Design is a critical component of anything on the web. Whether it is a personal blog, a corporate website or an online retail store, design is what determines how it will be perceived on the world wide web.

E-commerce websites are online stores whose success depends directly on the amount of revenue it generates. So, it design and layout should be such that it encourages sales and converts visitors into actual customers.

Here are 5 tips that’ll help you move your e-commerce website design in he right direction:

1. Do Some Spring Cleaning

If you get the same prices at both places, which one would you prefer – flea market or a shopping mall? I don’t blame you if you decide to go with the latter. After all, as customers, we desire a smooth and peaceful shopping experience.

Same is the case with e-commerce websites. If your website is loaded with unnecessary bells and whistles, it would only create a feeling of clutter. And this would hamper the shopping experience of your customers who would inevitably go elsewhere.

2. Speak with Colors

Different colors evoke different emotions and because of this, they take immense importance in website design, especially so e-commerce. Remember, since visitors are about to spend money or share their credit card details on your website, you need to make them feel more comfortable and paint a credible picture of yourself.

Use light non-threating colors that help to put visitors at ease and ensure them of a safe, risk free shopping experience. See how Amazon & HomeShop 18 has a clean layout with blue navigation and touches of orange to highlight certain areas. Even eBay makes great use of yellow highlight against a white background.

3. Cross Sell

Cross selling is an exemplary practice of advertising other products while customers are shopping. An ideal way to promote your products is by showing customers ‘Related Products’ or ‘Customers who purchased this also bought…’ link.

For example, if someone is shopping for mobile phones, you can show them memory cards or mobile phone accessories under the Related Products category. Since they have already bought the phone, chances are they will be interested in the accessories as well. Just make sure you don’t push them too much.

4. Speed Up the Purchase Process

In the fiercely competitive online marketplace, speed is what’ll give you the edge over your competitors. One of the reasons people enjoy online shopping is because of the ease and speed with which they can make purchases. Sluggish processes can make customers lose interest and abandon their shopping carts midway and go somewhere they can find faster service. Your loss and your competitors’ gain!

So, do all that you can to enhance the speed of your e-commerce so that you customers enjoy a smooth and seamless shopping experience.

5. Focus on your Niche

Bigger websites like Amazon and eBay can get away by selling anything and everything. However, this might not work for smaller websites and start-ups. If you have a smaller e-commerce website, try to focus on your niche. Not only can you showcase your expertise of the area but also many customers tend to go to a dedicated website than an one-stop-shop mall.

Don’t try to be the jack of all trades, you’ll only end up being master of none.