As an ecommerce analyst and web design geek, I’m excited to share this comprehensive guide on how to create high-converting ecommerce websites. With over 2 billion people worldwide now shopping online, having a well-designed website is absolutely crucial for any ecommerce business hoping to grab its share of those online dollars.
Through my years of analyzing web traffic and consumer behavior data, I’ve uncovered key design strategies that can boost your ecommerce sales. I’ll be outlining each of these tips in-depth below, with stats, examples, and actionable takeaways you can implement right away. Let’s dive in!
1. Craft a Compelling Brand Story
Humans are wired to respond to stories. When a brand can weave an authentic story that resonates with its audience, it sparks an emotional connection that drives sales.
In fact, 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they feel an emotional bond with, according to a MDG Advertising study.
So what makes a compelling ecommerce brand story? Based on the research data I’ve analyzed, here are some of the most crucial elements to include:
How did you get started? Why was the company created? Share the inspiration, struggles, and vision behind the brand’s founding.
For example, eco-friendly shoe brand Allbirds was born when its New Zealand founder tried to find sustainable sneakers but couldn’t find any he liked.
What change do you want to make in the world? Convey the meaningful impact your brand aims to have.
Outdoor gear retailer Cotopaxi stands out by prioritizing philanthropy in its brand story. Since 2015, it has donated over $1 million to fight poverty.
Introduce the real people behind your brand, especially founders and designers. Help the audience relate to you on a human level.
Luxury fashion retailer Net-A-Porter profiles its employees from photographers to copywriters on its “People of Net-A-Porter” page.
Where are your products made? How do you ensure superior quality? Highlight your commitment to excellence.
Watchmaker Vortic, for instance, reinvents antique pocket watches into modern wristwatches at its workshop in Colorado. Its brand story emphasizes expert craftsmanship.
What principles guide your brand? Share causes or beliefs central to your identity.
UK food delivery service Oddbox built its brand around reducing food waste and sustainability. This mission shapes its story and endears it to eco-conscious consumers.
By thoughtfully weaving in these elements across your website copy, product descriptions, newsletters, About page, and other brand assets, you can craft an authentic story that resonates emotionally with your target audience. Data shows that brands that successfully connect with customers through storytelling sell twice as much as ones that don’t.
2. Simplify Site Navigation
As an analyst, I can’t emphasize enough how poor navigation design tanks ecommerce conversion rates. Cluttered menus with complex navigation paths cause most users to leave without finding what they want.
In fact, research by the Baymard Institute indicates that poor navigation accounts for over half of shopping cart abandonments.
To avoid this conversion killer, keep your site navigation clear and intuitive:
Limit main navigation options
Ideally keep primary navigation menu items between 7 to 9 choices max. More than that overwhelms users.
Use descriptive menu labels
Labels like “Dresses” work better than vague ones like “New Arrivals”.
Implement filtering and faceting
Let users filter search results by price, size, color etc. Baymard’s research found adding layered filtering increased ecommerce revenue by 11.5% on average.
Include predictive search
As users type, display suggested products. This study found predictive search boosted conversions by 12.5%.
Breadcrumb navigation like “Home > Electronics > Headphones” helps orient users.
Structure product/category pages
Thoughtful Information architecture within these pages enhances on-site discovery. User tests find well-designed category structure increases time-on-site, social shares, and sales.
By decluttering your navigation using the tactics above, you can minimize cart abandonment and keep visitors engaged onsite. Well-planned navigation pulls users deeper into your sales funnel instead of losing them.
3. Strategically Use Color Psychology
Picking the right colors for your ecommerce site design is not just an aesthetic choice. It’s a science-backed strategy to influence customer emotions and behavior.
Studies on consumer psychology find that color accounts for up to 90% of the reason users make a snap judgement about a product. So leveraging color intentionally is crucial.
Based on behavioral data, here are some of the top colors for ecommerce sites and their psychological impact:
|Color||Effects & Associations||Industries|
|Blue||Trust, Professionalism, Dependability||Healthcare, Finance, Technology|
|Black||Luxury, Power, Sophistication||Fashion, Premium Brands|
|Green||Natural, Calm, Wellness||Organic, Sustainability|
|Purple||Creativity, Wisdom, Spirituality||Arts, Cosmetics, Feminine Brands|
|Red||Passion, Excitement, Intensity||Sports, Gaming, Youthful Brands|
Look at competitors in your industry and test out color palettes to determine which “vibe” best aligns with your brand identity and elicits the desired emotional response from your audience.
Even minor tweaks like changing an accent color or button hue can impact conversions, so don’t be afraid to experiment. The data doesn’t lie!
4. Maintain Design Consistency
When users see uniform visuals reinforcing a brand’s identity at every touchpoint, it triggers familiarity and trust. That’s why design consistency across your ecommerce site is so important for conversion rates.
Inconsistency, however, makes a brand seem disjointed and untrustworthy.
A recent consumer survey found 75% of respondents said visual consistency across a website gave them more confidence in the company.
To build this critical familiarity and trust with your own brand online, make sure you:
– Use consistent logo placement/sizing
Your logo should appear prominently in the same spot and same size across all pages.
– Stick to one or two brand colors
Limit your palette for instant recognition.
– Choose one or two complementary fonts
Repeat the same fonts across all assets and pages.
– Standardize page layouts
Keep navigation, footers, buttons etc. in the same place and style.
– Maintain consistent image style and quality
Use cohesive imagery that evokes similar emotions.
– Employ repeating visual motifs
Unique illustrations, icons, or graphics that recur throughout your design tie it all together.
– Speak consistently through copy
Retain the same tone and messaging across site content.
By mastering visual consistency across the user journey, you reinforce familiarity with your brand at every step. This builds trust and cultivates loyalty, according to conversion data.
5. Add Urgency Through Scarcity Tactics
As a consumer behavior analyst, I can confirm that people are hardwired to desire things that are scarce or exclusive. By tapping into this instinct strategically on your ecommerce site, you can give conversion rates a sizeable boost.
A MarketingSherpa study analyzing hundreds of landing pages found that:
Limited-time scarcity offers increased conversion rates by over 32%.
High-demand alerts boosted conversions by almost 40%.
Purchase progress bars lifted conversions by over 5%.
Some effective ways to incorporate urgency triggers include:
– Countdown timers on offers
Running out clocks pressure users to act fast.
– “Limited spots remaining” notifications
Conveying exclusivity increases perceived value.
– Stock status bars
“Only 5 left!” heightens the sense of scarcity.
– Delivery windows
“Order in the next 2 hours for overnight delivery” adds urgency.
– Reward reminders
“Spend $20 more to qualify for free shipping!”
However, exercise some restraint with scarcity cues. Being overly aggressive can breed distrust and backlash. Strike a balance that prods users just enough without crossing over into manipulation territory.
The data clearly shows urgency tactics work when used judiciously. A little bit of pressure helps tip undecided visitors over into becoming customers.
6. Showcase Products Visually
Humans are visual creatures. When shopping online, customers depend on product photos and videos to inspect items from all angles before making a purchase.
In fact, research by Nielsen Norman Group reveals that:
High-quality product images can increase conversion rates by over 25%.
Users spend up to 85% more time on product pages with multiple images.
Product videos have been shown to lift conversions by 64-85%.
So don’t hold back on showcasing your products visually onsite. Ensure your product images check all the right boxes:
– Professionally photographed on white background
No amateur shots or stock photos. Invest in quality.
– Multiple angles
Front, back, sides, zooms. Enable close inspection.
– Great lighting
No shadows or glare. Use diffused lighting.
– Relevant context
Lifestyle imagery shows the product in use.
Show product worn or held by people. Allows viewers to envision themselves.
Going beyond static shots, seriously consider adding:
- 3D rotational views
- Mouse-over zoom
- Product videos
Rich visual content eliminates information gaps and empowers customers to buy with confidence. With photography driving up to 60% of engagement on ecommerce sites, compelling images and video must take center stage in your web design.
7. Optimize for Mobile Users
Here’s an incredible statistic for you: Globally over 60% of ecommerce traffic now comes from mobile devices.
As an analyst, I can’t stress enough how vital optimizing for mobile and tablets has become. Shoppers expect seamless user experience regardless of the device they’re on.
If your site is poorly optimized for mobile, you can bet shoppers will go elsewhere. Research by Smart Insights found:
Mobile-optimized sites enjoy conversion boosts between 200-300%.
67% of customers say a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a brand.
Bounce rates are 102% higher on websites with inadequate mobile optimization.
To ensure your ecommerce site offers excellent mobile UX, be sure to:
– Use responsive design
Automatically adapt layouts for any screen size.
– Compress image file sizes
Faster loading on mobile networks.
– Simplify navigation
Streamlined menus for easy use on touchscreens.
– Retain prominent CTAs
Clear calls-to-action like “Add to Cart”.
– Expand filters
Avoid crowded interfaces on small screens.
– Increase tap target size
Make buttons/links finger-friendly.
Today’s multi-device world demands designing with mobile-first in mind. With mobile driving over half of ecommerce traffic and counting, optimizing across devices is absolutely crucial for profitability.
8. Continuously Optimize With A/B Testing
Ecommerce web design requires continual optimization fueled by data-driven testing. It’s a process of constant refinement rather than a one-time task.
Tools like Google Optimize and VWO allow easy A/B split testing of elements like:
– Page layout
Sidebar vs vertical stacking?
Which headline or call to action converts better?
Product photos vs lifestyle images?
Mega menu vs minimalist?
– Checkout process
One page or multi-step?
This takes the guesswork out of design decisions. The stats reveal how real users respond to each version.
According to Econsultancy, companies that excel at data-driven optimization improve conversion rates by up to 400%.
Even minor changes like button color or placement can impact sales. The key is constantly testing and iterating using real user data. Optimization is never “set and forget.”
Pay attention to metrics like:
- Bounce rates
- Conversion rates
- Average order value
Let the data guide you toward incremental but compounding site improvements over time.