An online business can be set up quickly. But how do you stand out from the numerous competitors and make your e-business sustainably successful? The store design plays an important role in this. Usability, trust, motivation - we have summarized what you should pay attention to when designing a successful online store in eight web design tips for you.
Inspire your target group
Young people are attracted to a different store design than silver surfers. Women are seduced by different image worlds and functionalities than seasoned men. So think carefully about who you want to appeal to with your online store and what the usage habits of your target group are.
Present your products attractively
In addition to comprehensive product information, high-quality product images are crucial to the success of an online store. Since customers don't have the opportunity to experience products with all their senses when shopping online, they at least want to see exactly what they are buying. Professional product photographs show the items against a background that is as even as possible and not distracting. It's best to provide your customers with an entire image gallery with product views from different angles and a zoom function for detailed views.
Make sure your site is self-explanatory and user-friendly
The most impressive web design is of little use if your customers can't find the products they're looking for or struggle to complete their purchase. Good usability is therefore the be-all and end-all for a high-turnover store. Above all, the navigation should be clearly recognizable and clearly structured. A clearly visible search function allows customers looking for a specific item or manufacturer to quickly find the desired product. The shopping cart and checkout are also ideally always in view, so that the purchase can be completed quickly.
Motivate and convince potential customers
User-friendliness alone is not enough. You also need to create the desire in your customers to buy products. Through persuasive web design, you guide store visitors along the desired path, so to speak, by limiting user behavior (hide all visual distractions after product selection; hide superfluous information and links when the purchase is completed), making concrete suggestions for action (offer suitable products or show what other customers have also bought), or offering concrete motivation to act (present discounts in a clearly visible way).
Present yourself as a trustworthy, reputable online retailer
Place seals of approval, awards, positive reviews & Co. clearly visible so that potential customers immediately identify you as a reliable, reputable store operator. For a professional overall appearance, you should of course also comply with the usual design guidelines (no more than 3-5 different font sizes, no wild jumble of fonts, etc.) as well as applicable law (clearly recognizable basic price information and purchase completion buttons, etc.).
Offer your customers popular payment options
Whether your customers' filled shopping carts make it past the virtual checkout often depends on the payment options you offer. If the familiar payment service is not included, too much sensitive data is requested, or the order cannot be submitted intuitively, the purchase is quickly abandoned and an alternative source of supply is sought.
A 2015 study by the Cologne Institute for Retail Research, for example, found that customers prefer to pay by invoice, closely followed by credit card, direct debit and Paypal. In particular, higher amounts are paid by means of the long-established payment methods of invoice and credit card. Around a third of total spending is also split between direct debit and Paypal, so that around 80% of online sales are processed via these four payment methods alone.
For you as a store operator, moreover, it is not just a possible basic fee or card discount that is relevant when choosing payment services, but also the provider's service, security retentions, payment targets, payout intervals, merchant center handling and other fees incurred in the event of chargebacks etc.
So, think carefully about the payment options you provide to your customers and place the logos of popular payment providers prominently in your store.
Weigh up open-source and commercial solutions
Open-source systems and designs are, of course, a cost-effective alternative, and you can find a solution for almost any requirement due to the huge developer community. However, it should be noted that with open-source solutions, you should not expect direct support from the developer, nor that everything will work flawlessly. If store software, plugins and templates come from different programmers, plan for the fact that the individual components may not be compatible and that extensive adjustments may be necessary.
Motivate and convince potential customers
User-friendliness alone is not enough. You also need to create a desire in your customers to buy products. Through persuasive web design, you guide store visitors along the desired path, so to speak, by limiting user behavior (hide all visual distractions after product selection; hide superfluous information and links when the purchase is completed), making concrete suggestions for action (offer suitable products or show what other customers have also bought), or offering concrete motivation to act (present discounts in a clearly visible way).