The Interactive Storefront: Designing for Ecommerce

September 8, 2015In Web Design, eCommerce4 Minutes

Online sales worldwide have reached an all-time high in the trillions, and it’s clear that most consumers do much of their shopping, if not all, online. This trend is only on the upswing, and with that, technological developments of a digital storefront must keep up to meet the demand.

Much like being in a physical store, the environment must be given great attention and designed to work for the customer. eCommerce design is no exception, following trends and standards that designers must implement for a company to have a competitive and thriving existence.

Responsive Storefront

More than half of the commerce traffic today is done on mobile devices.  Drop rates are rampant for sites that are not mobile-friendly, equating to money left on the table for a business that has chosen not to optimize.  Delivering an optimal shopping experience with high-quality imagery, zoom capabilities, scrolling and readability, the responsive design brings a plethora of added value to the site owner through increased traffic and heightened conversion.

Experiential Storefront

For a brand to make a truly authentic connection to a user, it must extend many aspects of its persona throughout the digital experience. From initial perceptions to emotions and behavioral responses, the more resonant the experience, the deeper the loyalty between the brand and the user will be. Forging these connections through a screen can be a challenge, even more so as mobile usage continues to rise. It’s now more important than ever to implement an eCommerce website design that captures the true messaging of the brand it represents. Using visual, contextual, graphic and textual elements – a brand can make connections like never before. Leveraging design elements like oversized imagery, high-quality photography and lifestyle shots can lead users to faster conversion and higher engagement.

User-Centered Product Emphasis

With the popularity of oversized imagery, the trend has carried over to product pages. Users no longer want to see a simple, small image of the product they are interested in on a white background. They want to see high-quality photographs of all angles of the product that can be zoomed in on to see every nook and cranny. Additionally, higher conversions have been tracked to reveal that when an image of a product is shown in use by a real person (whether worn or used in a static photo or video), conversions are heightened drastically.

Simplified Navigation

Considering the importance of site architecture, a system of the organization relative to the content should be built from the start. Navigation tends to work best when constructed parallel to the informational framework of a website. If working with detailed or high amounts of content – subjects and categories should be pared down to the highest levels and sub-categories built upon into their hierarchical structures. Be careful not to bury information where it is not easily found, especially content that has been tested at a high click rate. This is essential for eCommerce storefront platforms, where conversion is only gained when information is found.

While it’s advised to keep up with trends within eCommerce design, companies should ensure that the implementations they choose fit the user being served. The right platform to support the design should be carefully chosen and designed to scale for long-term use as business needs change.

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