to be diverted away from making the payment.
4. A way of adding products to the shopping cart that reflects your products. For example, a clothing store may want to alert customers to the fact that their item has been added to the basket using an animated shopping cart but leaves them to browse the store further. However, if your customers are likely to buy only one item, best practise is to take them straight to the cart to complete the purchase.
5. Email/newsletter opt-in prompts.
6. Cross-selling and upselling mechanisms.
7. SEO optimised product pages, ensuring that people searching for each of your products will be able to find them in the search engine results.
8. Sticky headers featuring your search bar and navigation.
9. Urgency countdowns – presenting shoppers with a sense of urgency can dramatically increase conversion rates.
10. Easy to use, straightforward and mobile-friendly checkout that works like a dream!
Google’s new “Grow My Store” tool (https://growmystore.thinkwithgoogle.com) is a useful way of checking that you have all the recommended features, and that Google can find them. It will give you a personalised report for your ecommerce website with hints and tips about how to improve.
Nice-to-have, technologically advanced features
The following features are becoming more popular on ecommerces sites in 2019.
1. Chatbots using artificial intelligence. When customers ask questions, they require quick and accurate responses. Businesses are not always able to meet these requirements at peak times, making chatbots a useful investment.
2. Personalisation and automation. These have been used by large online ecommerce stores such as Amazon for a number of years, creating features such personalised product recommendations and “why not try” prompts.
3. Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality. These applications are exciting to use and offer customers the opportunity to “try out” products such as household items or clothing before they buy. Such features can dramatically increase conversion rates.
4. Optimising for voice search queries. Voice search queries tend to be longer than typed queries, meaning that long-tailed keywords are becoming increasingly important.
5. The increasing use of micro markets. Micro markets offer customers opportunities to buy products outside of a traditional ecommerce environment. For example, Google shopping listings.
6. Web payments using pre-saved personal and card information that circumnavigate form-filling for improved user experience.
7. Multi-currency, multi-language, mulit-channel options, making it easier for customers world-wide, using many different platforms, to buy your products.
Your Customers’ Unique Requirements
Customers always come first and they should be your primary focus whilst designing your ecommerce website.
There is no point designing a website with all the latest exciting technological innovations such as augmented reality, voice search queries or web payments when your target market is, for example, aged over 65 and unlikely to use any of these features or may even be confused by them.
Similarly, when your target market is considerably younger, people who have grown up with technology always at their fingertips, an AR app may be just what it takes to persuade them to make a purchase. And optimising your product pages for voice search will be a great way of attracting them to your product pages.
User experience, bearing in mind your target market, has to be on the top of your checklist for the perfect ecommerce site.
The available resource, skill and experience in your organisation
Although nice-to-have technologies don’t necessarily cost more to build than the basic requirements, they will always be an addition to the standard recommendation. Therefore, featuring these elements is usually more expensive and most organisations have a carefully calculated budget for their ecommerce site.
Thorough consideration must be given to:
- The existing skills of your team members. The operation of an all-singing, all-dancing site may be outside of the ability or time resource of your teams meaning that more time and resource bringing in new staff or training existing employees will be required.
- The time taken to maintain the new site
- Extra, nice-to have features may require a significant amount of data input which the organisation may not already have available.
The extra resource and expense requirements of the new site must be balanced against the expected benefits of your desired ecommerce website.
Your perfect ecommerce site
Your perfect ecommerce site, for your unique organisational requirements, is, therefore, available and within your reach. It’s not the holy grail.
We’ve set out some of the most frequently cited information and options here to create some helpful advice about the features your site should have as a very minimum and some of the options that you might also like to consider. There is plenty of information online that goes into some of the features listed here in more detail.
Creating ecommerce stores that give you and your customers that bit extra so that you stand out from the competition is a speciality of ours and we’ll be happy to help with any ecommerce website design queries that you may have. Our design and development teams have advanced coding experience and can talk you through your ideas and aspirations.
We’re different to many other website developers that use pre-existing, expensive plug-ins or add-ons, and will try and “shoe-horn” your requirements into these applications. We build bespoke features that won’t cost the earth. We can build an exact match to your requirements.
For more information and advice, please get in touch.