Whether it is an eCommerce website or a blog, every second your website takes to load counts. In fact, one of the biggest reasons for a user abandoning a page is because that page takes too long to load. In addition, those who are browsing on a mobile device expect the page to load just as quickly as it would on their desktop.
Most survey participants said they’d wait only six to 10 seconds and then bounce away from a site that wasn’t loading quickly enough. That means you have about two eye blinks to get that page to load. That’s not much time, and the design of your eCommerce website can play a big factor not only in load speeds but also how visually attractive the page is and whether it captures the user’s attention at all.
When creating an eCommerce site design, keep these tips in mind:
Tip #1: Fast Media Loading Times
When creating the overall design of an eCommerce store, it makes sense to consider photos. To show off your product to its best advantage, you need beautiful images. However, if the images are so large that the page loads slowly, your visitors will bounce away.
There are a number of ways to accomplish fast loading speeds and still utilize product images:
- Reduce the number of pixels in each photo.
- Offer the option to click on an image for a larger version, but use a smaller image for the main pages of the site so that load speeds are increased.
- Use a cache program so that images load faster.
You can strategically utilize thumbnails for faster loading times, as well.
Sony’s eCommerce site is a great example of using small photos that load fast. By using generic thumbnails, the site loads at lightning speed. The user can then click on, say, a television for more options. Within that category are additional small images, but you can also add in some filters to further narrow your search.
Tip #2: Filters Should Make Sense
Complicated filters can turn off your site’s visitors. Searching for a product by size, color or other options should be as simple as clicking a button or choosing from a drop down menu. Your filter system should be simple and clear. Here are some things to consider when choosing how to filter products:
- Will users naturally know where to click to sort by size, color and other special features?
- Have you limited the number of filtering options so the shopper isn’t overwhelmed?
- Can the user easily clear the filters and start over without losing the search term or product item?
Filtering allows each customer to have a customized experience, but you want that experience to be a good one.
Reebok’s online store is a great example of how well filters can work. Notice how you immediately filter by men’s or women’s. Then, you can sort by size, style, color, etc.
Think through the elements someone goes through when shopping for your product and you’ll be able to figure out which filters will work best for your site, and the order in which they should appear.
Tip #3: Allow Comparison Shopping
One thing that’s really helpful to shoppers is the ability to compare different elements, models and even competitor pricing. If the buyer is undecided about the style or the color of a product, being able to look at features side-by-side can make all the difference.
There are many reasons to allow comparison shopping. It can…
- …help an undecided shopper see what styles she prefers.
- …show the features of similar models of different prices.
- …allow the shopper to see the different options available.
Comparison shopping also keeps browsers on your site longer and helps them reconsider bouncing away quickly.
Clopay offers the ability to compare different options for their garage doors. You can compare styles, color of wood, insulation rating and general price ranges. This type of comparison works especially well for websites selling high-ticket items, such as home improvement items.
Tip #4: Make the Shopping Cart Convenient
No matter what type of product you’re selling, it’s a smart idea to make sure the shopping cart is as easy to use as possible. You have a couple of options. You can have a cart that shows the cart and everything in it each time an item is added, or you can have a cart that simply flashes that another item has been added to the cart, so there’s a running tally or maybe a popup that the item has been added that then goes away.
Here are some things to keep in mind when figuring out which type of cart will work best for your target audience:
- Does your product naturally encourage people to order more than one item?
- Will going to a full page with all the items added distract the buyer from purchasing more items?
- How easy is it to check the cart, remove items and check out?
The last thing you want is for someone to abandon their shopping cart before they complete the sale. Kohl’s has an excellent shopping cart system. You can add items and you’ll see the total tally increase as you do. A temporary popup shows your running tally when you add an item, but then disappears so you can continue shopping.
If these four tips don’t help you lower your bounce rate and increase your conversions, nothing will! When in doubt, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and imagine the features and tools that you’d find most helpful.