Interview: Carnegie Mellon Professor Ari Lightman On How Students Are Empowered By Learning To Use Brandwatch Consumer Research
By Kara FinnertyJun 10
Published September 28th 2017
Customers are quite judgmental when it comes to web design. In fact, it only takes a few seconds on your webpage for them to decide to stay or leave. For an ecommerce business, those few seconds are invaluable.
It’s very likely that you took time and care to create your flagship products or service.
Be sure to put that same effort into your website and design it to do the selling for you. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great your product or service is. If your site is poorly structured, not many people will stick around long enough to buy.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind.
As an online retailer, your website is your real estate, so design it with the same care and precision that you would if it was a brick and mortar store.
Pay attention to color schemes, layout, and the overall theme to create a beautiful and unified look that attracts customers.
Color choice is important when you’re designing your brand’s website.
There’s actually quite a bit of hidden psychology behind colors that can affect sales and conversions. Some colors attract audiences better than others.
Color also plays a powerful role in brand association and identity, like the famous Coca-Cola red or Tiffany blue.
Your layout should reflect in your brand’s logo as well. It’s all about first impressions.
A poorly designed logo can damage your brand’s reputation upon first glance.
Take a look at sleep mask brand NodPod’s website, which uses the same light blue color on their home page as they use in their logo to create a cohesive theme. This gives the website and navigation a nice, even flow.
It’s important that you establish a theme that customers can easily associate with you and that they are comfortable looking at, in order to make your marketing stand out and establish brand recognition.
Retailers who stock products that are easier to sell in physical stores know this better.
For instance, Firmoo, an online eyewear retailer, displays a lot of category options and product photos on their homepage showcase real people wearing them, which conveys to customers the consistency of a brick-and-mortar store.
According to a study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group, we tend to read webpages in an “F” or “Z” shaped pattern, reading the top few lines and then skimming down the rest of the page. Use this concept to your advantage and design your website around it.
List your most important information at the top and use eye-catching bullet points beneath, right along the pattern that the users’ eyes are likely to follow.
Look at Death Wish Coffee’s company website as an example. Their homepage is designed to follow the natural “F” pattern by including a bold headline up top, then listing information below placed directly along the users’ likely reading path.
Your eyes are drawn to the phrase “BUY THE WORLD’S STRONGEST COFFEE” first, then to the product, and then to the “BUY NOW” button.
Use science-backed reading patterns to create a website that is optimized to your customers’ reading behaviors. This is what design and information flow experts call visual hierarchy.
With a properly planned web page structure, you can direct the users’ attention towards your product, promotion details, purchase button, or any path that leads to further action, in turn leading to increased sales and conversions.
One of the top reasons as to why a customer will leave a website is poor navigation.
If your navigation menu is hidden or in an odd place, the user is going to have trouble viewing your products or knowing where to go next.
The best place for your menu is typically at the top of your website. Be sure to use a drop-down menu if you have lots of categories or subsets in order to keep the overall look clean and simple, like furniture retailer Wayfair does:
Over half of your customers will leave if your page takes longer than just two seconds to load.
Plus, a slow loading site also hurts your SEO rankings, which comprises your online visibility. Much of this issue can be traced back to the web hosting platform. No surprise then, that a slow loading speed is an instant way to kill a sale.
With more internet surfing taking place on mobile devices than desktops, there’s a fair chance that your customer is looking at your site from a smartphone, so you need to make sure that your platform is optimized for the small screen, too.
The best way to do this is to consolidate your design into smaller sections, like Etsy did for their mobile version:
Designing a website – even a shop with thousands of products – is quite simple these days, thanks to DIY sites that let you use pre-made templates.
However, providing a superior UX is the hard part – it’s what distinguishes the great sites from the good ones.
Make sure your site is optimized and intended to convert the highest number of visitors into customers with these simple design tweaks.