6 Reasons to Prioritise Your Web Design as an Online Retailer

Last updated
March 9, 2021
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Read time
9 min

Today’s technological advances affect every aspect of our life, implementing new trends in our daily actions. The way people communicate, research, and of course, shop, has undergone immense changes. So, as a smart business owner, you simply can’t ignore the new rules brought about by this digital age. Did you know that according to the Telstra Small Intelligence Report, about 62% of customers won’t consider a business/brand if they are not able to find any information about it online? This short quick fact does nothing but once again underlines the importance of your digital presence.

The role of your website becomes even bold when it comes to ecommerce businesses where your website is basically your company’s main character. However, just having a website without putting enough effort to grow it doesn’t make your business unbeatable. It only takes 0.05 seconds for your visitors to shape an opinion about your brand and decide whether they want to leave or stay. This is precisely why having a good web design should be a priority for all business owners and ecommerce businesses in particular.

In one of our previous articles, we gave you a full guide on how to start and successfully run an online retail store. If you haven’t read it yet, rush to do so 😉

Now when you are ready to start your ecommerce business, it’s time to analyze one of the key elements to your success. In this article, we will spotlight the importance of your web design to your online retail store, and all this peppered with various online shopping website ideas just to inspire you!

Table of Contents

First of all, let’s understand why having a great web design is essential and how it affects your potential customers. Below we give you 6 reasons why you should prioritise your website’s design as an ecommerce business owner and how you can improve it.

1. First Impression and Credibility

Your website sets the first impression of your company once your potential customers visit it. As mentioned above, it takes your audience a few milliseconds to judge your website and decide if they want to stay. That’s why you should put your best expertise to make sure that your web design gives your visitors “wanna spend more time here” vibes.

Thus, remember that an outdated web design will set a negative first impression about your online retail store. They will immediately leave your page and look for a similar service or product in your competitive landscape. This is a significant loss for your brand, and trust me; it is harder to win back your potential customers than to leave a good first impression without even losing them. Studies have shown that 66% of online surfers would prefer to see something well-designed than something that screams “we didn’t put enough effort.”

Furthermore, about 75% of your potential customers judge your brand’s credibility based on the design of your website. A poorly designed website may make your consumers doubt your credibility and professionalism. For instance, if you wanted to buy a used mobile phone, which website would you trust more? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

Therefore, prioritising your website design is incredibly important since it shapes the way your potential customers perceive your company. Your website design may either push your visitors away or help you keep your leads on your page. I am pretty sure that the latter is your preferred direction.

2. Search Engine Optimization

You probably remember from one of our previous posts that search engines such as Google rank the credibility and competency of your content through specific algorithms. Just keep in mind that search engines account for about 93% of all online traffic. So, this is something you simply can’t mess up. If your website doesn’t follow SEO best practices which are also up to the required standards, you will fight a fierce battle for visibility. I am pretty sure that as an emerging business, you don’t need such a big challenge right from the start.

Thus, to avoid this, you need to partner with professional ecommerce website designers. But you know what? You already found them! Contact us, and our experts will ensure your ecommerce website is not only beautifully designed but SEO-friendly!

How to make your website more SEO-friendly:

  1. According to a recent McKinsey report, you can increase your ecommerce sales by about 21% through shifting from general advertising mechanisms to investing in your web content. We have already discussed the importance of quality content to your Online Marketing, especially in terms of SEO. So, what about adding a “Blog” to your website
  2. Creative and stand-out visuals will keep your customers on your page. As mentioned above, 66% of your potential customers would prefer to see something creatively designed rather than run into something plain and unattractive. Creative visuals will make your visitors spend more time on your page and reduce your bounce rate.
    P.S. Take a look at the following article to see some great Graphic Design trends. But a kind warning, they can potentially reveal your hidden ecommerce website designer essence.
  3. While creative visuals and images are essential, make sure they do not affect your website’s load time. As we have already mentioned, your visitors will most probably abandon your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Moreover, just a 1-second delay will reduce your potential customers’ satisfaction by 16%. And once they leave, 64% of them will shop somewhere else. So, you definitely can’t afford to lose leads. Therefore, make sure that your high-quality images don’t affect the speed of your website negatively.

To get more information about how to improve your SEO, read through our article that takes a closer look at SEO.

3. Usability

It is vital to make sure that your visitors can find what they are looking for as smoothly as possible. In fact, the design of your website plays an immense role in terms of usability. Studies have shown that about 86% of your audience would love to find information about your products and services right on your website. Moreover, 65% of them would love to learn how to contact you, and having an “About Us” page would make 52% of your visitors happier.

Thus, you should pepper your website with on-point design elements which give your potential customers the experience they want. Otherwise, you will make your users unhappy and push them away from your store. And you what is going to happen next? They will go to your competitors. You don’t want that kind of dramatic ending, right?

How to Optimize Your Website’s Usability

To avoid this, you can use standard conventions, such as placing your primary sections in your main navigation or home page and having a help/contact us button on the upper-right corner of your website. See the online shopping website example below:

Online shopping website ideas Forever21 website design
Forever21

Just keep in mind that your website can work perfectly, but a lousy web design may make your visitors think that it’s hard to use. Think of a situation when you view two pages selling the same product. Both of them operate flawlessly; however, the second of them has a more attractive design. You wouldn’t even try to surf the former to find out that it works perfectly. The mere representation would leave you with the idea that the unattractive one is also weak in terms of its usability.

Therefore, a good web design not only affects the usability of your site in a practical manner but also people’s first perception of its usability. So, a good web design gives your potential customers a good user experience and affects their expectations on how that experience will look like if they decide to spend more time on your page.

4. Navigation

The navigation of your website is one of the prominent web design elements. Most ecommerce web designers apply Hick’s Law to topple the psychology of their users.

In short, Hick’s Law states that people take longer to make a decision once they have many choices. The longer they take to decide, the higher is the probability that they will end up buying nothing. That’s why according to Hick’s Law, you should keep the navigation simple.

Thus, you should make sure that your visitors can easily decide where to go. This can be done by keeping the choices fast and simple. So when we apply Hick’s Law to website navigation, we want to keep the choices as simple as possible to make it easier for users to decide where to go. Try to limit the number of choices/options up to seven.

To make it more vivid, take a look at the example below. On the main navigation of Apple’s website, you can find 7 primary sections, one of which is the “Support” button. After clicking, for instance, on “iPhone”, you can choose whether you want to view a specific model or other product-related accessories (see the second picture).

5. Conversion

Furthermore, on-point web design elements guide your visitors’ eyes, making them notice something you want them to see. Nowadays, ecommerce website designers use various web design techniques that allow them to draw the potential customers’ attention to specific products and special offers. Your web design elements can even make your visitors act by identifying some particular buttons. All these design elements serve just one purpose-stimulate your audience to take the actions you want.

How to Optimize Your Web Design for Conversion

You can use various techniques to optimize your website’s visual representation for conversion. But for now, just take a look at the examples below.

The use of white space around your call-to-action buttons is one of the most effective conversion methods. Here we should again get back to Apple. Apple is known for using simple designs and eye-catchy images. Look at this iPhone.

Here the phone is placed in the middle and is surrounded by a ton of white space. This kind of approach draws more attention to the product. Moreover, although the design here is quite minimalistic, we can identify two main -“Buy” and “Learn more”- buttons. These are call-to-action techniques that scream “CLICK”. Furthermore, another worth-to-mention design element here is that each product covers almost the whole page. So, if you scroll down to view another model, you won’t be able to see the previous one fully. This technique is again used to make sure that all your attention is drawn to just one model. Let’s be honest. With all this minimalism and smart navigation, it’s simply hard to leave the website without clicking on the product or one of those two buttons.

However, sometimes a minimalistic approach is quite limiting. Yes, minimalism is eye-catchy and perfectly fits in with the general concept of Apple. But it’s not the only efficient technique, for sure. Let’s take a look at Amazon. Although the product page is crowded with a lot of information and colors, the Add to Cart and Buy Now buttons always stick out. These are the most important conversion buttons on Amazon and the chances that someone will leave the website without noticing them are quite low.

6. Mobile-friendliness

Did you know that according to Statista, in 2020, about 49.2% of all retail ecommerce sales in the US was generated through smartphones? This number is only shifting upwards and is expected to reach 53.9% in 2021. Furthermore, about 85% of adults believe that a company’s website should work smoothly while viewed on a smartphone. Let me give you another fact and enough numbers for today.

A recent research conducted by Google found out that 53% of mobile users will leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

The above-presented statistics once again highlight how important having a mobile-friendly web design is. Your website may look perfect on a desktop, but smart ecommerce web designers should not concentrate on a single screen. It is essential to make sure that your website also works and looks good on other devices, despite the display’s size.

For instance, Dropbox can be an example of a company that succeeded in a great-looking and responsive website for both desktop and mobile users.

Boost your conversion rate:
Get a website UI/UX design review!

Final Thoughts

Your website is the main player in your ecommerce game. However, just having a website without flavoring it with on-point web design elements won’t bring your brand to the desired end. All of the reasons mentioned above once again underline the great importance of your website design to your company. The user experience your potential customers receive incredibly affects their interpretation of your brand. Keep in mind that your audience will judge your brand based on its looks before even reading a single word or navigating between your pages. So, if you eventually boil down to launching an ecommerce business, you simply can’t afford to understate the importance of your web design to it.

In this article, we gave 6 reasons for prioritizing your web design while starting an online business and peppered the provided information with relevant ecommerce web design ideas to put you on the right track. If going back to Google and typing “ecommerce website designers” or “ecommerce website design agencies”, is your next step, then don’t even leave this page because you already found what you need! Contact us for more info.

General FAQ

How can I get more sales on my ecommerce website?

The design of your website is crucial to making sales. A good design will set the first impression of your company – you want to give the impression of a reputable, trustworthy online seller. Additionally, a good design will lower bounce rates and increase the user session duration, boosting your SEO. Lastly, a good design with a well-thought out user experience ensures your customers can easily find what they need.

What is the importance of web design?

A website is the most valuable tool to your online marketing strategy and consequently making sales. Without a solid website design, you won’t build any trust with your customers for them to make a purchase on your website.

What makes a good website in 2021?

Any business that wants to stay relevant in the modern age should optimize their website experience. This has become more relevant than ever with the recent pandemic and increase in doing business online. Website optimisation will allow users to navigate the site, register, shop, and get proper assistance with ease.

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About Passionate

Passionate is a full service digital agency specializing in providing design, development, marketing and hosting solutions for startups, SMEs and brick & mortar stores.

At Passionate we pride ourselves on our meticulous attention to detail, speed of delivery and the genuine advice we provide throughout the process! Thanks to the broad set of expertise of our senior experts we are able to plan and work on multiple aspects of your project simultaneously optimizing the overall timeline and cost. 

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