How to Organize Your E-commerce Website
Looking to tidy up your e-commerce site?
There has never been a better time to declutter. Smart Insights found that not only do the 50 fastest growing e-commerce sites have significantly “cleaner” appearances and designs than the rest of the internet, but the top 10 e-commerce sites noticeably outperformed other high achievers.
The short version is this: E-commerce sites with cleaner designs perform better.
Here are several tips on how to declutter your e-commerce website.
Optimize and refresh your images
Old images can date a website. Plus, you might have pages and images of products you no longer manufacture or even support. There’s no time like now to eliminate excess and give your images a much-needed refresh.
Taking inventory of all of your images and updating them can be time-consuming. Make sure to establish a naming system for your images, and update them regularly to avoid having to delete and upload hundreds or even thousands of images at once. Ongoing tweaking can help you avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Also, some product pages could likely benefit from additional images. Products shown from different angles or even a 360-degree view module can enhance the customer’s ability to better understand the product.
Finally, don’t forget to optimize image sizes. This will help speed up load times, which is particularly important for your website’s mobile experience.
Emphasize visuals and reduce text
There’s no question that text is extremely important for product descriptions and SEO.
But when someone walks into a physical store, the first thing that catches their eye is the layout of the store and the product displays. The colorful banners and posters might grab their attention, but few customers will stand around to read a wall of text before walking around and browsing in-store.
This isn’t to say that buyers online don’t want to learn more about your product. But it would be silly to bombard them with text before they even know what you’re selling of whether they’re interested in it.
E-commerce sites used to feature scads of text, links, and buttons to different parts of the site, long columns of product images, and all manner of clutter. This may have worked 10 or 20 years ago, but a lot has changed in that time.
A good practice would be to start adding more white space to your pages, use page length to your advantage, and avoid the temptation to cram a ton of information above the fold. Give images and visuals more prominence. Make call-to-action buttons stand out. Reduce the amount of text on-page, and use images, slideshows, and videos to demonstrate and explain products in more detail.
And that brings us to the next point …
Use video and slideshows liberally
The more complicated the product, the greater the need for text, right? That may have been true in the past, but video presents a new opportunity—it makes it easy to engage your audience while explaining the intricate details of your offering.
Even on the most optimized e-commerce sites, technical specifications and descriptions can leave something to be desired, and prospects would welcome the opportunity to see what the product can do rather than attempt to read an essay to determine whether they want to buy.
This is in keeping with online behavior: If a visitor is indecisive about a product, they’re probably going to head to YouTube to find a video review.
But if you have video on-site, your prospects won’t have to go off-site to find out more about your product. The added benefit is that you’ll improve conversion rates.
According to Econsultancy, visits where a product video had been viewed had a conversion rate that was 160 percent higher than visits where none had been viewed.
Slideshows also can be effective in conveying a lot of information in shorter, digestible spurts. This is exactly what Apple does to make technical details more interesting. The interactive element can also add to the overall customer experience.
This will help with reducing text on your site, too.
Clarity is key
Sometimes going “cleaner” actually means adding to your product pages. Counterintuitive, right?
But if the user can’t easily find the information they need, or can’t find the “buy” button, your conversions will drop.
Here are some important questions to ask:
- Do your visitors understand how your page is laid out and organized?
- Can they easily find the information they’re looking for?
- Are calls-to-action clearly marked? Are you using buttons?
- Are your product categories descriptive and intuitive?
Remember that simple changes can make a huge difference. You may not need to do complete overhauls to your product pages to maximize your results.
Take advantage of heat map apps like Crazy Egg or Hot Jar to monitor customer behavior and track how your visitors are using your site. This will give you the data you need to make more informed decisions.
Another key piece to clarity is navigation. Can shoppers easily find what they’re looking for? If you aren’t sure, you can survey your audience to get a better idea.
Lengthy lists of links can be effectively replaced by drop-down menus, assuming your products are organized well. This strategy alone can make a big difference in terms of decluttering your site.
Getting to mobile and more
Mobile device usage continues to increase. If you want to future-proof your site, you must create a user-friendly mobile experience for your visitors and customers.
As you’ve already seen, decluttering your e-commerce site should be a priority because it can help with conversions. Audit your website, gather data and put together a strategy to overhaul aspects of your site that are no longer working so you can offer a great online experience for shoppers.
This article originally appeared in Brand & Capture.
This article was written by Sandy Moore from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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