Blog 23/05/2014


As a web designer I look at quite a few websites each day from potential clients to competitors to companies we would love to work with. This article is based on common issues we are finding across websites, and tips to improve conversion rates.

Does your website reflect your shop?

If you have a high street shop, do you feel as if your website represents it well. Habits of shoppers change – we know we can go and window shop and then go home and maybe order the items we like online. Or alternatively look at items online and then go and buy from the shop. So it is funny that quite a few websites don’t match up to the high standards of the shops.

It is important that brand identity is consistent and shopping experiences are easy and enjoyable whether you are online or instore. Both help each other out.

If you have a shop selling luxury items the ecommerce website has to also shout luxury.

Displaying Products

As Ecommerce websites get more sophisticated it is hard to stay ahead. Displaying products clearly should take high priority. On many fashion websites you now have 360 degree views of online products, as well as close ups of the fabric and different models wearing items of clothing. Whether it is fashion, furniture or jewellery it is essential for the user to view the products easily from all angles. We often offer advice on packshot photography and have some good suppliers, as we feel this can make or break the website.

Is it an enjoyable shopping experience?

If you are viewing a product, yet the page it is displayed on is flashing information, giving you several options to do other things on that page you have less chance of converting that sale. The website page must not be cluttered. And there should be a clear call to action to add to the shopping bag. The user needs to be able to read about the product and view the images clearly and buy. Why make it harder?

The Checkout

Is the checkout procedure easy, or is it a pages of information before you can checkout? There are now one page checkouts which are great for users buying from a mobile phone or tablet. You should always be able to checkout as a guest, and always be allowed to log in if you have used the website before. Website designers are there to make sure the checkout is easy and accessible. Also, it is vey nice not to have any hidden surprises at checkout, for example massive delivery costs, extra taxes or charges which have not been mentioned before the checkout. Be transparent about all costs.

The Homepage

Lets go back a few steps – as the customer even reached the checkout. User experience is key to ecommerce websites. You are trying to sell online so make the shop easy to find. Keep the navigation bar simple so the shop online is clear. I keep finding very long navigation bars with everything I may need in the top – but too much choice. Keep some links in the footer. Top navigation is important. Usually a navigation bar needs only about 5 links not 15.

If you are looking for a bespoke website to sell online please do contact me to discuss the process. I offer free consultations – call 07880721119.