What is E-commerce Website design?
This is the process of conceptualizing, planning and implementing a model that determines the layout, structure and features available on your online shopping platform. The objective of the process is to deliver a site that allows consumers to shop for their desired products conveniently.
The most significant aspect of an e-commerce website is the user experience it affords to its visitors. Each year, online businesses around the world lose up to $2 billion due to slow-loading webpages. For this and other reasons, you have to hire the best web design agencies when developing your e-commerce platform in Singapore.
It is essential to understand the factors that affect the performance of your e-commerce website before you start building one. This way, you will ensure that the web design agency you choose delivers a site that attracts leads and gets reasonable conversion rates.
Factors that Affect the Performance of E-commerce Websites
The following are the factors that impact on the numbers of sales generated by an online business platform.
Page Loading Speeds
According to Google, 53% of mobile visitors leave a website with a page load time exceeding three seconds. With more Singaporeans using their mobile phones to access the internet, this statistic highlights the importance of optimizing website speeds.
If you have a slow-loading website, people will abandon it before browsing your products and services. This, in turn, translates to a reduced conversion rate and much lower revenue generated from sales. Make sure that you go for web design agencies that prioritize page speeds when designing e-commerce platforms.
The following table shows the impact of page loading speed on e-commerce conversion rates.
Ease of Navigation
When a prospective buyer accesses an online shopping site, they want to find their desired products quickly. In a survey conducted by Clutch, 94% of respondents said that they like websites that are easy to navigate. This is understandable, as people need time to focus on other areas other than the web.
E-commerce businesses, therefore, must design websites with excellent navigation features to keep their audiences engaged and retain existing customers. For instance, a website should have menus and toolbars, a search button with filters, and any other elements that allow customers to find products fast. You should also ensure that the web designer uses a blend of current and traditional UX design features to generate an evergreen design that appeals to all age groups.
Ease of Checkout
The checkout process is the final step of the e-commerce sales funnel. It determines whether a visitor becomes a customer, or they abandon the shopping cart. According to Statista, the Asia and Pacific region, which includes Singapore, has a cart abandonment rate of 76.3%.
One of the primary reasons for the high cart abandonment rates is the intricacy of the checkout process. For instance, many web design agencies make the mistake of failing to indicate the shipping costs. If the price is indicated at the final stages of the checkout process, it might discourage the user from completing the purchase if they deem it t high. On the contrary, the customers are more likely to convert if your website shows the full cost immediately they click on a product.
Another way to improve your checkout process is by allowing customers to purchase without creating an account. Instead, you should only ask for information that is relevant to shipping, such as their name and contact addresses.
Security of Payments
One of the most significant concerns experienced by online shoppers is the security of payments. Your e-commerce platform must indicate that both the money and their personal information are safe. Almost 58% of prospective buyers are likely to abandon a website if they doubt its security features.
Make sure that your web design agency implements SSL protection on your site, and conspicuously display relevant badges to show customers that you are a trustworthy organization.
Besides safety, shoppers also want a website that supports multiple payment options. When designing the shopping cart, make sure that it supports the popular payment methods such as bank cards, PayPal, and so forth. However, you must also study the preferences of your target audience so that you make the right decision.
The following graph shows the distribution of payment methods in Singaporean e-commerce platforms.
Having a clear return policy assures customers that they can return a product quickly if they find it defective or unsatisfactory. Return policies are significant as the price, product quality, and shipping costs in influencing the buying decision from an e-commerce platform. 68% of shoppers often read the return policy before purchasing a product online.
Some e-commerce web design agencies attempt to reduce return rates by either making it difficult to return items or charging high fees. If you employ such tactics, you risk alienating customers, which might give them a reason to leave your site for rival businesses.
The table below shows the percentage of consumers that were unlikely to interact with a brand that has a poor return policy. Overall, the youth are more likely to abandon your website as compared to older adults.
Percentage of consumers dissatisfied with poor return policies
A return policy is an indicator that you believe in the quality of your products. People are more likely to purchase from you if it is understandable and straightforward.
Shipping Costs and Delivery Times
You can boost your e-commerce conversion rates significantly by offering quick deliveries for your orders. 56% of shoppers expect e-commerce platforms to provide same-day delivery, and a further 51%are willing to pay more to get their orders shipped within 24 hours.
Besides delivery time, you should also try to keep the shipping costs down. People like it when you charge a flat rate for making deliveries, instead of billing each item separately.
If you are unable to improve on your shipping speeds, you can appease the customers by offering free shipping. That said, the delivery turnaround time should not go beyond five days.
The opinion of previous clients on your website has a massive impact on the performance of your e-commerce website. According to studies, 92% of consumers are more likely to purchase an item if a friend or a relative recommends it. Beyond close friends and family, 88% of shoppers are likely to trust in reviews written by other customers.
Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective strategies that improve the revenues made by online shopping platforms. You can incentivize your customers to recommend your products by offering discount coupons for every referral they make. In return, you will benefit from increased social proof and more sales. It is also an excellent way of growing your client base without spending on advertisements.
As mentioned earlier, your e-commerce website should be easy to navigate. Making the checkout process straightforward reduces the risk of consumer frustration, which intron lowers the possibility of cart abandonment. You should use clear and compelling call-to-action statements such as ‘complete order’ or ‘checkout here’ so that your visitors know what the button takes them. Overall, visual CTAs perform better than text CTAs.
If you are operating both physical and online stores, you need to make sure that you update your inventory regularly. No shopper wants to click on an order and cancel it during checkout because the item is out of stock. The customers will get frustrated, and you are likely to lose them as a result. Make sure that your web design agency synchronizes the shopping cart with your stock to avoid such problems.
Questions to Ask Before Engaging in E-commerce Website Design in Singapore
If you already have a brick-and-mortar store without an e-commerce website, you are missing on an enormous opportunity to boost your revenue. In Singapore, e-commerce sales amount to S$6.7 billion this year and are expected to grow to S$11.7 billion in 2023.
The following is a table showing projected revenue increase for the Singaporean e-commerce market.
Revenue in US$
Revenue in S$
Establishing a new online store is often a challenge for small businesses since they have limited budgets and resources. However, with the help of the right web design agencies, the process can be much easier.
The following are some of the questions you should ask before engaging in e-commerce website design in Singapore.
How do I Start?
There are two ways of building an e-commerce website; hiring a web design agency and using an online site builder. The first option is more expensive and takes a longer time, but it guarantees a better result. You can ask the agency to design the site to your exact specifications. On the other hand, using a site builder is cheaper and takes lesser time, but the customization is limited.
The cost of developing an e-commerce website mostly depends on the number of products you are selling and the types of services you are offering.
How do I Customize My E-commerce Website?
The design of your website should be similar to that of your regular site if you already have one. Customers are more likely to associate the platform with your brand if it uses the same colour scheme, theme, logos, and so on.
If you are using a web design agency, make sure that they a consistent design across all of your online platforms. Similarly, if you are using a design template, remember to upload all the relevant branding elements associated with your business.
Which Payment Method Should I Use?
The method of payment you use on your e-commerce website depends on the preferences of your target audience. The most popular payment methods include credit and debit cards, mobile e-wallets, and PayPal, and so on. For instance, in Singapore, 78% of locals say that they use their credit cards to purchase items online at least once every three months.
How Will I Handle Customer Service?
The best way of reaching out to your customers is by investing in a dependable customer relationship management tool. CRM software is useful in tracking, structuring and streamlining the way your clients interact with your business from a single place. You can easily monitor activities such as recent buys, complaints, pending orders, and client contact information using this invaluable resource.
Alternatively, you can set up live chat functionality on your e-commerce website. The only challenge with this approach is that users expect you to be online 24/7.
How Should I Set the Shipping Costs?
In most cases, the cost of shipping depends on the courier service you use. Most carriers offer free quotes, and web design agencies can easily integrate such services into your website’s checkout page.
You should also consider offering free shipping for offers exceeding a specified amount. This will make you stand out from rivals and encourage the buyers to purchase more items to meet the set threshold. However, you should only implement this if you can afford it without hurting your profits.
How Do I Create Compelling Product Descriptions?
Online shoppers cannot interact physically with your products. The best you can do to convince them to buy is by writing compelling product descriptions and including the best images.
Make sure that your images are visible, and provide multiple so that the buyer can see the product in detail. The product description should be concise and rich in detail such that it piques the interest of the customer. For instance, you could highlight the dimensions of the product, its standout features and its primary uses.
Should I Enable Customer Reviews and Social Sharing?
Enabling customers to review your products is a smart way of improving the credibility of your e-commerce platform. People are more likely to purchase from you if previous clients are leaving positive comments and high ratings on your website. That said, you should also respond to negative comments to show that you care.
You can also improve social proof by enabling customers to share your products to social media platforms. Such networks are hugely popular in Singapore, and you can capitalize on it by using them for marketing your e-commerce website.
How Will I Attract Customers?
Once you get your site running, the next challenge is generating leads and converting them into buyers. You should place links to your website on all social platforms to ensure that you reach the broadest possible audience. Also, make sure that you post regular updates on your social accounts.
Additionally, you should go for web design agencies that offer SEO as part of the e-commerce development package. SEO will ensure that you get more visibility on search engines, which means that you get more traffic to your website.
How do I deal with Returned Items?
Your e-commerce website must have a clear and transparent return policy. Make sure that your preferred web design agency includes tools that allow you to replace or refund customers if they return an item. The system should also inform customers of the progress of their return.
How Can I Measure the Progress of My Website?
It is advisable to hire web design agencies that include analytic tools to allow you to measure the performance of your e-commerce website. With these tools, you can check important metrics such as the number of people on your site, their location, their activities, and so forth.
The findings you get from the analytics software show the most and least popular products and pages on your website. Such information is vital in knowing what you need to add to your stock, as well as what to stop selling.
How to Choose an E-commerce Web Design Agency in Singapore
With plenty of web design agencies to choose from in Singapore, it can be quite a challenge to settle on a particular option. You need to know the qualities to look for to ensure that you do not waste time and money.
Here are the steps you should follow to ensure that you choose the right agency to conduct e-commerce web design in Singapore.
Set a Budget
Before you start looking at web design agencies, you must allocate a budget for the entire project. The budget can either be small or limited, but it is vital to have it defined before start developing your e-commerce website.
That said, you should allow for a little flexibility on your budget. A company might recommend some additional features that improve the revenue generated by the website at an extra cost. In some cases, you might get services at a lower price than you initially expected.
Get a Quote
Once you have a defined budget, the next step is getting quotes from several web design agencies. This is a critical step in ensuring that you find a provider that fits your financial plan. If you fail to try several options, you will end up overspending on a service that you would have otherwise received at a lower price.
Most agencies do not publish their pricing. You need to contact them to get a quote. Only a few openly state the cost of their web design packages.
Ask about Additional Prices and Fees
Besides the pricing, some web design agencies usually charge extra fees that they do not always indicate. If you happen to deal with such companies, you might end up spending way beyond your designated budget.
You should always talk to your agency about their policy on fees. They should tell you if they charge an extra fee for updates on the website, overtime hours and impromptu checkups on your website.
Since web design is a significant investment, ensure that you are conversant with all fees charged by a company before moving to the next step.
Check their Portfolio
Reputable web design agencies usually have a portfolio of previous clients. Looking at this list is the best way of assessing the level of expertise the agency has, as well as what to expect from them. You can also contact the clients directly and ask them about their experience with the agency.
If they give positive reviews, you know that you are almost guaranteed of a desirable outcome. On the other hand, if they are overly negative about the agency, you should avoid signing a contract with the agency in question.
Check the Client Retention Rate
Another way of gauging the performance of an e-commerce website design agency is checking the client retention rate. The acceptable minimum is 60% – if it is lower than that, it shows the quality of service delivery is below par. Companies that score a retention rate of more than 80% offer excellent services.
A high retention rate is also an indicator that an agency works well with its clients. Sometimes, a poor relationship with clients might hurt the retention rate even if the service delivery is up to the required standards.
They Should Listen to Your Ideas
The right web design agency always listens to your ideas. Nobody understands your audiences better than you, and they should design the e-commerce website to your exact specifications.
Avoid working with a company that is not ready to implement your ideas. If they are not listening, you will get a website that contradicts your objectives and does not appeal to the needs of your target audience.
They Give Suggestions
Although it is essential for the web design agencies to adhere to your objectives, they should give suggestions regularly. This shows their competence and experience in a field in which you have limited knowledge.
Working with an agency that agrees with everything you say means that you will not get value for your money. Your preferred designer should share ideas on how to improve your e-commerce website for the best results.
Check their Longevity
The internet changes regularly, mainly due to the frequent updates implemented on search engines’ ranking algorithms. Every year, many are web design agencies launch – and several others close down. Longevity is a proper measure of the abilities of such companies.
You should choose a company that has experience in the industry, as this shows that they are adaptable to change. It also guarantees you of customer support in case your website runs into a problem.
Scope of Services
When it comes to an e-commerce website, specializing in design and development is not enough. You need a company that offers other related services such as SEO, conversion rate optimization, email marketing, social media marketing, and so forth. This saves you the time and resources that you would have otherwise spent on advertising your website once it goes live.
Ask who Manages Individual Projects
Organization and delegation duties are among the crucial qualities of the right web design agency. Before hiring a company, ask who will manage your development project. If they say that the entire firm is responsible, it shows that they are disorganized and are likely to let you down frequently.
Instead, they should allocate the project to a small team to ensure that the project is a success. It is also easier to contact the small group you are working with than going to headquarters and not knowing where to start. The defined point of contact will answer your questions, give updates on the project, and make changes when required.
Without a defined project manager, there is less accountability, and blame games are prevalent. You will get endless excuses concerning why you are not attaining your project objectives.
Evaluate their Customer Support
Even if you get a designated project manager, they may not be available at all times. In such situations, you need an alternative to give you any assistance that you might need with the website.
Make sure that you have access to the agency’s customer support centre to help you during emergencies. Besides, you need to understand their customer care policy. You should know the times that they are available, and the extent of support they can provide, the charges incurred, and so on.
Ask How Updates Get Implemented
Similar to a brick-and-mortar shop, an e-commerce website needs regular updates. You need to make sure that all services run smoothly, and more importantly, the product inventory is always up to date.
Most companies that do website design in Singapore give two options – you either handle the updates yourself, or they do it for you. Regardless of your choice, you should reach a consensus to ensure that all updates are accurate and timely.
Set Concrete Goals with Realistic Deadlines
Lastly, you need to set goals and deadlines for the completion of your e-commerce development project. This allows you to track the efficiency of your website design agency.
If the company is working ahead of schedule, then you know that you made the right choice. Otherwise, you might have to end the contract.
Some of the goals you can set include the maximum number of visitors at a time, the accessibility of the website, the maintenance schedule, and so forth. You are likely to achieve success if you have defined objectives. Setting generic goals gives the agency a lot of freedom and sets you up for failure.
Best E-commerce Web Design Agencies in Singapore
Several companies specialize in e-commerce website design in Singapore. The following are the best options for you to consider.
Polaris Hub is an agency that specializes in website design in Singapore. Their services include web design and development, e-commerce website design, web application development, and website SEO and SEM.
The company has an impressive list of clients, including Singapore Airlines, Asia Access Telecom, and ACS Old Boys Alumni.
You can reach the company on the following addresses for further information.
- Office: 300 Tampines Avenue, Junction #09-02, Singapore 529653.
- Phone: +65 6484 6248.
North InfoTech is a leading e-commerce website design agency in Singapore. The company primarily focuses on developing online shopping platforms, with other services including mobile app development, UI and UX design, and CRM solutions.
Since its launch in 2012, the company has worked with several small and established companies in the country.
If you need additional information, you can reach them on the following addresses.
- Office: 1 Marne Road, Singapore 208380
- Phone: +65 6909 0567 and +65 8766 2001
Notch Studio is one of the top web design agencies in Singapore. Their scope of services includes e-commerce development, website maintenance, graphic design and branding, and SEO, and so on.
The impressive work done by this company has seen it win several accolades, including the SME Prestige Award in 2015 and the Davey Awards in 2011.
You can get in touch with the agency through the following addresses.
- Office: 8 Marina View, #07-04, Asia Square Tower 1, Singapore 018960.
- Phone: +65 6407 1032.
Above1 is a result-oriented company that deals with website design in Singapore. Their services include e-commerce development, corporate web design, website maintenance, marketing, and mobile app development.
Some of their most notable clients include the Singapore Management University, Premier Football, and Singapore Brand Conference, and so on.
For further information, you can reach the company through the following addresses.
- Office: 1A Kakit Bukit Road 3, East Point Terrace, Singapore 417821.
- Phone: +65 634 3276.
ChillyBin is a Singaporean web design agency that offers services such as SEO, e-commerce development, branding and WordPress support. The company launched in 2009 in New Zealand and has since improved to become of the best web design agencies in Singapore.
If you want to get more information about this agency, you can contact them using the information below.
- Office: 1 Scotts Road, #24-05 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208.
- Phone: +65 3159 1596.
Given the importance of design and user experience in the performance of an e-commerce website, it is essential to choose the right agency to handle your project. The only challenge is that Singapore has several web design agencies, which makes it difficult to find a suitable choice.
No need to worry though, MediaOne is the best website design agency in Singapore and can create a custom ecommerce website for you. Get in touch with us at +65 6789 9852 for more details.