Let’s imagine the following situation: a user wants to buy something in the Internet, looks for a suitable product  (using for example Google or Bing), enters an online shop and… leaves it immediately even though the shop offers the goods a client needs. Or here’s another a very common story: the potential buyer, being attracted by a beautiful site which looks like masterpiece of modern design and usability, illogically surfs page by page spending a lot of time and patience on the search, but does not find the necessary things and leaves the site with nothing.

Unfortunately, these two situations happen too often which leads both to the drop of sales and to people’s disappointment in online shopping.

That’s why the task of a web designer is not only to make the site visually appealing (even though the site appearance is important for the user’s convenience and the formation of a positive experience and the aesthetic pleasure of exploring the site) but to design the site in such a way that a client has gone through a landing page to complete the order as soon as possible. It increases the chances that he will make the next step – payment for purchase.

Here are some key tips that will help web designers of online shops to solve this problem and to develop a successful online portal.

1. Give users ample selection of goods

Design of online stores requires extensive use of search tools and a variety of filters. The earlier the visitor will be able to begin the process of filtering the proposals in order to find the desired items the less time and effort will be required and the faster he or she will make an order.

2. Search panel should be easily accessible

We often cannot even imagine how often search is used in the online store. If a customer came to the site looking for something specific, it will first ask a search system. If the visitors have not yet decided on what they wants to buy, it is likely that they will use the search filters.

That’s why it is important to add a well visible and convenient search field to all pages, which automatically would provide search options and sections. It will help visitors to get additional directions in search, they may visit other proposals, which they never thought about before.

3. Users may easy change their choice

When the users narrow the search within a particular category, over time they may change their minds. It is very important that they can easily cancel their choice and make a new one without pushing a “go back” button in the browser, which often leads to loss of the data entered into the form and returns to the starting point of the search .

4. Navigation should be simple and easy

Sites of large stores with a wide range of products should have separate categories, use different kinds of menus, including a drop-down menu. This is an effective way to avoid cluttering up the page and make available all sections.

Another option for navigating the site is a well known to the users navigation chains (so-called “breadcrumbs”). By the way, they will be good for the site SEO as well.

5. Quick preview of the product

Customers looking for products on the internet would like to have the ability to quickly view the pages category (section) to find quickly their items. And when they are viewing the goods of one category it is not the best idea to redirect them into separate pages for each product.

Add a quick view category items which is most often implemented using Ajax. Preview mode can simply increase the image of the product or display additional information about it.

6. Keep your product pages clean

It means, it should not contain elements which distract visitor from buying process.

Online store website should be pure and simple, and the products are bundled with a neat description and price should be placed in their own space.

It should also be careful when you add some “advice” sections. Despite the fact that it’s a great way of attracting customers to purchase additional products, this issue may create a mess on the page.

A good idea is to add a review section to the page where potential clients may read the opinions of other people who already use this or that good. However, this section shouldn’t occupy the main place on the page.

7. Use high-quality photos

E-commerce mainly relies on the visual representation of the product. Quality photos will help visitors to find the right product and make a decision about buying it. The designer can use different methods of presenting visual information, for example, to show to thumbnails connected with full-screen images. Blurred and fuzzy images will reduce the impression not only about a particular product, but about the entire site.

8. Information about the absence of goods

One of the biggest mistakes in the design of e-commerce websites is a wrong buyer’s notice about the positions that are not in stock.

In terms of SEO, it is better to leave the product on a virtual showcase, instead of deleting it and then re-adding. But if buyers discover that the item is not available only after they completed all the procedures for the order registration, it is obvious that the next time they turn to another online shop, where managers value their time more.

Therefore, information on availability of the goods must be presented at the beginning of the selection process and should be absolutely clear.

9. The shopping cart

The attractive and clean button “Add to cart” should be noticeable and present on each page of the online shop. Moreover, more advanced online buyers do not like it when they have to go to the shopping cart page to add the next item to it.

Besides, the user basket should contain much more information than just the number of elements in it. Think about using the icons or thumbnails of products to give the basket some “vitality”.

10. Now the cost of delivery!

Many people are wondering how much the shopping service will cost. Many deals are broken, if at the end of the process (just before pressing the button “Pay”) buyers find out that it would require an amount slightly larger than the one on which they had agreed. Information about the options for delivery and its cost should be present on the product page.

Of course, much more things should be taken into consideration when developing a good online shop (new subscription, social network integration, brand design, etc.). But the main 10 of them are described above, the top 10 which will make your online business profitable.

Author: This article is written by Catherine Merzlova, an online marketer from Nasty Creatures, a professional mobile app development company. To find out more about mobile and epublishing services of the company, follow them on Twitter @Nasty_creatures.  And remember: they’re nasty only to competitors!

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