To say that the first impression your customer has of your eCommerce website is very important is a major understatement. That first impression means everything. If you are not able to create a successful first impression for your prospective customers and clients, then your website will become an inevitable failure.
Contrary to popular belief, how the website looks means absolutely nothing if the following issues working behind the scenes are not addressed properly.
Page Loading Speed
As a consumer, chances are that you have abandoned plenty of websites in the past simply because it took too long for the webpage to load. Perhaps it was the homepage which never seemed to provide you with the quick welcome that you expected. On the other hand, it may have been the checkout page that never seemed to finalize your order in a timely fashion.
While you are designing your eCommerce website, you need to keep this point at the forefront of your mind. It doesn’t matter what is featured on your webpages. If they do not load in a timely fashion, your prospective clients and customers will never see it. One study shows that over 30 percent of your unique visitors will abandon your site within the first ten seconds if your page is not loaded fully, according to KISS Metrics.
Media and Animation
It is true that media and animation can add life to your eCommerce website, creating an interactive and engaging experience for your customers to enjoy. However, moderation in this regard is of the utmost importance. An excessive amount of media and animation within your website will drastically increase your page loading times, which will lead to an increase in your website and shopping cart abandonment rates. When using a website building tool, such as one of the packages provided by Shopify, make sure that you focus more on the essentials instead of the unnecessary bells and whistles.
Stay away from using flash animation, according to Search Engine Journal. Why not? Flash animation can jeopardize your search engine optimization since search engines are not able to detect websites that have this type of animation implemented within their design. Second, flash animation requires a substantial amount of bandwidth in order to function properly. This means that your customers with a dial-up or even DSL high speed internet connection may very well spend more time looking at your loading screen than the actual animation.
When you are developing your eCommerce website, the desire to fill as much of your white space as possible may seem like a natural instinct. Most beginners make the mistake of looking at the white space of a webpage like a blank canvas that needs to have as much color on it as possible. Studies have proven that the exact opposite is the case.
Your white space can be used as an effective web design tool. Whether you realize it or not, white space (when used efficiently) can actually help to boost your conversion rates and keep your customers and clients engaged with your site. The color itself symbolizes simplicity, minimalism and elegance, according to Web Design Ledger. Using your white spaces will make it easy for you to drive the attention of your unique visitors to the target elements of each webpage. Doing so will make it much easier for them to remain focused and effectively minimize the number of potential distractions that may present themselves.
Dead Links and Orphan Pages
You need to approach the development and maintenance of your eCommerce website with an approach similar to someone that might want to create a maze. Your target objective is to make sure that your clients and customers make it from the beginning to the end of your online “maze” in a timely fashion without running into any dead ends or complications. Having dead links and orphan pages scattered throughout your website will cause these types of disasters to happen.
In a survey conducted by KISS Metrics, it was determined that at least 45 percent of online consumers have encountered a website that did not function properly because of dead links, orphan pages and other technical issues.
It is impractical to think that you will be able to eliminate all dead links and orphan pages immediately after they emerge within your site, regularly checking and clicking through your website as an experiment will make it easier to keep your maze simple, short and sweet for your customers.
Appearance Alone is not Enough
Always remember that what you are able to see is just half of the battle when it comes to improving the efficiency and captivating quality of your eCommerce website. Behind the scenes and beneath the surface of your web design, you need to make sure that these issues are resolved in order for your website to reach its peak potential.