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When building an Ecommerce store, it’s important to get your website design right.

A poorly designed store will deter customers, lower trust and destroy your business. A well-designed store will attract customers, encourage brand awareness and engagement and lead to more purchases, growing your businesses and leaving everybody happy.

So where to start?

Using our years of experience building Ecommerce stores and gathering and analyzing data from Google Analytics, we know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

We’ve taken the time to assemble for you our 5 best practices for building your Ecommerce website. So let’s get started.

Best practice 1: Be mobile responsive

When building your Ecommerce store, the first box to check is make sure that your site is mobile responsive. This simply means that your website will open and display correctly on all screens, including laptop, desktop, tablet and mobile.

51% of all internet traffic currently comes from mobile, so ignoring this would be a death-wish for your Ecommerce performance. Mobile conversions are still currently lower than desktop, but it is always creeping up.

Don’t get caught in the dark ages of Ecommerce. Optimize for mobile.

Best practice 2: Make it easy to navigate

An Ecommerce website that is easy to navigate means one thing: it is easy to find, compare and purchase products. The whole point of your store is to make sales, so build the concept of ‘easy navigation’ into your site.

A site that is easy to navigate will have a clear category and product structure, which should be represented in the top navigation menu, sidebars and footer menus. You should also have kicker images, related products and upsells / cross-sells set up to ensure that your customers can easily find the products they need.

On top of this, ensure your store has a large, easy to find search function at the top of each page. The header is the best location, in the style of Ebay, Amazon and other big stores.

Best practice 3: Make it easy to purchase!

Now that you have made it easy to find products on your Ecommerce site, you will want to ensure your shopping cart and checkout processes are as smooth as possible.

Abandoned carts are a huge cause of lost Ecommerce revenue, so do everything you can to make this part of your store as seamless as possible.

    The processes you will want to optimize here are:
  • ease of adding to cart
  • ease to continue shopping after adding to cart
  • ability to save cart contents to return to store later
  • ease of finding, editing and finalizing cart while and after browsing
  • smooth process while checking out (includes entering address / payment details + upsells if applicable)
  • progress bar in the cart
  • follow ups and cart abandonment emails to bring people back to your store when they leave
  • Best practice 4: Focus on building trust

    Trust is huge in Ecommerce, and even bigger in mobile ecommerce, where people are still getting comfortable making transactions online.

    If you want to make more sales, you will need your customers to believe that sending you money online will work out well for them in the long run. Will you deliver the product you promised? Is their payment safe? Are you a real company?

    These are all questions they will ask themselves before buying from you.

    There are many ways to display and build trust on an Ecommerce website, including social proof, credibility, authority and security.

    To increase social proof, display customer reviews prominently on your site (especially on product pages) and display your social media following and comments. People feel safer when they see other people’s positive experiences.

    To be credible and authoritative, you have to make sure your message is congruent. If you are selling high tech gadgets, does your site look high tech? Does it work well? If you are selling swimming pools, does your site use nice ‘water related’ imagery? People are smart, and will pick up on your inconsistencies. So be congruent!

    Finally, to increase security, display your security badges on site. These can be SSL Secure badges, security software such as Norton or McAfee, and money back guarantees.

    Best practice 5: Look good!

    The final best practice for your Ecommerce site design is to have good design. It doesn’t need to be particularly artistic or inventive, but it should look clean, high resolution and modern, with a good color scheme.

    A good-looking store will attract customers, and an ugly one will drive them away. It’s as simple as that.

    Your web design agency will be able to advise you on good design, so choose one you trust.