Once you’ve chosen your product and niche and built an audience, the next step is to create your own ecommerce store. This is an online storefront where you can show your different items and encourage sales. Being successful here is a matter of choosing the right design to begin with but also thinking about how you’re going to arrange and price your items to help them move. This ultimately comes down to a lot of psychology.
Creating Your Ecommerce Store
When it comes to ecommerce website design, there is a single overriding goal which isn’t always true of regular site design. Of course, that objective is always to try and increase sales and increase profits (this is probably actually more important).
Of course you also want it to look attractive, to be functional and easy to use and to represent your brand in the right manner but all of this is really just in service of creating a web design that helps you to make more sales. This means that every single element in your site design should be encouraging more sales and pointing users in that direction. The old adage here is that good design should ‘communicate’ and not ‘decorate’. If an element of your design isn’t somehow getting people to keep browsing your store or click ‘buy’, then it has no place in your design.
If you use the right development company or a good ecommerce builder/template, then you should find that the experience and expertise of the professionals informs their decisions and results in the best possible turnover and profits for you. In this regard it is always worth spending a little more on a professional theme or on a proper development company. Unless you’re a professional designer yourself, then you won’t be able to compete with an entire organization made up of experts who have the very best tools and the most experience. And any lack of professionalism in your site design is going to reduce the trust in your brand and make visitors less likely to buy.
An ecommerce store, more than any other design needs to look professional and have a sense of polish and sheen.
The easiest way for most digital marketers to create their own ecommerce store will usually be to use a WordPress plugin like WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a theme/plugin that will transform an entire WordPress site into an online store. This makes managing your store just as easy as managing any WordPress website.
You can still get a professional design for your site meanwhile, by hiring a team of professional designers to create your theme for you, or by buying one that you really like the looks of and that you think will fit your brand. There are other options too.
For example, Shopify gives you a ‘hosted’ ecommerce platform. This means that the site will be located off of your server, just like a profile on Facebook for example. You then send your customers to that page, where they can shop through your multiple products. This can help make things a little simpler and easier to run, but it does ultimately mean that you lose a little of the freedom and flexibility in terms of how you want to design and run the site.
Either way though, choosing a well-known platform such as one of these – or Magento or BigCommerce – will mean that you can find a large amount of support, free themes, plugins and more to help you sell. Some of these features can be incredibly useful – such as the ability to add widgets right on your blog that promote your top items for example. Don’t steer away from these big players then.
Pricing and Placement to Boost Sales
Using these methods will help you to generate more sales by having a professional looking and performing website.
Nevertheless, it is still always useful to understand the theory and principles behind it so that you can continue to implement best practices yourself – especially when it comes to aspects that fall outside the realm of design such as price. Here’s how the right combination of pricing, positioning and design can help to make your items sell more effectively.
Contrast can of course be aesthetic and making choices such as using red ‘buy’ buttons against a white background is a great way to make particular elements stand out and get more clicks. (This also comes down to color psychology but we won’t go into any of this right now…).
The other type of contrast though refers to the way that you position items next to one another, with the objective being to place expensive items next to cheap ones. Why? Because this makes the cheap items appear even more affordable and the expensive items appear even more premium. Say you have a $10 tie next to a $50 tie. Someone who wants the very best tie might be all the more impressed by your premium offer, knowing that it’s five times more expensive than the cheapest product.
Meanwhile, someone who doesn’t have as much money to spend and who feels guilty about buying a new tie can convince themselves that the $10 tie is a great deal. They can compromise and convince themselves they’re being sensible by choosing the cheap tie. They’ve ‘saved’ $40 even though they’re still buying something they might not have otherwise. This way, the right pricing can really help to sweeten a good deal and good ecommerce website design should take full advantage of that.
Selling One Cheap Item
Earlier on in this post, we described just why it was so important to have multiple ranges of prices in order to attract a range of different types of buyers. When we looked at contrast meanwhile, we saw that varying price could be used to make items look like an even better bargain, or like they’re of even higher quality. But another very important reason to have cheaper items as well as more expensive ones, is that this can be a great way to build trust.
If someone has never bought from you before, then they might feel concerned that the products won’t arrive or they won’t be as-advertised. Even if they read your content and they like it, they have no guarantee that what you’re selling is going to be high quality – or even that the site will be secure from data leaks. Thus, they aren’t going to want to spend $1,000 the first time they ever do business with you! But if you have an item that costs $5 – and that is a product people will know – then someone might make that purchase because it’s a small risk to take.
Now you can demonstrate the quality of your service and save their details, making it much easier to sell bigger items in future! The Hunt is On Another tip is to think about your top sellers and your smallest sellers and use this to inform the design of your store. This is something that physical stores do a lot – they’ll place their biggest drawers right at the back of their stores. This way, people will come in to buy the thing they want, but to get there, they’ll have to pass through all of the smaller items you’re also selling along the way and hopefully they might buy something.
Meanwhile, if you have items that aren’t selling at all, then you can find inventive ways to make the most of this. Packing it in as a free incentive for example or selling it at a very discounted rate as a way to bring more people into your online store. This is less important for a dropshipping business model of course though, as there is no downside to being left with excess stock.
POS and Upselling
What’s important to consider when looking at ecommerce website design, is that in order to make a sale you have to overcome certain psychological barriers. This is actually often the most important step in making a sale.
These psychological barriers include such things as customers not wanting to spend any money and not being bothered to go through the process of checking out. Good ecommerce website development should take this into account first and foremost by making it as easy as possible for customers to make purchases. This is why Amazon’s ‘buy with one click’ feature is so instrumental to their success.
At the same time, webmasters need to make the most of customers who have already overcome some of these barriers.
When a customer commits to buy any item on your site, they will instantly become much more susceptible to increasing their order. Why? Because they’ve already decided to make a purchase.
This is why physical retailers use POS (Point Of Sale) displays that sell extra items while customers are in the queue. It’s so easy for them to add extra things to their basket that it would be foolish to miss this opportunity. Ecommerce sites can do the exact same thing by adding making it easy to add extra purchases at the checkout.
Similar is ‘upselling’ where you give your buyers the opportunity to upgrade their order once they’re already buying.
Once they’ve committed to buy, tell them how for just $10 more they could have the very best service or product instead of the cheaper but ultimately inferior option they’re currently buying. It’s the smart decision after all!
Sometimes a buyer will want some of your items but will not all of them. Other times they will want to combine multiple items but won’t want to pay for extra shipping or to pay full price when they’re essentially buying in bulk. Thus, letting your customers combine their items into a single large order can often encourage more sales and is known as ‘bundling’.
What’s great about bundling is that it can also be used to sell additional items that they perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have bought. Adding extra items to bundled packages is also a great way to shift unsold stock.
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