How important is ‘good design’ in an e-commerce store?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by anonuk, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. anonuk

    anonuk UKBF Regular Free Member

    319 46
    I’ve been looking at a lot of websites lately to try and get inspiration for our new website and I have to say that a lot of websites just look dull, many only looking mildly presentable due to the images used rather than the design itself.

    It led me to thinking about this question. Do you think you’d get more sales having a really nice design over a standard ‘template feel’? Do you think the average customer even cares what the website looks like as long as they can buy the products they need?
    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: anonuk Member since: Feb 27, 2014
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    A lot depends on your marketing plan. If you generate leads from Instagram a simple design can work. If you are selling high end goods then design is more important.

    But your content is key. The right images and descriptions and an uncomplicated checkout process is the best way to get more sales.
    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  3. John Toomey

    John Toomey JDJT1966 Full Member

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    You hit the nail on the head in your last sentence. Focus on user experience and whether they can find the product alongside whether the site's imagery and content is selling the benefits. One thing that people don't do, in their rush to get their site live, is test it with the type of people who will buy from them. Also, listen to their feedback because they will give you a good indication about what is wrong. Finally, make the end-to-end process as simple as possible.
    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: John Toomey Member since: Sep 7, 2020
  4. WebshopMechanic

    WebshopMechanic UKBF Regular Full Member

    427 218
    Like to guys have said, design is important but the 'customer experience' is key. The site needs to:

    Function properly and appear professional (especially on mobile)
    Be able to take the customer on a logical, effortless journey
    Get them the answers they are looking for
    To keep them engaged, making them want stay for longer

    Yes, it's a trade-off sometimes when it come to design vs content. Luxury brands tend to go for a minimal look and feel but that often leads to less engagement because there's nothing for customers to get their teeth into. It really depends on the product.

    Ultimately, your homepage should be the 'wow' page. Its a shop window into your world. It is NOT a sales page. This is where many e-commerce stores go wrong. They try to throw the kitchen sink at the homepage with products galore, in the hope somebody clicks on something. This just ends up with a 'paradox of choice' where people leave due to overwhelm.

    The homepage is the hook to bring people in. It only needs 4-5 key messages and it also needs to create trust and confidence. This is where imagery is key. If your imagery is poor then people will leave.

    The product pages are where you need to ensure you tick the boxes in customer's heads. Layout and design are key here because you need to get across a mix of sexy (features/benefits) and unsexy (shipping/ returns) information in a clean way that doesn't cause the user to feel like it's a chore.

    And then of course the checkout. This needs to be designed in a way that makes it quick and effortlessly, whether on desktop or mobile.

    All-in-all, design should be used to improve the users experience and remove barriers to a purchase. Keep that in mind and you'll be in a good place.

    Hope that helps.

    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: WebshopMechanic Member since: Apr 27, 2017
  5. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,972 937
    Neither Amazon, nor Ebay, are particularly pleasing on the eye. At least, that is my subjective opinion.

    I reckon functionality, and reputation, beat pretty.
    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
  6. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

    4,608 1,103
    Everyone keeps saying that. I wonder why every site I've tried to buy from recently demands log in passwords. Passwords really slow down the experience and have prevented me several times from making repeat purchases.

    I don't need a password to go into a B&M shop.
    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
  7. WebshopMechanic

    WebshopMechanic UKBF Regular Full Member

    427 218
    Agreed. But I would argue that Amazon and Ebay built trust from the start of the internet and design isn't as important to them. People know what they get and how it works. Amazon's One-click-checkout is masterfully designed though (and dangerous)
    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: WebshopMechanic Member since: Apr 27, 2017
  8. WebshopMechanic

    WebshopMechanic UKBF Regular Full Member

    427 218
    Again, agreed. They only do that because they want your data and to spam you with offers for own brand Turkish Delight and garden shears.

    Many of these large businesses haven't the first clue about e-commerce, customers or anything else. The web managers have never run their own stores so they don't understand how peopler shop, where improvements can be made, and how a smooth journey will massively improve conversion. They simply focus on merchandising or offers and rely on their agency to tell them what happened that week.

    Being smaller enables you to view things in more detail, test page layouts and really understand what people want.
    Posted: Jan 13, 2021 By: WebshopMechanic Member since: Apr 27, 2017