6 Ways To Improve Your Website Design To Boost Sales – Forbes

Improve online sales with good website design

The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly year over year. But that doesn’t mean that your eCommerce business is necessarily growing at the speed you’d like.  Whether your sales are lagging or are simply okay, most businesses are intent on growing their revenue faster.
Good web design is one of the most effective growth tools for an eCommerce business. Every aspect of your eCommerce business, from your company’s logo to your website’s appearance and usability, to your marketing brochures,  must be smartly designed to maximize the user experience. Conversely, poor design can kill your business.
Katie Lundin from the customer support team at crowdspring, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for crowdsourced web design, shares the top six strategies for growing your eCommerce business with strong, smart design decisions.
Your eCommerce business is only as strong as your website. If visitors are met with inept design and painfully slow load speeds, they’re going to leave before you’ve had a chance to make your pitch. Research from Stanford reveals that 75% of internet users will make judgments about a business’s credibility based solely on how their website looks. A Kissmetrics Infographic shows that by the time your website hits 4 seconds of loading time, you’ve already lost 25% of your potential viewers. This is a deadly statistic, as many first-time ecommerce businesses don’t invest enough money and talent into their website development to overcome this barrier.
“If your eCommerce website hosts data-intensive graphics and photos, it takes much longer to load than a sleek, cleanly designed website with minimal graphics,” Lundin explains. “The takeaway here is not that you should eliminate photos and graphic elements from your eCommerce website design. The lesson is to use design elements smartly for maximum impact and quicker load speeds.”
Many eCommerce stores are photo-heavy. “Make sure that you minimize your photo file sizes as much as possible while still maintaining good quality. Artful and intentional use of color, white space and text can go a long way. Throw in a few minimal brand-specific graphic elements and you can create a website that is a pleasure to navigate,” Lundin adds.
Also, when working with your website designer, be sure to communicate that quick load speeds are a very high priority. You can use a free tool like Pingdom to test your load time for the average user by location.
It’s more cost-effective to sell to existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. If you want to grow your eCommerce business quickly, focus some of your marketing efforts on gaining repeat sales from your current customers. Two great strategies for engaging with existing customers are remarketing ads and email campaigns.
“Google’s remarketing ads target users who have already visited your website. This means that the people receiving these ads are the people who are likely to be the most receptive to your message, because they’ve already sought out your business on their own,” Lundin says. “An eye-catching ad design steeped in your visual brand will help to keep your business fresh in your customers’ minds. Pair that compelling design with a valuable offer, and repeat customers will flock to your site to take advantage.”
You may also want to consider reaching out to previous customers with an email campaign. Email is still a highly effective tool for contacting customers – especially web-savvy, smartphone-toting customers who are comfortable shopping online.
“So, stow your pride and make it clear that you miss them and you’d like to see them back. Share your message in a well-designed email template so you’ll attract even more interest,” Lundin advises.
The way people access the Internet has changed. Over the years, the number of users accessing the internet from computers has declined dramatically, while significantly more people access the internet from their mobile devices. As of November 2016, mobile devices became the most popular way to access the internet — and this is especially true for younger customers.
“When you build an eCommerce site, it must be optimized for mobile users. Otherwise, it’s behind the times and you will be losing business.  Your eCommerce website design should be responsive. This means that it is needs to be designed to visually adjust to the size/shape screen wherever it appears. The best most responsive websites not only adjust to new screen sizes — they’re also intuitive and easy-to-navigate. So, make sure you hire a talented professional designer to help your eCommerce business execute its responsive website design,” Lundin notes.
If your eCommerce business is serious about achieving rapid growth, then you need to embrace the landing page. A landing page is a web page specifically devoted to a single product or offer. And unlike your traditional website homepage, every element is laser-focused on a single call to action and intentionally designed to convert a browser into a customer.
“Feature each marketing offer and product with a unique landing page on your website. You may even consider creating landing pages for specific target audiences. This way, people who search for your product online will be taken to a webpage that specifically caters to their needs and perspectives,” suggests Lundin.
“When designing landing pages for your eCommerce website, remember to eliminate distractions, provide a clear call to action, and make it easy for the customer to complete that call to action with a purchase,” she continues.
“For every eCommerce store, the shopping cart is the final barrier between a prospective customer and a sale. And, shopping cart abandonment is an issue that all eCommerce businesses face. Customers load up their carts with items — and then promptly disappear,” Lundin says.
There are many reasons for cart abandonment: shipping price shock, a confusing check-out process, and using the cart for storage with the intent of purchasing later, are examples. But, great design can help you nudge those almost-sales into actual sales. Lundin suggests you start by reviewing your shopping cart design for the following flaws:
“Be sure to ask numerous people to review your check-out process. Track the issues you find as you review the process.  Even minor inconveniences can drive some customers away. And, these inconveniences are your guideposts for improvements to be made,” Lundin suggests. “Redesign your shopping cart interface to eliminate the friction points you’ve discovered. Remember that simple is better than complex.  And, transparency is better than mystery.”
The less your customers have to do, the happier they’ll be. They’ll also appreciate knowing where they are in the check-out process and how much remains left to do. Smart design improves the user experience, which can tip those “almost-there” shoppers into loyal customers. And that’s going to grow your eCommerce business fast.
“People are social creatures. We all want to belong.  Seeing other people sharing a certain opinion encourages us to share that opinion, too. When designing your eCommerce website, be sure to leave room for customer testimonials and reviews,” Lundin advises.
Testimonials and reviews show that others have gone before you, and were happy that they did, giving new customers the confidence to take the plunge. Lundin suggest a few design considerations to remember when including reviews on your site:
Another great way of showing social proof is to include a “best-sellers” section. “Not everyone browsing your site will know exactly what they’re looking for,” notes Lundin. “If your company sells a wide range of products, it can be overwhelming, especially for a new customer. When someone stumbles upon your site, they should be drawn to products that are most popular.
The best-sellers section must be easy to find and navigate — as well as visually integrated with your overall web design.”
So, don’t skimp on the design side of creating a compelling and useful website. Work with your web designer and graphic designer to find the very best way to execute these strategies for your business. Then, let the orders roll in!