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designing an e-commerce site

6 top tips for designing a successful e-commerce website

If implemented correctly the following 6 principles will help you ensure that your website is driving sales and providing a positive customer experience.

User Experience

User experience or UX is one of the most important things to consider when building a website. Although a website might look great that doesn’t mean that a customer has a positive experience shopping on it. You need to design for the user. UX encompasses many of the basics of web design including a simple navigation and white space.

Simple navigation means that your menu and options are clearly laid out and simple to follow. Your navigation needs to make sense and lead customers to where you want them to go. Things like recommendations because of other items in a shopper’s basket can improve UX, help customers navigate your site and drive extra sales.

White space plays a key role in UX. Without white space your site will be cluttered and nothing will stand out. White space allows important items like calls to action to stand out amongst the rest of the items on the page.


Card fraud is on the rise and 78% of all card fraud is done in a card not present environment i.e. online or over the phone. Because of this customers are cautious with their card details and won’t use them on a website they feel they can’t trust. Google recently introduced a new algorithm which shows whether or not a site is secure in the search bar. On a secure site a green lock will appear in the search bar. If your site is not secure a red lock will appear along with the words ‘Not Secure’ in red. In order to have a secure site you must install SSL certificates which allow for secure connections between sites and users.

What’s more if your e-commerce site has a data breach or there is suspected card fraud you could lose out too. You could be liable to pay for the fraud that took place and there could be massive reputational damage if news of the breach spreads. By allowing Visa and MasterCard 3D secure on your site you can reduce the risk of fraud and your liability in the case of fraud.

SSL certificates and 3D secure will build trust with customers and increase the likelihood of purchase.


Another good way to build trust with customers is by having reviews from previous customers on your website. There are many options for getting reviews from customers. Sites like TrustPilot automatically update sites with reviews or you can survey customers to get their point of view.

By including reviews on your website customers will know that your store is legitimate and give them piece of mind about their purchase.

Responsive Website

If a website loads too slowly, customers are more likely to abandon their cart and leave your online store. You need to make sure that your website loads quickly and customers can move quickly through your pages. Too much imagery and video can slow down a website, but there are many image compression plugins that can help to combat this.

A responsive site also needs to be mobile optimised. More and more customers are shopping on their mobile phones, so it is more important than ever that your website is mobile optimised and that customers can shop on all devices.

You can use Google’s Page speed insights tool to check how your website is performing.

Product Descriptions

Product titles, descriptions and photos can be the deciding factor for customers on whether or not they will buy something from your website. You need to write a description for every product and it is essential that the accompanying images are of high quality.

When deciding on the description and title you need to focus on your ideal buyer and consider what they are looking are for. You need to outline the benefits of the product and make them simple and clear to read.

Payment Options

After going through all of this your customer gets to the payment page and there is an issue with accepting the payment and at the last hurdle the customer abandons their cart and leaves your website. This can happen if you don’t have a reliable e-commerce payment system. Customers don’t have the time to wait for payment pages to load or to put their card details in every time they buy. You need a payments partner who can be relied upon to provide a speedy and efficient service so that the entire customer experience is flawless.

Find out more about BOIPA Payment Gateway

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