The much-awaited Government online store for Marijuana is now live. Though the website has only been accessible to the public in the last two weeks, it’s already started generating a lot of traffic (approximately 3.3 K/ month, as per Ahrefs’ report).
Let’s find out whether the design, development and optimization of this online marijuana store are justified for the type and amount of audience it’s receiving.
The Design of Ontario’s Legal Online Store for Marijuana
When first visiting the cannabis store, an age verification page where you would need to provide your date of birth will greet you. The design, colour and font selection of the page makes sense as it has a sense of warning with its colour and font selection. You are asked to fill out your age before you move on.
After verifying your age, you will be redirected to the home page where you will find the option to take the tour and start shopping.
The “Take the Tour” button is linked to a page that explains the rules and regulations related to the purchase, possession and consumption of marijuana. It is very important for users to learn about the related legalities before they purchase cannabis and the button is positioned in a way that it is not missed by the users.
The next important page on the website is the shopping page which also gets highlighted as it’s linked to a button right beside “Take the Tour.”
The overall design of the page is very clear with it’s “Why Trust Us?” “Blogs” and “Product Category” sections. The 4-column structure on the footer conveys necessary information and provides quick links to some pages.
For example, the support page in the footer, named “Hello OCS” has all the important information that a buyer needs before or after purchasing marijuana from their store.
However, the call to action buttons are missing from the home page. Though it’s not a long scroll landing page, the use of a few call to action buttons would certainly help users visit the important pages and improve the conversion rate.
Creating separate sections on the home page for the pages like “Accessories”, “Learn” and “FAQ” which are also placed in the header menu, could make the design of the home page more attractive. It could also give scopes to add call to action buttons right after each section.
The Shop Page
The shop page comes with a very basic design without much information about the products.
There are some product details listed on both shop and product pages but they are not attractively designed. There’s also no option for submitting reviews and ratings on the product pages.
Adding a banner linking to the most popular products on the shop page could improve the conversion rate. Showing carrousels of similar products on each product page would also improve user engagement.
An approximate delivery date of the product can also be displayed to better pique customer interest.
Displaying the stock of the product or offering a limited-time incentive can maneuver a sense of urgency among visitors and generate more sales.
The Development of Ontario Cannabis Store
The platform used to build the website is Shopify which is great in terms of security, speed, technology, caching and features as Shopify offers its own hosting. It also comes with in-built marketing tools. There are options on the website to create discount coupons, gift cards and send emails. The website is also mobile-responsive which is very necessary these days. However, there is some room for improvement in this area.
According to Google Page Speed Insights, the website has an average speed on both mobile and desktop devices with the optimization scores 68 and 77 respectively.
Server and Security
Though Shopify uses a very secure server and there’s SSL installed in it, there are some minor security issues. For example, the server signature is on and it has 20 HTTP requests which slow down the page load speed.
Apart from this, there’s no malware or phishing activity found on the server that means the site has not yet been affected by malware.
Looking at its current build, Ontario Cannabis Store is one of the best eCommerce sites in Canada in terms of design and security. There are some UI factors that need to be taken care of and hopefully, it will be implemented soon. However, these issues are minor compared to what the site allows for, so, enjoy buying your cannabis online.