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Ecommerce Website Design for Different Buying Styles

Written By Corey Beale on Aug 20, 2015 8:00:00 AM

This post originally appeared on HubSpot's Marketing Blog.

Designing and developing an ecommerce website seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Display the products and prices, provide a shopping cart and payment portals, and you’re done. Or are you?

A simple ecommerce site may be easy enough to launch, but will it reach all your buyers at any time? With so many different shopping styles and personalities out there, you can be sure your simplified design leaves a chunk of buyers out in the cold. How can you plan for the many different shoppers so that you can be prepared to convert them to customers at any time? We’ve got some suggestions for design that can help. 

Impulse Shoppers

The impulse shopper doesn’t want to see all the product descriptions and dimensions. They need images of the products in various colors, lifestyle shots of people using those images, and testimonials or reviews that prove how loved the products are.

To reach this shopper, capitalize on bright, bold colors, images, fonts, and copy. Hide the descriptions behind tabs so that others can find them when needed. This buyer doesn’t need anything that might talk him out of the purchase. If you have celebrity endorsers, keep those visible wherever possible. This buyer wants the prestige of owning the product, so make sure they know how cool they are for buying it. 

Detail-Oriented Shoppers

In stark contrast to the impulse shoppers are those who are very detail oriented. They need to know everything they can about the products before they make a purchase.

Have all information easily accessible, from sizes and colors to good and bad reviews. They’ll weigh the pros and the cons, read all the descriptions, check social media for other opinions, and maybe even order a sample, if it’s possible. FAQ pages, suggested links, tutorials, statistics, and any other information that might prompt a purchase should be easily found on every product page.

Hesitant Buyers

Whether they’re waiting for payday or just a good excuse to make a purchase, hesitant buyers can be pretty tough to serve. One day they’ll put a few items in their shopping cart and then abandon. The next day they might come back and remove all but one product. Sometimes they’ll even complete a purchase. For the most part, though, hesitators wait too long and miss out.

A wish list is a great way to keep those who wait on the hook. Instead of filling carts and abandoning them, these shoppers can add those items to a wish list. You can then send them reminders or let them know when those products are on sale. Timely coupons and discounts can also help move those items from the wish list to the shopping cart. By instilling a sense of urgency with deadlines and limited offers, you might just make the sale.

Paralyzed Buyer

An ecommerce site with a lot of choices sounds like a great idea, right? The problem is that too many choices often paralyze buyers. Those who are looking for something specific might be able to cut through the noise. The rest will become overwhelmed pretty quickly and move along.

Plenty of filters can help you overcome the choice paralysis problem. Keep in mind that your buyers rely on your to make a lot of the choices for them, though. First, be picky about the products you offer. Make sure they fit your brand and your vision. Then offer the filters. Suggesting purchases that might fit can also carry you a long way with a paralyzed buyer.

This certainly involves a lot more than a straightforward, simple ecommerce website, doesn’t it? There are a lot of people you have to consider when deciding on website features and design. What other buyers types might you experience, and how would you ensure they finish the purchase?

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Topics: Website Design

Corey Beale

Director of Sales at HubSpot, I help ecommerce businesses, educational institutions, and media/publishing companies grow with inbound marketing.

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