At SearchWorks, we’re huge believers in the power of search engine optimization (SEO). With the right SEO team, your e-commerce site can cost-effectively amass a large number of qualified leads for a much lower cost than most other digital marketing campaigns.

But, as the saying goes: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. While SEO campaigns can cost-effectively generate massive amounts of organic traffic, they cannot guarantee e-commerce campaigns on their own. You can have the most talented SEO team on your side but if your site’s design doesn’t appeal to visitors, it will struggle to convert that increased organic traffic into sales.

Modern design elements play a critical role in the overall user experience (UX) and, by extension, your e-commerce success. Here are some essential web design elements that should complement your SEO efforts:

1) Mobile-First Web Design

Mobile device users dominate B2C markets and they are starting to take up a large portion of many B2B markets as well. If you’re targeting the Philippine B2C market, you can fully expect over 90% or more of all e-commerce purchases to originate from mobile devices, regardless of the type of business you have.

Given that, it makes little sense to continue designing e-commerce sites primarily for a desktop experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to build a site from scratch or use SEO-unfriendly solutions like headless CMS platforms to address today’s mobile markets. There are now plenty of conventional site-building frameworks that offer mobile-responsive design features out of the box or through plugins. These mobile-friendly solutions should give your site the flexibility, SEO compatibility, and user experience it needs to attract, convert, and retain its customers.

Read: Why Adopting a Mobile First Design is Good for Your Website

2) Shorter Checkout Form Fields

It’s long been understood that form field length at checkout has a direct effect on conversions. The longer the form, the fewer people who will have the patience to complete it.

However, many e-commerce sites continue to have extremely long checkout forms that cause potential customers to drop out before they can complete their purchases.

To reduce checkout friction, consider implementing these practices:

    • Only ask for essential information.
    • Use auto-fill and drop-down suggestions to reduce the need for manual typing
    • Make the form mobile-friendly.
    • Add visual progress indicators to show visitors how far they are from completing their purchases.
    • Consider reviewing your site management so that only qualified people can make changes to the forms and order process.

Read: Understanding the Impact of User Experience on Conversion Rates

3) Minimalist Email Opt-Ins

E-Mail Global Communications

If you’re serious about maximizing conversions for your e-commerce site, you have to look into email marketing. Outside of acquiring email lists from external sources, email details can be gathered through your site’s user account creation process or opt-in forms. Whichever method you choose to collect emails, make sure to keep things concise to avoid negatively impacting the user experience.

4) Clear Social Proof

The presence of social proof can be effective at driving conversions, particularly among value-oriented customers. Value-oriented individuals are, of course, highly motivated by low prices but most of them also understand that there are risks involved when they go for cheap products. Offering legitimate customer reviews and endorsements from relevant influencers somewhere on your website can help reassure these customers that they’re making the right choice, helping drive their conversions.

5) Automated Abandoned Cart and Wishlist Emails

It’s an extremely common practice for site visitors to add items to their cart or wishlist with the intent of completing their purchase later. The problem is, there’s so much competition and so much going on online that it’s easy for potential customers to get distracted or forget about their pending purchases.

To effectively re-engage these valuable prospects, consider sending them periodic email reminders, preferably with bundled incentives. The most obvious benefit is that these leads may be directly spurred into converting. The less obvious perk is that, even if they don’t end up purchasing their saved items, they still get a reminder of your business, which may lead to reengagement and more conversions, later on.

There are multiple tools out there for implementing abandoned cart and wishlist emails. Regardless of which tools you end up using, always make sure to provide incentives and clear calls to action in your emails to encourage purchases.

6) AI-Powered Chatbots

Chatbots aren’t exactly new but today’s generation of customer service bots can provide a level of assistance that was previously unheard of. When properly configured, AI-powered chatbots can enhance customer engagement and support, ultimately increasing conversions.

 To implement AI chatbots effectively, consider the following:

    • Plan for scalability to provide consistent customer service.
    • Continuously train the chatbot using new data and user interactions to enhance its performance.
    • Customize the chatbot’s responses based on user behavior and history.
    • Use solutions with Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities to humanize responses and further improve the user experience.
    • Offer options for human interaction for users that prefer it.

7) Dark Themes

Dark themes for websites and apps have gained significant popularity since the late 2010s and there’s no signs of the trend slowing down. These themes offer several purported advantages, including reduced eye strain and improved battery life for laptops and mobile devices. A lot of online visitors may also find these themes to be visually pleasing, which may help with engagement and conversions.

While there are plenty of people who prefer conventional white-heavy web themes, offering a dark mode can serve to improve the browsing experience for a growing number of people. A recent internal study by Viko even found that bounce rates were 63% lower when they offered visitors a dark-themed version of their site. While this doesn’t mean you should expect the same kinds of improvements as they did, it does make sense to offer a dark theme if you believe your audience would prefer it.

8) Video Product Demos

Product Video

The wider availability of broadband internet has finally made video demos something worth considering, even in developing e-commerce markets like the Philippines. Well-implemented videos can provide effective visual engagement and help potential customers better understand how your products or services are used.

This isn’t just a theory. 88% of surveyed e-commerce business owners reported an increase in conversions after adding product page videos. The same survey also noted a 69% increase in average order value (AOV) once videos were added to order pages. A Kissmetrics study further notes that site visitors are 64%-85% more likely to buy a product after viewing a video demonstration.

Creating videos can, unfortunately, be expensive. However, the beauty of quality video content is that it can be repurposed for different platforms and content types, maximizing their value and making the investment worthwhile.

9) Continuous A/B Testing

Implementing A/B testing on a website is a powerful strategy for optimizing both site performance and conversion rates. Websites can also benefit from A/B testing before implementing updates, ensuring statistically significant improvements in design and functionality.

Though it may seem tedious at first, developing a process for continuous A/B testing will eliminate the need for more frequent trial-and-error website redesigns. More importantly, it can mitigate the risk of catastrophic drops in conversion rates if you make radical changes to your website design.

Read: 5 Reasons Why A/B Testing Is Important in Web Design

Adopting a Holistic Approach to Conversions

Optimizing a website for conversions requires a holistic approach that combines appropriate digital marketing strategies with vetted web design best practices. Without any major changes to the general online shopping experience, this paradigm is not likely to change in the next few years. Unfortunately, few digital agencies are capable of tackling these kinds of digital marketing challenges from end to end.

Thankfully, we’re here to help. If you want to discuss how web design, SEO, and conversion optimization go together, contact us to set up a meeting.