When you’re an online web store, your website design must make it easy for customers to do business with you. There are already challenges to shopping online, such as not being able to see a product in person. So, for those who dare to buy things on the web, they want an experience that’s worth it. They want to shop at a web store that offers clear product pictures, easy-to-read descriptions, and intuitive shopping from start to finish, so that they feel confident in the buying process.
If you offer all of this to your potential customers, and your current ones, you’re in the running with the competition. But, if you want to distinguish your web store from the others, you need to think about even more when it comes to web design. This is why it pays to hire a web designer to create your online store. This is the benefit of turning to someone who’s experienced in online web store design.
As you think about your web design, the following is what a good web designer must implement for successful selling online.
Basics of Design
When you think about your website’s design, think of it as an extension of a brick and mortar store. If you have a actual storefront, your website should offer the same look and feel as your physical location. It should reflect your existing brand’s space in terms of colors, style, and industry.
If you only do business online, think about your brand and what it would look like in physical form. Make your online store a place where people feel welcome shopping, where it’s inviting, and where branding is clear. Your online store should offer an aesthetic that a brick and mortar store of its kind would have, such as a sterile look if you’re selling medical equipment or a earthy appearance if you have a health food store.
All web stores should be designed so that they build the buyer’s trust. They should an easy-to-find product page, shopping cart, and return and shipping policy page. A good web store will be mobile friendly for people who like to shop on the go.
Create Great Content
Your online web store design should focus on great content, and it should include content that does an excellent job of showing, explaining, and selling your products. Since content is the driving force on the internet, you need to have quality pictures, product descriptions, website text, and infographics that tell why someone would want to buy what you’re selling.
All of your images, infographics, videos, and text should also be Search Engine Optimized (SEO) so that consumers will be able to find your web store in a Google search.
Your content should be relevant to the products that you sell and it should establish you as a leader in your industry. Keep an eye on your website frequently to see if you need to update any pictures, product descriptions, or other content so you don’t appear outdated or ill-equipped to conduct transactions online.
Furthermore, you will want to make sure that your website design offers a link to your social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. It’s a good idea to also incorporate a blog into your web store website design, so that you can offer valuable commentary on your products and your industry. This helps to establish you as a leader and expert.
Call to Action
You may have great pictures of your products and amazing descriptions of your items, but you need more than this to sell effectively online. You need a clear call to action to direct consumers to your shop and to every specific item you’re selling. Incorporate an easy-to-find “Shop” text link at the top of your web store, and include a “Buy it Now” or “Add to Cart” button for each product you sell. You need to be able to direct your shoppers from looking to buying, using specific directional clues that take them exactly where you want them to go. Your customers need obvious instructions on what you want them to do once they get to your web store, and once they get to each product page.
In addition to using text links and buttons to persuade a consumer to take the action to purchase, you can also place a call to action in a blog post. As you talk about a specific brand you sell, or item, use links to direct people to the product description page where they can then click a “But it Now” button.
The ability for a consumer to securely pay for their item online should be of the utmost concern for a web store. Five years ago, people were scared to enter their credit card information anywhere on the internet for fear of fraud. Today, it’s commonplace to buy products online with a credit card, but stories about hacking and security breaches can still leave your customers a bit weary of doing business with you.
Your website design should incorporate icons and descriptions of security measures that have been taken to assure credit card entries are safe on your site, like “Verified” or “Secured” icons. Think about using payment systems that are known for being secure like PayPal, Square, or Stripe.
Your online store will need several types of content, including a blog and a shopping cart. Luckily, there are some great products that you can seamlessly integrate into your web store to give you effectively blogging and selling capability.
For your online store, which is most important, you can turn to Shopify or Squarespace. Shopify is a platform that has been built especially for online shops. It offers easy-to-use web shop templates that you can drop pictures and descriptions into, and then start selling right away. Many top brands build beautiful web stores with Shopify. Monthly subscriptions to this platform start at just $20 per month, and for this price your cart will be completely hosted with full support.
Squarespace is another low-cost, monthly-subscription website platform that offers templates, shopping cart capabilities, and blogging abilities. Squarespace is known for putting out some gorgeous web designs that can be used straight away or customized for a unique look. Like Shopify, Squarespace is reasonable in terms of price. For about $20 per month, you can have a fully functional web store with a blog and shopping cart. But, plugins are limited on Squarespace.
For your blog, we love Word Press. WordPress is the industry standard for blogging and it’s super easy to use. It’s free too. You can customize your WordPress blog to match, almost identically, your website design in terms of layout, colors, and fonts. WordPress offers many useful plugins for online stores, such as a shopping cart called WooCommerce. If you go the WordPress route, you don’t need to deal with a separate web or shopping cart template like Shopify or Squarespace. It’s a one-stop-shop that is easily customizable.
Putting it All Together
Even though many online selling platforms have made it pretty easy to market, and sell, products online, there are still several decisions that have to be made and brought together to produce a successful web store. This is where a web designer comes in. A good web designer is experienced in all ecommerce platforms. He or she will be able to take your brand, and products, and then integrate them into an online store that is most appropriate for meeting your sales goals.
When you hire an experienced web designer, you can sit back and let an expert turn your vision for your business into an online vision of perfection. One that will ultimately attract more customers for you, keep your current customers loyal, and generate tons of sales for your company.
If you would like to speak with us about our web store design services, please call us or fill out our contact form. We have created beautiful, intuitive, and successful sales-generating websites for many clients, from small mom-and-pop stores to large retailers.