Tips and trends in e-commerce website design

Launching an e-commerce website can be quite tricky, but if you follow these guidelines you will avoid the most common pitfalls and get set to start making online sales in no time.

One of the best ways to plan a good e-commerce website is to see where others went wrong, to learn from their mistakes and so avoid making them yourself.

Numerous studies have shown that the average cart abandonment rates across all e-commerce websites stands at over 60%.

In an effort to figure out where and why customers drop off from e-commerce websites, research gurus Baymard Instutute scored the top 100 grossing e-commerce websites against 63 usability guidelines.

They found that poor usability and forced account creation were two of the biggest reasons why consumers didn't complete the purchase journey.

VWO.com similarly did a study, and their research found that hidden item costs was the primary reason users don't complete the purchase process. In other words, the total price, including shipping and taxes, wasn't provided as the customer shopped, but they were lobbed with it at checkout.

Other big concerns for users include having to create a new account for checkout, and payment security.

VWO's report also shows 60% shoppers have at least once abandoned a purchase because the website asked for personal information.

Why do shoppers abandon the cart? (Source VWO.com)

Shopping cart


10 Tips for creating a user-friendly e-commerce website

There are many factors to consider when designing or re-designing an e-commerce website, but we'll list the most important ones here.

  1. Group the shopping cart, login/register box and search box together at the top of all pages
  2. Add filters so the user can refine their search and quickly find what they looking for
  3. Include pages for sales, special offers and promotions and best sellers. Everyone loves a good deal and this could encourage them to follow through with the purchase
  4. Keep the checkout page simple and allow the user to complete checkout on a single page. If you do extend the checkout process over a couple of pages, add a progress bar
  5. Offer free shipping tied to a minimum order price or a user's first purchase order
  6. Display popular trust seals on every page to assure the shopper
  7. Use social proof and customer reviews to build trust. Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. [source ]
  8. Have a good-quality image for every item, and the size must be scalable to display well on high-res devices like TVs as well as mobile. Best if you can show different angles of the products, and add a colour palette if applicable.
  9. Add details about your products - just two or three lines - accessible via a quick-view popup
  10. Allow users to create editable wishlists from where they can fill their shopping cart

Abu Dhabi Duty Free

Other areas that should not be neglected are offering different payment options, making it easy for the shopper to contact you or ask questions via a live chat widget, and to cater for different languages and currencies if you are selling across the globe. It goes without saying that optimising your site design for mobile shopping should be front of mind at all times.

The Abu Dhabi Duty Free e-commerce site has officially become one of the biggest global uCommerce websites in the world. It features integration with the flight information system to allow the user to easily select their flight during the checkout process as well as integration with customs restriction system that alerts users about prohibited items in their shopping basket according to their destination.It is features like these along with a modern, responsive design that make the user experience a really happy one.


Trends in ecommerce design:

Ajeet Yadaw of Webdesignerdepot took an indepth look at design trends influencing the look, feel and navigation of e-commerce websites in the next couple of years. Here are some we found practical and that focus on making the user shopping experience more enjoyable.

  • Animations such as button spins, rotating icons and loading bars to draw attention and make the user's shopping experience more memorable.
  • Storytelling: using video or text, creating content around the brand or products create a feeling of trust and lets the user learn more about the brand, in a positive way
  • Material design layout, incorporating animation, transparency, shadows, real visual clues and shadows and with a focus on content makes for more engaging ecommerce sites.
  • Dynamic search using Java Script and Ajax will enable sites to load and display products dynamically, doing away with clicking and paging.

Ultimately you don't need to employ all the bells and whistles. By keeping the process simple, seamless and secure, those who want what you are selling will buy. As as Google says, focus on the user and the rest will follow.

FinTech companies


How banks can develop fintech services

BCG's May 2016 report: Banking on Digital Simplicity notes that banks that develop digital and data capabilities to radically simplify their businesses, while dramatically improving customer experience through greater efficiency, quality, and speed, can achieve 50% more revenue per customer than peers.

Four goals that will allow banks to rise above the median: (Source: BCG survey of 660 companies across sectors in 14 countries, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, UK and US)

  • Understand, strengthen, and deepen customer relationships.
  • Reimagine customer journeys from front to back using digital technologies.
  • Create agile, simple, and highly collaborative organizations.
  • Enhance digital capabilities.

They found that banks in the Middle East that have advanced digital platforms were gaining share with services such as real-time, low-cost cross-border payments, pre-approved credit and superior foreign exchange rates. This has allowed them to generate 3-6 percent more in annual cross-selling revenues than their peers.

Echoing the success on which London's fintech revolution is based, Ghose says digital banking works best in societies where there is already a very high level of digitisation.

This positions the UAE, that is highly urbanised with elevated high-tech penetration and a high proportion of transient population, in an excellent position to develop, grow and disrupt the financial and banking world as we know it.

David Martinez de Lecea, a principal at global strategy firm Roland Berger, told ComputerWeekly.com that UAE banks can become first-followers and quickly revolutionise the way financial services are provided as long as all parties, such as banks, regulators, technology providers and customers align.

He says the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market with its RegLab initiative is accelerating the fintech trend in the region by easing entry for new players, allowing more UAE banks to ‘wake up to fintech’.