eCommerce Website Design Checklist: A Foolproof Way

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@christa-elrodChrista Elrod

Creative graphic and web designer at Proglobalbusinesssolutions.

Popular brands are well aware of the fact that using an attractive website is one of the best practices to grow and run a successful eCommerce business. In addition to this, you also need to pay attention to organizing the information, content, and functionality of the website to improve the user experience.
Providing a good customer experience is an important task for any eCommerce website. To ensure that your site delivers the same, you need to keep certain things in mind.
In this blog post, we have compiled a complete checklist of the best points that you should consider while designing a new website. It covers multiple areas of the website, starting from content, design, usability, accessibility, and analytic. Thus, try implementing those on your website to boost sales and conversion rates.
1.  Grab the viewer’s attention within 5 seconds
It is highly important to grab the attention of your visitors as soon as they land on your page. Therefore, make sure to properly maintain the first few pages of your website to attract your potential shoppers. Use good graphic interfaces to design the layout and try to make it simple, lively, and unique. Once it is done, you can double-check the website to see if it is running correctly or not.
2. Ensure the compatibility of your web design
Studies show that people mostly use a mobile phone for carrying out purchases from an eCommerce website. Therefore, it is inevitable for every website to work on smartphones and other devices like tablets, laptops, desktops, and more. You can take help from the web design companies to make your designs responsive. Also, ask them to reduce the load time of your website.
3. Check that your brand logo is noticeable
The position of your company logo plays an important role to make your brand recognizable in the eyes of the audience. Hence, make sure that it is placed at a prominent place from where it can be easily visible to the viewers. The more they will visit your website, the easier it will be for them to remember your logo. A commonly used method is to put it on the top left side of the homepage.
4. Optimize the content for better search
Every e-commerce website aims to rank higher in the search results, which is why it is super important to optimize the content. Creating engaging content will help to grab the viewer’s attention and help them stay on your website for a long time. Hence, make sure that the content is different, not monotonous, having a proper structure, and relevant keywords or visual elements are added to the page.
5.  Make the ‘cart’, ‘buy’, or ‘add to cart’ icons prominent
When it comes to the cart icon, it is a common practice is to add it on every page so that customers can easily identify and access it with a click. Also, display the number of items present there. Apart from this, make sure that it is of suitable color and size to make it stand out from the other elements. The same rule applies to the 'buy' or 'add to cart' options. However, you only have to add those on the product page.
6.  Add a search bar on every page
It is a must for any website to provide a search bar on all the pages, including the product page. It will allow users to find their desired product on the website. Even offering suggestive terms is a good practice as it will help in improving their search experience. While adding them, make certain that it is relevant to what customers are looking for, and save their time and efforts.
7. Use distinct navigation menus
It is very important to have clear navigation menus on your page as it will guide your customers through the different products you are offering. However, it is not required for the check out page. Categorize them into different sections depending on the product type with similar features. Also, try adding a drop-down list to help your customers directly go to the desired section. 
8. Put contact info on each page
Assure your customers that they can contact you at any time if they have any queries. Add all the contact information on every page so that they can reach you if they face any difficulty while shopping. It will decrease their anxiousness and put them at ease that your customer care service will support them at the time of need. Usually, most websites provide contact details at the top of the page.
9. Don’t forget to add the social media icons
Social media is a great way to build brand awareness and understand the customer’s perspective. Hence, make sure to add different social media icons to your homepage, especially the popular ones, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Now, customers can easily follow the desired social media platform to get updates regarding your company’s products or services.
10. Use alluring product images for your website
High-quality product images are crucial for the online sales. Thus, it is advisable to invest in professional photo editing for creating visually and emotionally appealing product photos that connect with potential buyers. Another important tip is to showcase product images from various angles. It will give them a better view of your product and help in influencing their buying decision.
10. Use eye-catching and prominent call-to-actions
Make sure that your call-to-action is catchy and well projected to draw the attention of the visitors at first glance. Use the appropriate color or image to enhance your CTA button, which will compel customers to take the desired action and explore your site. It is a good idea to include it on your homepage so that it is clearly visible and grabs their desired attention.
11. Add options to filter and sort
Filtering and sorting options are a must if you want to improve the user experience. These functions will help customers to find the product meeting their exact specifications. It will also save their time as they do not have to sort out manually from a list of different product variants. Make sure that the options are relevant to the products you are selling and their properties.
12. Offer a ‘buy later’ or ‘wishlist’ option
Sometimes people might browse an e-commerce website to save products for purchasing later. In that case, you can provide users with the option to add items to their wish list. It will enable them to quickly find the desired item when they want to make a purchase. A suggestion will be to place the ‘wishlist’ option next to the ‘add to cart’ button so that it is noticeable by the users.
13. Add product videos on your page
Besides images, incorporating video demonstrations is also a great way to hold the attention of your customers. It will help them to get a better view of the product they wish to purchase and confirm their buying decision. Apart from this, you can also create videos to explain product usage. Later, these images can be uploaded to various social media platforms for building brand image.
14. Provide the details of stock availability
It is really dissatisfying to click on a product and go to its page just to find that it is no longer available in the stock. Therefore, avoid this by showing the info on the product page to decrease the customer's frustration. You can also use it to generate leads by notifying them when the product is about to go out of stock. It will compel customers to make a quick purchase.
15. Mention the additional fees beforehand
Ensure to eliminate any possibility of hidden charges, and keep your customers well informed about their payment details. It will increase their level of trust and make them your regular customers. Keeping hidden cost is one of the main reasons which will stop people from visiting your site. Make every fee visible, whether it is related to packaging, shipping, or anything else.
16. Add sections like ‘Best selling’, ‘Recommended for You’, and “Customers also purchased’
It is a general tendency of customers to choose products that are ranked high or are already purchased by others. Thus, you can include these sections to your website to significantly increase your sales. In addition to this, giving personalized suggestions for different product categories will also help to invoke the customer’s interest to buy the recommended product.
17.  Provide security badges
The importance of using a security badge is to reassure customers that they can trust your website regarding their financial details and product quality. Many reputed businesses display their SSL certificate and security badges to guarantee customers that the products are quality checked and can be trusted. Therefore, make sure to place it on the product page or check out the page.
18. Optimize the whole process of ordering
To attain maximum sales efficiency, you need to facilitate an ordering process that is well optimized for smooth running. An easy way to achieve this is by breaking up the whole process in four different steps. The first one should showcase your cart details, second should contain your user information, third should present the payment details, and the fourth should include the final confirmation.
19. Enable various methods of payment
Include payment options that are most trusted and widely used by the customers. Apart from integrating common payment gateways like credit or debit card, you can add several other methods like PayPal and Amazon Pay. Using these reputed payment systems will ensure that there will be no difficulty during transactions and the cart abandonment rate will be reduced.
20. Keep the checkout process simple
Ensure that your checkout button is prominent and easily noticeable to the viewers. The whole process should contain only 3-4 steps and easily understood by the clients. Besides, users should be asked only to fill in the necessary details, and shouldn’t be asked to sign up during checkout. Most customers tend to leave a check out process if it is lengthy or complex. Hence, try to avoid it.  
21. Add additional content
To add more value to your e-commerce website, you can add additional content. It will cast the impression that you are more than just an ordinary eCommerce site. It will strengthen your brand and help you to stand out among your competitors. Some examples of additional content that can be included in your website pages are blogs, tutorials, reviews, interviews, and more.
22. Include support pages
Support pages are very important when it comes to managing your e-commerce website and providing essential information to users. It generally contains details regarding the return, refund, or privacy policies, social media pages, forums, live chat area, FAQs, and more. Hence, while framing them, make sure to add bullet points so that they are easy to read and understand.
23. Introduce different product categories
Another way for boosting user engagement is by providing a relevant introduction to the various product categories. It will not only keep them engaged on your website for a longer time but will also give them the needed information they want. Eventually, it will positively influence their decision to buy the product. Apart from this, you can also add a suitable image for visual appeal.
24. Provide testimonials or customer reviews
Many users consider referring the customer reviews or testimonials before buying the product. It will help them to understand what other customers think of the purchased item and whether they are satisfied or not. You can also add scores and ratings to amplify their buying decision. Usually, the reviews and testimonials are present at the bottom of the product page.
25. Upsell the product
Upselling is a great technique used by eCommerce websites to maximize their sales and profits. To make sure this happens, you can recommend some other items that can be paired up with the product that the customer is about to buy. These suggestions should be shown in the product pages, especially on the cart page, as it will be your last chance to upsell.
26. Mention the estimated delivery time
Mentioning the estimated product delivery time will help to decrease the customer's curiosity. It will keep them from guessing when their package will arrive. However, make sure that the package gets delivered to their doorstep on or before the specified date you have provided. Otherwise, it can cast a negative impression which will bring down your sales.
27. Display logos of the popular brands
Place the logos of various reputed brands on the pages of your website. It will give a clear indication about the quality of your products and enable customers to trust your brand and services. Gradually, it won’t take long when other users will also believe your authenticity and start buying your products. In this way, you can maximize your sales and earn profits.
28. Keep the product description minimal
Try to keep the information on the product description pages as less as possible because not everyone will be interested in reading the wordy texts. However, in case it becomes lengthy, i.e., has a lot of information to showcase, then you can include a ‘read more’ option for directing it to another tab. It will help to project the product details in an uncluttered and tidy way.
29. Allowing easy update of cart items
Providing a hassle-free way to update the cart items is essential for any e-commerce store. It will make your website convenient to be used by different users. You can do this by incorporating an ‘update cart’ button on the checkout page. It will allow users to upgrade their cart with the added or removed products. Along with this, it should also display the subtotal amount of your cart.
30. Provide an option to continue shopping
While reviewing the cart items, sometimes customers may want to continue shopping, for adding more products to their carts. In that case, you can add an option such as ‘continue shopping’ or ‘return to shop’ in the check out page. It will directly lead the users to the product listing page and allow them to select and add the desired products to their cart.
31. Focus on improving your delivery strategy  
Shipping and delivery options pay a major role in influencing the customer’s decision to buy or back out from purchase. Even a single poor delivery experience can deeply affect your relationship with the customers. Therefore, ensure that your website provides flexible shipping and fast delivery services. Also, provide premium users with the benefit of the same or next day delivery.
32. Include emerging technologies
Incorporating cutting-edge technologies into your design will help in providing an amazing experience to the customers. You can add the voice search and virtual reality features, which will help in optimizing the search engine of your eCommerce store. Besides, you can also create a customized mobile app for enabling users to access your website via phone.
33. Improve your digital marketing strategies
Besides graphic designing, marketing is another important aspect of enhancing the sales and brand recognition of your e-commerce site. However, make sure to frame the strategies by combining both paid and organic marketing techniques. Don’t focus on a single aspect rather mix up the organic, social, and influencer marketing. Paid marketing can also help a lot in creating the desired impact.
34. Analyze and track the website statistics
Employing the best web analytics and tracking tools are valuable for planning the strategies to improve your website performance. It will track down the incoming traffic, different user activities like the number of clicks and indexed pages, and the whole user journey. Therefore, make sure to employ those types of tools at your site that can provide data on the above statistics.  
35. Pay attention to managing the logistics
Logistics management might not be exciting however, it is very important when it comes to running your e-commerce website. It mainly contains the issues related to order delivery and small inventory management. For beginning phases, it would be better to go with outsourcing the delivery process rather than handling in-house. Also, start with zero inventory as it will keep your costs low.
The above checklist will surely guide you to set up your e-commerce website in the beginning stage. However, the rest lies in how you can utilize it to the best for gaining maximum outcomes. Another best thing that this blog feature is the web optimization strategies that you should know for offering the best shopping experience to the users. Thus, you can either implement every point mentioned here, or only a few of them depending on your business type or goals. Overall, it will definitely bring more customers and increase their chance of revisiting your site.

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