4 Traits of a Website Designed to Sell
For ecommerce websites, conversions are everything. These what turn a visitor into a potentially loyal customer. Driving conversions is the goal for any retail website, but it’s not possible without great design. Your conversion tactics won’t do you any good without a website design that’s attractive and functional.
The design of your website is half the marketing battle. If you’re looking to sell products and boost your conversion rates, there are a few key web design traits you’ll want to consider.
1. Social Is Essential
A few years ago, when social media was just gaining steam, having social buttons and a direct connection between your website and your social profiles was just a bonus. Now, it’s essential for success. Savvy businesses use social media to market their companies, posting content and bits of conversations to the page in order to engage a target audience and boost interest in their products.
If your website isn’t connected to these social profiles, it can be difficult for users to make the transition from your social profile to your website, and vice versa, and they certainly won’t bend over backwards to do it. Make social media easily accessible on your website with buttons, links, and mentions of your social pages.
2. Design and Business Objective Must Co-Exist
This should be the very first thing you consider before designing a website, but if it’s not, it’s usually not too late to go back and fix it. The design elements and pattern of function should revolve around your objective or the main goal of your website.
For example, if you’re a website that sells cooking utensils and bakeware, your main business objective is to sell those products. What’s the best way to get people to buy them? A design that makes your users hungry. Everything from the colors you use (such as red to stimulate hunger) to the pictures you post (imagine a succulent roast basted in butter) should be designed with the intent of encouraging your web visitors to make a purchase.
3. Images Must Lead the Eye
In addition to choosing good images that entice action, lead your users to the areas of your website that will drive action. Ideally, the placement of an image and text will lead the eye to a call to action. This is known as visual hierarchy, and it’s proven to be one of the most effective methods in web design. Study this principle in depth, and then apply it to your web design.
A great way to see if your images are leading the eye where you want them to is to use heat maps. These tools show where site visitors spend the most time looking (based on where the mouse cursor spent the most time), so you can see if your images are drawing the eye sufficiently.
4. The Website Should Be Functional
Above all, a website should be extremely functional. Good design isn’t just about painting a pretty picture. It’s about getting that pretty picture to perform multiple functions without any hassle. A functional website should include features like easy navigation, speedy load times (three seconds or faster), links that work, and a clear logo that doubles as a homepage link.
If you’re not satisfied with the functionality of your website, run it through a series of UX and AB testing. This will reveal the site’s greatest weaknesses and recommend solutions for the problems. Your website is only as good as its functionality, so it’s important to make that a top priority as you design.
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