It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking about how to increase your online sales, but web design is actually one of the most important parts of any customer-facing website associated with your brand. The design of your website sets the tone for the customer experience when a visitor drops by, so it is crucial to make sure that you are making a good first impression. In this article, we will discuss how following good design principles and some simple tips can help you turn this area into a means of increasing sales.
Consider the following analogy.
When a customer walks up to a store, the storefront and the immediate interior are the first thing they see. If the storefront is dirty, or if the customer cannot tell what products are for sale, or if the customer simply finds that the store looks ugly, they are less likely to go inside and make a purchase.
Online shopping works the same way.
However, when it comes to online business, the designer and business manager need to work even harder than a physical store owner to make a good first impression. This is because it is extremely easy for a customer to leave a website and find a different one – a customer can find the design off-putting and leave in seconds.
Aside from making sure that it has all the necessary functionality that the business needs, a website must be clear, easy to read, informative, and beautiful. There are several ways to make sure your business’s website accomplishes these goals.
First of all, it must be immediately obvious what kind of business you are and what products or services you offer. Customers are looking for how you can provide them with value, and you need to demonstrate the ways you add value for them right away.
Next, the information on the website must be clear, concise, and simple. Do not provide too much detail in huge blocks of text- nobody will read them. Summarize with blurbs and sound bites.
In terms of visual design, minimize the amount of dynamic elements and colors- the goal of the website is to provide useful information, not show off the designer’s skills. Based on industry standards, there might be times when particularly notable information needs to be highlighted with a dynamic element or similar accentuating design choice. There are some choices that are almost always a bad idea, like videos or audio that plays automatically.
The website for your business needs to show visitors what you sell and why they should get it from you, as opposed to someone else. Those two items of information are the most important things to tell customers: everything else is window dressing.
Pricing and detailed service descriptions do not need to go on the main page or the first one that customers see. Instead, explain to the customer why they should buy from you. As long as that is clear, then other supplemental information can go into pages that branch off the main page. Just remember that web design is the same thing as decorating and arranging a storefront in terms of role and importance.