When a new user logs in to your website just to inquire about something he might be interested in, your e-commerce website has one job: give them enough reason to stick around for a little longer. This purpose can be filled with a design that’s eye-catching, succinct and precise.
It should be coded in a way that makes it accessible even to those who are not entirely comfortable with shopping online. Make it appear as organic as possible resembling an actual fashion and clothing store for the best results. Remember, it’s not only about the visual outlook, but how everything flows and functions.
In order to maximize sales and viewership on your e-commerce site, here are five essential tips that can help you excel at the whole design scenario and never let a customer turn away, at least not without having them browse through the whole website once.
Reflection on the personality of your store
Just like every physical store or brand has its own mood, its own identity or some sort of personification that gives off a certain vibe, the same is important for e-commerce stores as well. This should be the foremost concept that is to be reflected from the starting homepage since first impressions are always the most important ones. Hence, you should go for a singularly distinct design that evokes some sort of feel or tone that is tied and exclusive only to your brand name.
A good example is Rebels Market, which is a pop-culture and alternative clothing online brand. Owing to its ‘rebel’ theme, you’ll find apparel related to settings like Halloween, Cyberpunk, Gothic, Punk and even Retro.
So basically, we’re talking about the dark and metal stuff. The website is designed in a way which furthers this feel. You may notice the purple navigation menu at the top with some hints of black and white in the font.
So even without having shopped an item, my guess is you already have a taste of rust and metal in your mouth, and a feeling of dread as you enter the website, exactly how the designers intended and planned.
Shopping cart, the most important section of the web
Though by now you’ve already secured a customer who’s close to checking-out with their purchase, if this shopping cart section isn’t accessible, you can easily frustrate the customer out of the deal. Thus accessibility in this particular section of the store is extremely important.
Offer Factor, for example, does a good job in this regard with its simple design for the shopping cart section and good interactivity even outside it. For e.g. at any point of your website surfing experience, you can check out the items along with their visual appearance and the quantity you order thanks to a drop-down menu achieved by hovering over the cart icon in the top-right of the page. In fact, you can scroll all the way down on a page, but this cart icon will always be there for ease of access.
Clicking on the icon leads to the shopping cart section which is simple and straight-forward with even a comment section. You can change the quantity order simply by inputting a different number on the same page or remove the item altogether.
The final options are prominent enough: ‘Checkout’ or ‘Update Cart’ to keep browsing before making your purchase.
Searching for more
Most newcomers to your store won’t even express interest in going through the catalog or various offers at your online retail shop. Instead, they’ve come with a specific product in their mind and the search bar should be at their disposal to serve their particular need.
For ease of use and consistency, a search bar should be prominent enough presumably on the top-right of the page. Furthermore, it’s highly likely the user may scroll down for contact details or brand information; the search bar should move accordingly saving him the extra effort.
UrbanOutfitters understands this and so they’ve not only made their search bar so that it navigates and tracks the user’s movement, but a term inputted in the search bar lets you get a glimpse or suggestion of the product you might have desired to purchase.
Interactivity is key
Ever notice how we all like to view an item from a store from different angles and try it out before the actual purchase? It should be no different for e-retailers. Of course, there are still limitations but the technological advancement means websites can make use of a tonne of interactive tools to make it feel like an actual store.
For increased immersion, how about allowing the users to view the particular dress from all perspectives to get a better idea of the size, texture, and fitting of the apparel. Though 3D photography in fashion e-commerce still has some time to go, short video clips can provide an overview of the product.
Popular e-commerce brands like Diane Von Furstenberg and ASOS, in addition to the images for reference, showcase their models wearing the particular clothing in a short video highlight.
Other e-commerce fashion sites like Redbubble will allow you to select from a wide variety of colors to visualize how an item may appear.
Overstuffing your website with unnecessary information or cluttering information from different sections on a single page is definitely not recommended. Instead, keep everything minimalistic, simple and understandable. Organize the top section only for the menu which will redirect to different sections. The homepage can be as simple as a single high definition picture of one of the featured products.
Olive does justice to this approach. The menu is literally the first line of text with the brand name in the top left corner and the categories right in the middle. Moving over to the right, you can observe the search bar, the ‘sign in’ option and lastly, the check-out section from ‘my cart’ option.
The text is readable and there’s even a ‘Help’ tag which pops up a dialogue box where you can input your queries.
With a sound aim of replicating the experience of a real-life physical retail store, you can perform wonders for your e-commerce fashion brand. Keeping in mind the above-mentioned tips at the time of designing and coding in features, you will have created a platform that’s immersive, interactive and accessible, and gives viewers all the reasons they need to browse a lively and attractive gallery of fashionable items.