Potential ecommerce customers will typically scan a number of web sites before deciding on one to buy from, so it is important that your web design be structured for usability.
A Definition of Usability in Ecommerce Web Design
Usability is a subjective rating of how easy a web site is to use, and in the case of ecommerce, how likely it is that a potential customer will be converted to a real one. A measurement of usability consists of several different factors, but boils down to how well a web site gives its visitors what they a really looking for.
Ecommerce Web Design Usability Tip 1: Avoid a Cluttered Layout
Web surfers won't take enough time to get used a web site unless they've decided that a web site is really where they want to be. So, your web design should make it clear to visitors what it is that they will find on your ecommerce web site. A design layout, cluttered with too many options, won't give the visitor a clear idea of what they can or should do on your site.
It could be that you have exactly what they are looking for on your web site, but if your layout design looks like a pizza with "the works", potential customers might get stuck in the cheese and never find their way to the product they want.
Ecommerce Web Design Usability Tip 2: Make it Easy For Customers to Find Products Different Ways
Add navigation to ecommerce category listings
This is especially true if you have a large number of products in your ecommerce site. Make make room in your web design layout for navigation in product categories that will allow a potential customer to browse products by price, by name and by the date added. Some customers will be looking for something inexpensive while others will want to browse your newest products. You want to give customers the shortest route from their entry point to what they're looking for, and this will help narrow down that distance.
Add search capability
If customers have something specific in mind, nothing beats being able to search for a product name or description. Keep the search simple and straightforward, so that customers don't inadvertently get lost in overly-helpful web design.
Ecommerce Web Design Usability Tip 3: Make the Checkout Process Very Simple
The one place you will lose ecommerce customers with bad web design is in the checkout process. Anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of customers abandon their shopping carts at the last moment due to usability problems. You can avoid this by keeping the checkout process simple, using only one or two pages and requesting the necessary information. Make sure to use clean web design layouts for the forms and the confirmation pages.
These are just a few things you can do with your web design to increase the usability of your ecommerce site. Keeping things as simple and as clear as possible is a good rule of thumb.