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Six E-commerce Considerations

Six e-commerce considerations Rural Design takes with any new e-commerce site or redesign.

If you own or manage an e-commerce site that hasn’t seen a fresh design approach in the past five years this article is for you. Or perhaps you’ve undergone a recent redesign but your KPI’s haven’t changed as much as you hoped or in the right direction.

You might be looking for a designer to give your site a more modern look and improve the user experience but you, and that designer, may not be aware of the vast nuance that is held in e-commerce design which truly matters when trying to both improve a site visually, but also improve a site’s usability, performance, web compliance, and efficiency at the same time.

Let’s look at six areas that are critical to your next e-commerce redesign and how Rural addresses them within our process.

User-Focused Experience

What is it?
Having an experience that aligns to the needs/expectations of your customers and provides a pleasant overall experience free of confusion, excess navigation, errors, and snags within their buying path.

What do we do about it?
Using research methods, past website data, and educated assumptions we always put ourselves in the shoes of our customers. We get to understand or uncover who they are, what they want, what they need, and their state of mind when they come to your store to buy.

- Research methods may include surveys or interviews with current customers.

- We analyze analytics to determine your user demographics.

- We make educated assumptions based on conversations with you and what you know about your customers as well as the product, price points, and other demographic signals.

By creating user personas we can theorize the state of mind of our customers as well as what information is important to them which needs to be clearly communicated on the buying path, and in marketing communication.

Efficient Design Systems

What is it?
A design system is a kit of parts; styles, fonts, colors, icons, image ratios, and a similar user interface functionality which are brought together to support the goals of an e-commerce store, aid users, and establish consistency throughout a digital experience or multiple experiences.

A design system helps to lower the cost of design once established, no need to recreate what has already been designed. Cost efficiency.

 

A design system’s parts can be tested and updated, moved around, and reconfigured as needed - then republished throughout a site or sites. Smart.

 

A design system, that is well documented, can be shared with designers, marketers, and partners with ease and helps keep everyone using the same parts. Consistent.

What do we do about it?
We create a base design system for every e-commerce web redesign project, this design system generally lives within a master design file or pattern library file.

We create a unique style guide for each redesign that catalogs design system rules for grids, spacing, fonts, compliant colors, iconography, photo ratios, button, link, and input field states and can also include general guidelines for web photography or product imagery spacing.

WCAG Web Compliance

What it is?

WCAG compliance is a set of laws and guidelines for websites to ensure that people with disabilities, such as mobility or vision, have equal opportunity and access to digital content.

 

What do we do about it?

Every design system we create puts web compliance and usability at the center. We make sure that even the smallest of elements from buttons, links, and dropdown fields adhere to the WCAG compliance standards. For us designers, this is generally making sure our sites can be used and seen by everyone, without confusion. Higher contrast elements, clear labels, indications of links, menu structures, and other important actions are thoughtfully considered and built into each of our projects.

 

We also partner with WCAG compliance specialists who can help to audit your existing site for, potentially legal, issues and work with you and us to document and correct those areas of concern.

Page Speed / Performance

What it is?
Page speed measured in speed or load time is vital to a great user experience and has a direct correlation to users bouncing away from, leaving, your site. Modern web users expect fast loading pages, if they don’t get it they will leave.

https://www.pingdom.com/blog/page-load-time-really-affect-bounce-rate/


Find your store’s speed here:
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=[YOUR SITE DOMAIN HERE]

What do we do about it?
Through our user experience research, we strive to determine what content NEEDS to be on the page to support our customers. By understanding these needs we can streamline content and the amount of information on each page.

Brand + Digital + Ecomm

What it is?
There is an art to the cart when blending brand and digital design together with e-commerce requirements.

What do we do about it?

Rural is lead by digital designers who have worked with e-commerce businesses for the past twelve years, we’ve worked with businesses new and old, small and global and we’ve honed our ability to balance good design with modern digital needs, user experience design, and web compliance.

Conversion Rate Optimization

What it is?

CRO, or conversion rate optimization is the process of increasing the rate at which a user/customer converts into a paying customer.

What do we do about it?

CRO takes many cogs in the machine to work well all at once. CRO for us is a combination of good branding and messaging to smoothing out the buying path so customers can make an informed purchase and checkout without confusion or snags.

From a data perspective, CRO is the number of conversions divided by the number of unique visitor sessions.

CRO takes time, investment, and a holistic approach across the entire user journey, at every touchpoint. Testing designs against assumptions, A/B tests of design varients, Watching screen recordings of users interacting with our stores, and running user tests of new and existing features helps us uncover hidden areas for potential as well as correcting problems we didn’t know existed.

It takes a team. It takes your team, and our team, and a ton of industry insight and creativity to put it all together.

The Takeaway

Rural Design is here for our client partners to promote great design with even better reasoning and data behind it. We’re not just graphic designers. We’re not just marketers. We’re not even just web designers. We are e-commerce designers and creative directors who can help you shape the next chapter of your e-commerce business, align your brand to solid digital practices, and work alongside you as your business grows even stronger.

We have many other resources to explore and a network of professionals to connect you with.

Check out our work and let’s talk soon about how we can work with your e-commerce brand.

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