We all know that having a great looking e-commerce web design can help attract customers’ but did you know that it also has a huge impact on your sales? Keeping up to date with the latest e-commerce web design trends and ensuring your e-commerce website is both attractive and functional can help to boost your sales. Here we will provide examples of how some of the world’s biggest stores have boosted their sales by investing in brand a new e-commerce website.
Highlighting the importance of relaunching e-commerce website design
At the end of last year Halfords re-launched their website with a brand new highly functional e-commerce web design that aimed to offer customers a better online experience. In the six months leading up to the site re-design, Halfords had experienced a 16.9% growth in sales, showing that more and more of their customers were now shopping through their online channel. It was this that inspired Halfords to invest in a re-design that simplified navigational elements, making it easy for customers to find the products they required and cut down the checkout process for easy transactions.
The changes made to the Halfords e-commerce website followed in-depth customer research that highlighted that customers wanted to see more products, less text and key feature highlights. As well as simplifying the website’s design, Halfords also re-wired over four thousand five hundred production descriptions and introduced new image galleries, making the website more user-friendly, engaging and informative.
Since implementing the new e-commerce web design, Halfords’ online sales have increased by 250% and the new cross-selling and up-selling features have raised the average order value by 40%.
This year British retailer Marks & Spencer re-launched its ecommerce website, with a strong focus on content and a new editorial hub called Style & Living. Their aim was to transform the brand from that of a traditional British retailer to an international multichannel retailer.
The web design, thought to be worth £150 million was developed in-house and took over two and a half years to produce. The brand stated that an extensive amount of user testing was involved and that over forty key customer insights were identified and addressed within the re-design.
One of M&S’ key aims was to improve the quality of search returns and ensure customers could access the products they required quickly and easily. To achieve this they implemented a three-tier navigation system. They also wanted to provide a stronger focus on editorial fashion and lifestyle guidance, which lead to the creation of the Style & Living section. This part of the website is updated on a daily basis with fresh content by a dedicated editorial team. Celebrities and guest posters also contribute from time to time.
Another way M&S has transformed it’s online shopping experience through the site re-design is by increasing the size of product shots by fifty per cent and implementing catwalk and 360 degree video clips of each product.
Since re-launching the website in February this year, M&S has experienced a 7.8% increase in weekly site visits and a 22.8% increase in sales.
In November 2013, Ryanair unveiled a brand new simplified e-commerce web design, which incorporated an easy online booking process, as part of an ongoing campaign to improve its public image.
The previous website had been criticised for the number of hoops customers had to jump through in order to make ticket purchases. For example, customers had to click to opt out of numerous additional purchases including propriety boarding, text message confirmations and sightseeing bus tours (to name a few). In order to improve the transaction process, Ryanair has reduced the number of necessary clicks users have to make from seventeen to five. They have also created a ‘My Ryanair’ section where users can create a profile and store their credit card details. This prevents them from needing to re-enter them when placing a booking, helping to reduce the transaction time further.
The look of the website also dramatically improved. They replaced the garish bright yellow background, with a smart, plain white background. Ryanair also removed the distracting flashing banners and the frustrating ‘recapture’ code that users had to input to prove they were human.
Since improving both the look and usability of their website, Ryanair have experienced an increase in traffic of 4%. They have also had over two million people sign up to the My Ryanair customer area and have a mobile application in the pipeline, due to launch this summer.
In April this year, luxury department store Harvey Nichols re-launched it’s website with a brand new e-commerce web design as part of its multichannel strategy. Their goal was to achieve optimisation, allowing for a consistent user experience to be delivered across all devices.
The new Harvey Nichols website is packed with fresh and engaging content including videos, blog posts and social media streams. It also has a number of notable new features including the ‘Click-and-try’ tool. This allows customers to make purchases online and then with the help of an advisor, try them on in-store. Another key feature was the new Fashion Emergency button. By pressing this button, customers can connect with sales advisors through video-chat, phone call or email.
Harvey Nichols also updated their product pages to provide a better shopping experience for online customers. When they click to view a product, users can now see the product both on and off the model. They can also view the product on the model with the addition of other accessories, pitched as suggestions.
Something that Harvey Nichols have achieved through their new e-commerce website design is the integration of social shopping. Users can now short-list their choices on the website and connect straight to their social media pages where they can discuss products of interest with their peers.
A new editorial section called ‘The Buzz’ has also been implemented, providing users with a wide range of interesting and engaging content on trends, fashion inspiration and editor’s picks.
It is forecast that the upgraded website will help increase online sales to account for ten per cent of the group’s total revenues over the next few years.
In 2012 John Lewis developed a brand new forty million pound web platform in a bid to fuse their in-store and online channels. Their aim was for the John Lewis website to achieve a larger turnover than any of their individual retail premises.
The new design featured intuitive product pages with excellent product descriptions, recommendations on what other customers viewed, upfront delivery costs and stock information. By providing all of the information customers need up-front, it allows them to make more informed purchasing decisions.
The John Lewis website also benefits from consistent and effective navigation. Even if users enter the website on a product or category page from a PPC ad or organic search result, they can still easily navigate to the required content.
John Lewis also implemented a plain and simple checkout page that was free from any navigational elements. This was designed to help customers focus on the task in hand. The checkout process was also simplified to six steps and offers customers the option to ‘click and collect.’
The launch of the new website enabled John Lewis to pass their one billion pound sales target earlier than scheduled. They also experienced 40% increase in sales.
From reading these five case studies, you should now see the extent of the impact that a great e-commerce web design can have on your company growth and sales.