In today’s world, people have small attention spans. You can have an amazing store showcasing your products, but if you are not able to design your store in a way that catches the attention of your potential customers and pushes them to purchase, then there is little point in having an ecommerce store in the first place.
So, how can you attract the attention of your international ecommerce website visitors? Well, this is exactly where website design comes into play.
Design is an aspect that plays an important role in grabbing the interest of your website visitors as naturally, it is the first thing that your customers will look at and remember your brand by. It sets the first impression. In fact, 85% of a user's first impressions are design related.
With that being the main goal of this article, we will take a look at five simple tips to design your international ecommerce store and create that first positive experience for your customers.
5 International Ecommerce Store Design Tips
1. Design Like a Website Visitor
If you want your website to ultimately connect with customers, then you will need to think like a visitor in the design phase.
There are a number of potential aspects that a customer wants when going through a website, including:
- A site that’s easy to navigate
- Makes the process of shopping easy, straightforward, and hassle-free
Putting yourself in your visitor’s shoes will give you the perspective you might need. The most common questions to ask yourself are as follows:
- How exactly can I make a website that is easy to navigate and improves the experience of my customers?
- What layout can I use to make it easier for me to find products?
- How can I simplify the checkout process?
Those three key questions offer enough food for thought to get started.
For international ecommerce stores offering language options, having a visible language switcher or choosing to redirect to the right site based on browser language are two big ways you can ease the navigation for international visitors.
According to a study conducted by the CSA, 65% of consumers prefer to read content in their own language, even if it is not good quality. This helps improve the overall bounce rate if your visitors can easily select the language of their choice.
For example, Weglot user Jimmy Fairly wanted to provide a better user experience for its international visitors. The team translated its website instantly with Weglot and saw a 70% increase in website visits.
Jimmy Fairly puts its language switcher in the top menu bar so it is easily findable by any website visitors looking for its French store.
2. Put Emphasis On Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy may sound like a complicated concept but in reality, it is actually pretty simple to understand.
It can be explained by looking at the size, color, arrangement, and contrast of visual elements which determine their relative importance and the order in which they are seen by people.
Even though that sounds simple, it will weigh heavy when designing your international ecommerce store. Since not all content on your website has equal importance, the order and way in which people see it can have an impact on both in terms of purchase and visual website aesthetics.
This is where you can use visual hierarchy to your advantage and use the combination of these elements,i.e, size, color, format, etc., to emphasize what is important and guide your website visitors towards the path you want them to take (hint: a purchase!). This can easily be seen in the example below.
The first version is not appealing. It is hard to read at a glance, and it’s not clear what the reader is supposed to prioritize. Switch to the second example and you can immediately understand what part of the text is important, it is also visually appealing from a quick glance.
If used correctly, visual hierarchy can guide your visitor’s attention from interest to conversion and this is exactly why it is important for ecommerce store owners — proper use of visual hierarchy can actually lead to more conversions.
3. Break Up Your Content
Most people do not want to sit and read through blocks of text when they land on an ecommerce website. If there is just too much going on, people are more than likely to leave and end up on a competitor's website, which is exactly what you do not want.
Text should only be used as a complement to your products. Make sure you do not have blocks of text taking up space on your website and distracting from your products — and the goal of making a sale.
A shopper does not want to spend a lot of time on your website. Usually, they want to quickly find their product and then checkout.
Take wine retailer Winc for example. They use big headers to emphasize what they do as soon as you land on their site. The simple navigation allows you to end up on the section of the website you want in only a couple of steps.
If you sell multiple categories of products, a website visitor should be able to scan your site and see each category that might interest them pretty much instantly.
Another way to achieve this is by keeping paragraphs short, using multiple header sizes, using bulleted or numbered lists, and adding images to showcase your products, much like what we discussed in the visual hierarchy section.
4. Include Social Proof
Nothing can be more reassuring to potential customers than reading a positive review about your product. Reviews are so effective that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust recommendations than any other type of advertising.
That is why it would be foolish to ignore. Instead of just talking about how great your product is within the product description, showcase how other people are talking about it instead.
Different types of social proof include:
- Reviews from customers
- Number of customers
- Case studies
- Social media widgets showing the size of your following
How much of your website should feature social proof?
According to Orbit Media’s analysis, 43% of Amazon’s product detail pages consist of social evidence and reviews. So if Amazon can do it and it works for them, it should definitely work for your international ecommerce store.
Keep in mind that to be the most effective, make sure your reviews and testimonials are visible on your high-traffic pages such as your homepage and big-selling product pages.
5. Make Your Checkout Simple and Seamless
Nothing kills the ecommerce experience of a customer quite like a badly designed checkout process. If it is difficult to navigate and requires multiple steps, you will likely end up losing sales.
If you want people to buy from you, the checkout process needs to be simple and seamless.
The checkout page has to be clean, simple, and easy to navigate. The main design components include:
1. Summary page
2. Guest checkout
3. Billing and shipping information
4. Preview order page
Non-design aspects such as giving your customers the option to either register or checkout as a guest can lead to more conversions simply because some people might be hesitant to create an account and give personal details.
Making sure everything that is needed for the checkout process is clearly mentioned to the customer is another way to retain them throughout the buying process. This includes the delivery methods, return options, etc.
And finally, once the purchase has been completed by your customer, make sure they are directed to a confirmation page so that they know everything went well.
Keep these tips in mind and you will have a well-designed international ecommerce store up in no time. Here is a quick recap:
1. Design like a website visitor
2. Put emphasis on visual hierarchy
3. Break up your content
4. Include social proof
5. Make checkout simple and seamless
Following these simple steps will lead to a much better experience for your customers and a better experience is bound to result in more conversions.
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