Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series. Please read our first post on Thurs., Sept. 15.As we previously discussed, there are three main things you need to create a great e-commerce website design - quality photos, unique layouts and easy navigation.Your website also has to provide “little extras” that play a big role in taking e-commerce website design to the next level in user experience. Every single piece works together to provide an experience where the consumer is able to connect with real world experiences.Emotional connections are the next step in creating a great e-commerce site. Every color, image, and piece of content should evoke an emotional response or connection with the shopper. Set the mood of the brand with a unique style which matches tone depending on your brand voice and messaging.For example, certain brands will set themselves apart using a bold tone of voice. They aren’t afraid to be witty with their language, but also make sure to keep it short and simple while making the tone conversational. Making the language conversational will provide a base of trust; especially with a human voice and consistency across the site, such as feedback, suggestions, explanations, and detail.Just as important to brand voice is promotional messaging. An e-commerce website with clear promotional deals should be advertised straight on homepage banners or in the header. Setting up a good mousetrap, such as a pop-up sign with an email capture for the newsletter will also help with conversions.The latest growing trend in e-commerce is the “try before you buy” feature, especially within the fashion and accessories venues. This can be executed in a variety of ways which will make you just as competitive as brick and mortar stores. This allows online stores to provide what is often missing in online shopping. Execution wise, you can create a free shipping and returns policy that will allow customers to experience a “try before you buy” feel.The most important element, especially an increasingly mobile-centric, cross-device world, is creating a seamless experience. Customers trust retailers when the brand they see has the same or similar look online that they do at a physical store. This can be achieved by using the same color schemes, tone, fonts, etc. Creating a native app to ease the experience can also help conversion.On the same note, social shopping is a great way to provide a powerful human experience. If everyone is talking about your store, posting, tagging, reviewing etc., then it will be seen as an experience not to be missed. Social media has become a huge part of our daily lives so integrating that into your e-commerce website design will only help your conversion efforts. Place social media icons in the header and footer for easy access. Instead of a native Instagram feed, create a shoppable or curated feed that stands out.Overall, you want to provide the easiest shopping experience possible which is vital to gaining those much-needed conversions and positive user experience. This is achieved through simple organization, such as filters, a clear and easy checkout, visible customer support such as a live chat or a simple FAQ, quick and painless free shipping, and a clear returns process. Anything that can improve usability in an online experience will translate into a positive user experience.Going beyond basic usability rules to provide the human experience that online shoppers crave will go a long way conversions-wise. Getting that positive, impactful user experiences plays a major role in not only new customer acquisition but in long term customer retention and returning customers.Going beyond basic usability rules to provide the human experience that online shoppers crave will go a long way conversions-wise. Getting that positive, impactful user experiences plays a major role in not only new customer acquisition but in long term customer retention and returning customers.
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Melissa is Hawke Media's Creative Director, leading a team of web and graphic designers building beautiful websites and creative assets for clients in all categories.