When users go shopping on their smart phones, they expect an experience similar to if not better than the one at the physical store. You need to therefore devise design techniques that will help you meet that expectation and probably even surpass it to boost your sales charts.
To simplify matters you can break down your retail website interface into its various individual facets and identify design patterns that you can build or improvise within those facets to augment your e-commerce sales.
Designing the Home Page
The Home page or the main hall of your retail outlet is where things usually start. The home page of your website is where your chances of making or breaking your success quotient depend. Therefore it is imperative that you give it your best shot. Reduce the amount of textual content and add more functional aspects which will set the best stage for customers to get introduced to your brand. Display the promotions and discounts you have on offer. The best approach would be to dig up your analytics report and find out what your clients are really looking for. If you are able to give them what they want and in the manner they want it, business is sure to flow through your doors. Some of the popular design patterns that have worked favourably in the past include:
• Single column pattern displaying promotions and key products
• List of links to specific areas of the website, registration forms for promotional emails, loyalty programs and to help in locating other stores of the brand
• Availability of the Search options on easily accessible areas of the website
Website Navigational elements also play a crucial role in providing shoppers with an engaging shopping experience. Placing a navigation menu in the header area will ensure that your users are provided with the freedom to traverse individual sections of your website. They can do so freely without being weighed down by the dependency of having to return to the Home Page every time they wish to move to a new area. The Navigation menu, however, can be of various kinds. There are sites that feature menus that are aligned vertically or arranged in a two columnar format. Also there are menus that shaped as buttons. The addition of icons along with the menu names helps to add a visual touch thus further enhancing the experience.
The ability to search the required product is probably what draws users to E-Commerce. It is also one of its biggest advantages. Therefore designing a convenient and effective search facility for your website should be one of your areas of prime focus. Providing the suggested search techniques like the type-ahead or auto-complete which displays results as user types in the initial characters of the search criteria, is a huge help for users. You could also include an advanced version of the suggested search engine which minimises the effort to type the search criteria.
No matter what you choose, it is always good to be prudent in your choice. Focus on what your user needs and evaluate whether your design patterns are able to address that need. Happy customers help to boost sales thereby generating good business.
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