The Federal Aviation Agency just introduced its long awaited proposal for new drone regulations. Right now it’s illegal for companies to operate drones over the U.S. To fly commercially, companies must get a specific exemption, and only a handful have obtained them so far. The goal of these new rules is to open up the skies to any company with a qualified operator that is willing to follow some basic guidelines.
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Read more about Why you need to be part of the new breed of 21st century creatives at CreativeBloq.com
As president of D&AD for 2015, I plan to celebrate a new breed of 21st century creatives. Today, we operate in an industry where the boundaries are blurred. Technology created the perfect conditions for this by providing the platform. The creative of the future will become ever more flexible, dexterous and in-demand. But it’s the people that will make it happen.
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We love to measure things. It is our way to understand how good or bad something is. Although numbers don’t tell the whole story, they help evaluate the situation in a quick and easy manner. But can we measure user experience? Actually we can. Although user experience efforts are directed toward improving the quality of […]
Nowadays, so many companies use online stores in order to make more money. The truth is that this is a perfect option that is available for so many companies that need to increase profits, with a store that is open at any moment of night and day. At the same time, your company can reach global markets without call centers and mailing.
The problem is that it is not at all easy to design an e-commerce website as you may believe at first glance. You cannot just use a shopping cart software system and expect to end up with great sales.
Online retailers make so many mistakes every single day. The great news is that every single mistake is avoidable. You just need more planning in most cases. Take a look at all the e-commerce site design mistakes that are mentioned below and you will improve your customer experience.
Improper Product Information
Whenever you are in a brick and mortar establishment, you can take a look at what you buy, read label information and basically interact with what you want to buy. This is not possible through online shopping.
A well designed e-commerce website has to do all that it can in order to improve the shopping experience. You surely ended up on sites that have short product information pages or that simply have zero information about what you are about to buy.
Whenever the customer does not know specifics, he/she will try to find that information somewhere else. You will only end up making sales when you have a low price tag.
Always try to offer as much information as possible about the products you sell. This includes materials, dimensions, weight, size and practically everything that is of interest for the possible buyer.
As a simple example, if you sell clothes online, you will want to mention colors, sizes and types available, together with a high quality size chart, thickness or weight. Try to always use descriptive words instead of technical terms.
No Contact Information
The customer wants to know what company they deal with before credit card information is offered. The important thing is showcasing the fact that there is someone that can actually take care of a problem in the event it appears. In the event that the site does not offer such contact information or it is hidden and the customer cannot easily find it, a sale is less likely to be made.
You need to be sure that contact information is really easy to be seen and is visible on all website pages. Make sure that it is in the header, right on the top of the sidebar or in the footer region. If possible, try to offer more contact means like an email address, mailing address, phone number and contact form. That is particularly important in the event that you sell something that is technical by nature.
Confusing Checkout Processes
Such a design mistake is really damaging. You have to make sure you avoid it at all costs. It is your responsibility to be 100% sure that the checkout process is as simple as possible. If that is not the case, the customers will not really go through many steps in order to hand over credit card data so that an order is complete. If there are many steps that are put in front of the interested shopper, he/she can end up leaving without actually completing a purchase.
A perfect checkout process should include only one page that would allow the consumer to verify the order and then enter shipping and billing information. Then, a confirmation page is necessary so that it is known that the offer was submitted. If you add other steps, you just end up putting obstacles in front of making sales, thus causing lower profits for your company.
In the event that there is a need to include more pages, you have to make them really easy to be filled out and quick. If possible, combine pages whenever you can and use column layouts in order to separate sections on the same page. This makes everything appear shorter.
Make sure that you do not force the interested customers to get an account in order for a sale to be made. When customers have to sign in or create accounts, this is a huge obstacle placed right in front of a sale. Capturing customer information is never as important as actually getting the order completed. You do not want to lose customers and this is exactly what happens in the event that you force the account option.
The good news is that this is really easy to be fixed. You can always offer the option to sign up for an account after the ordering process is complete. Offering the possibility of saving account information with the purpose of making the next orders easier to be placed and managed is exactly what helps you. There are many customers that will opt to actually save information and will not be driven away because of the fact that you want them to have an account first.
Improper Search Engine For The Site
It is a guarantee that you ended up on an e-commerce site and you used the search engine feature, all to find out that the results are not as great as they should be. Use the search engine in your site. Does it give you accurate results? Try to think as a potential customer and not as someone that actually knows what products are available in the online store.
In the event that the customerknows what he/she is looking for, the search feature will be utilized instead of going through filters or categories. Do try to make sure that your search feature works well and that it includes as many filters as may be necessary in order for results to be refined.
When a search is conducted and many products are returned, as is the case with larger e-commerce websites, making a choice becomes difficult. Contrary to what you may think, this is not a positive thing. Many potential customers simply go away as they do not want to go through all the results.
Your e-commerce software needs to include a very good search engine. Alternatively, try to use some plugins that will extend functionality. In an ideal setting, the ecommerce search feature needs to let the user to search based on keywords and the refine the results based on site categories, together with standard criteria like low price, high price, new item, popular item and so on.
Small Product Images
As already mentioned, the consumer will not be able to physically handle products that are available for sale before the order is placed. With this in mind, you have to improve the shopping experience. Having really small product images reduce effectiveness. You need to be sure that you either offer a large image or the product page includes a feature that will allow the user to click on images for zooming purposes.
Site visitors basically need to be able to see a very large image at a high resolution. It is a very good idea that you opt for images that would enlarge to a resolution of a minimum of 1024X768 pixels. At the same time, try to offer at least 3-4 images of the product you sell. If possible, put the images in a live example, without relying too much on digitalization.
When you only have one product image, you basically end up making sure that sales are not as high as they could be. Try to offer images of the products sold from various angles. For instance, images in different colors, on the back, the sides, on the front or detailed shots of some of the features that are presented. That will drastically increase the possibility that someone will shop.
Just include more images. In most cases you need 4 to 5 images. This is what is ideal. However, make sure that enough views are offered so that the consumer can feel comfortable and realizes what is gained.
Improper Customer Service Options
This is quite similar to the problem that we mentioned with contact information. Your potential customer needs to find it really easy to find a way to get in touch with you in the event there is a question or a problem. If the customer can receive help fast, this will help them. Offering an email address option is not the only thing you need.
Try to offer some sort of ticketing system. At the same time, include a good FAQ section so that all the common questions can be offered. Make sure that you include the return policy there, together with replacement items when they are needed.
Few Payment Options Available
So many e-commerce sites out there simply offer MasterCard and Visa. Some only allow customers to pay with the use of PayPal. This is not a good idea. In the past we were forced to only use that but now we can so easily offer various payment options, thus allowing many customers to get what they need.
Try to use a good payment service, one that will let your consumers to pay with the credit cards, electronic checkout, PayPal and anything else you could offer. When it comes to making an online payment, offering many opportunities automatically builds trust, which is something you need.
Lack Of Related Products
Whenever you visit a brick and mortar store, you will see items that are similar being grouped together. This makes it really easy for you to buy something else than what you initially wanted or buy more items. The same thing needs to happen online. For instance, if you sell a mobile phone, you may want to include related products like a battery or even a micro USB cable.
The e-commerce platform needs to include product description pages, as already mentioned, and related products. The platform that will allow you to choose exactly what related products are added will offer you a huge advantage since people can easily notice various connections that are basically not identified by software.
It is horrible to look at an e-commerce site and not find what you are looking for. This is frustrating and you do not want to have customers that are frustrated before they even find what they are looking for.
If your navigation is confusing, without categories or with merchandise that should not even be included in some categories. Some of the sites have categories that do not have a product in them or that only have a couple listed. In this case, a category should not even be considered.
You need to consider your site’s navigation elements and the categories. This should be done even before you start designing your site. Every single category needs to include a good number of products. The alternative would be to group the small categories into larger categories. The aim is to make it really easy for the customer to go through the site and find what they may want.
On the whole, if you do not know much about what e-commerce modifications you need to make in order to increase your sales rates, you need to seriously consider professional help. The work that a professional can do is always better than what an in-house department can and the investment does make sense.
The best e-commerce website is the one that manages to offer a great buying experience. This is the most important thing at the end of the day. You need to actively put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. See what they would like or what they would hate. Fix the bad elements. If possible, try to get some information from customers through a survey so that you can see what they do not like. Do not just replicate a site in another niche since there are surely unique elements that should be added to your e-commerce site.
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I have been creating and selling handcrafted fonts now for 2 years (You can visit my store here and browse my Creative Market). So I know how much time and effort can be put into creating a 'good' font (200 hours+), and the decision to give a font away for free is a tough one. Whilst I have a […]
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Read more about 3 huge design trends for 2015 you need to know at CreativeBloq.com
Each month, experienced London-based creative consultancy FranklinTill Studio curate the Trends section inside Computer Arts magazine. Here, co-founders Kate Franklin and Caroline Till look back on last year’s most prominent visual aesthetics and predict the trends that will shape design in 2015… 2014 was the year with a fresh new attitude. It boldly moved away from the saturated ‘heritage’ aesthetic that’s dominated graphics and branding over the last few years.