ECommerce websites account for more than 22% of total purchases worldwide – a statistic that defines the way the global population is likely to shop in the next decade. Whether you are building a new eCommerce brand or taking your established store online, creating the right storefront for your customers can literally make or break your digital sales.
If you are already looking for the right eCommerce solution to suit your needs, we are sure that you are bombarded with random facts and trivia on how you should go about it. If you are feeling confused, it is because a lot of this information is outdated, and some are relevant even now. It is, however, important to differentiate the myths from actual facts.
6 eCommerce Webdesign Myths
Here are 6 myths that you should immediately unlearn to design an eCommerce website that achieves all your goals:
#1. eCommerce Website is a one-time Investment
They say, Rome was not built in a day. Neither are any of the e-commerce websites that you have known and admired.
eCommerce websites generally require iterative changes and periodic updates over the years. They go through constant development and design changes, for it to become a website that trumps the hundred similar ones that are available out there. For instance, consider how Amazon looked and worked when it was launched, compared to now. Amazon’s interface has constantly evolved and changed to better the experience of the customers.
Even if you have successfully built a high performing eCommerce website and are ready to take it live, chances are that you would need to keep updating the interface. Moreover, you may also need to revamp the website in a few years as websites get outdated very fast in today’s day and age. The entire process can involve several steps and phases, so be prepared to incur multiple bouts of costs to keep your website up and running successfully.
You will need to consider additional investments for the maintenance and upkeep of your website right from the beginning so that it never feels outdated or static to customers.
#2. Social Media Integration is Optional
Regardless of what product(s) your brand is selling, your target customers are on social media and that is just the fact. Social media integrations on your website can translate into the higher lifetime value of your customers, and will also fetch you a better return on investment (ROI) on your product campaigns.
It can also have the following additional benefits:
- Higher engagement with customers
- Improved reach to a wider audience
- Better Customer Experience
- Increased user traffic to your website
According to Statista, over 3.6 billion people worldwide were active on social media, which is set to increase to 4.4 billion in 2021. This suggests that there has never been a better time for eCommerce brands to be active, and interactive on social media platforms. By integrating the right social media buttons and options within the website, you can guide, and engage with your customer like never before, and drive better results.
#3. One Template Fits All
A myth that people often believe in an attempt to save costs is that a predefined template can fulfill their design and development needs, and achieve the sales goals.
Even though most eCommerce websites are inspired by the popular and successful ones, there is no one way to go about the design process. Gone are the days, when you could pick up a standard eCommerce website template from WordPress or Shopify, and add your catalog and content to it. Right from choosing the logo, colors, and fonts, to figuring out the content placement and alignment, it is definitely an arduous task.
An important consideration in this stage that is often overlooked is website accessibility. But did you know that ignoring this step can potentially invite a lawsuit? You read that right.
According to Title III of the American Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses are accountable for ensuring that their products and services are accessible to the disabled. This applies to online businesses and eCommerce stores just as much as the traditional brick and mortar stores.
What’s more, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 ADA Title III lawsuits were filed in 2019 which was a sharp increase from the 2,200 lawsuits filed in 2018, resulting in penalties in millions of dollars for online businesses.
Also, these are just the ones on the public record. It is thus important to make sure that your website is in compliance with the ADA act , by ensuring that the navigation, content, and design is not too complicated. If it has not already been said yet – simplicity, really is the key to better website accessibility.
#4. Great Products make up for Weak Design
Remember the first myth that we busted about the e-commerce costs where we stated that they will steadily climb as and when you update your website?
Well, weak eCommerce design can force your brand to reevaluate these changes much sooner than you want to. Having great products but a weak eCommerce website interface is like selling expensive couture in a sweatshop. Your customers will determine your brand value and quality based on how your website looks and works. Weakness and vulnerabilities in the website performance are aspects that you want to correct before you go live for the world.
A well-designed website with a user interface (UI) that is uniquely curated for your customers, can make all the difference when it comes to reducing bounce rates, and establishing your credibility as a seller. It is this quality that determines whether a customer is likely to make a purchase on your website and more importantly, whether they are ever coming back for more.
As a brand that wants to make a mark, you must always opt for a professional website designer who not only understands your design needs but also your brand language and identity.
#5. Platform Does Not Matter
If you are setting out to create a competitive eCommerce store today, you have many platforms to choose from. Every developer that you come across will have myriad options ranging from Woocommerce to Shopify Plus. While many believe the platform that you develop your eCommerce website on does not matter, it is important to consider that its role is not just limited to development.
Before you embark on your website design for your eCommerce store with a specific platform, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
- What features do I need?
- What backend functions does the platform offer?
- How simple is the process of working on the backend?
- What are the plugins supported by the platform?
- What are the costs associated with the platform?
Consider these questions as your checklist in the process of settling on the right platform for your website. You may also want to consider long-term parameters such as scalability, customer support, and the reviews for each platform before making the decision.
For example, Woocommerce is a self-hosted platform, whereas Shopify is hosted. This means that you would have a lot more flexibility with your data storage if you choose Woocommerce.
#6. Minimalism is Everything
Minimalism can play different roles in websites, based on how and where it is implemented. Some believe that minimalism can actually boost sales, which is only partly true. Minimalism can play an important role in websites that do not have a lengthy catalog and focus on very specific products.
If you have a lot of products, what you are looking for is simplicity and not so much minimalism. There are inarguably several benefits of minimalism, including a clean looking UI and a faster loading time, but it has little to do with the actual shopping experience.
If your end goal is to develop a unique and superior user experience, you can do so by choosing the right aesthetic and well-placed call-to-action (CTA) buttons to guide your customers in the right direction.
The simplest way of ensuring that the customer is happy with your UI is to predict their needs and actions and providing them with the right options at the right place and time. For example, if a customer is buying flower pots from your eCommerce store, ensuring that they are able to browse through the entire range seamlessly, and upselling gardening accessories can be a great way of enriching their buying experience.
Separate Facts from Myths
Designing the right eCommerce store for your brand is no small feat, so make sure you research a lot on the best practices. Collect all the information that you can get on creating a stellar eCommerce website, and retain only the ones that seem most relevant and helpful. The evolving nature of the digital world is such that what might work best today, might be detrimental to your brand a few years down the road.
Ensure that you plan ahead and have the necessary resources and information to create a website that stands out from the rest. Finally, ensure that you implement what works best for your brand and your sales goals.