As the digital hub of your business, your website should be compelling, intuitive, conversion-focused, and easy on the eyes. More than ever before, websites today have to be sales-ready and fully equipped to convert leads into buyers.
But getting people to convert to your brand is no small feat, and this why turning shoppers into buyers is a million-dollar question. However, before you go ahead and invest your hard earned cash in paid research, design specialists and consultants, take a quick 3-second test.
Put on your “customer hat” and look at your homepage, asking yourself the following two questions:
Can users of the website tell what you sell in 3 seconds?
Would they trust you with their credit card details and want to buy your product?
If your answer is a no to either of the questions, then you need to work on improving your website.
There are number of ways to do so, but we are concentrating on the top 5 that will give you the most traction.
Technically, it is possible to have an eCommerce store that just has product descriptions and no images or vice-a-versa, meaning only images and no product descriptions. However, one without the other is like a bicycle without a wheel. High quality images with good product descriptions have to work in tandem for an effective presentation of a product.
When you are shopping online, you can’t try on a product, you can neither touch it, nor feel or smell it – you can only see it. A customer needs to know exactly what he/she is buying, so it’s essential to use high quality images that can be zoomed in to see product detail.
The better the photos, the higher the chances of your product being purchased. Also, it’s a good idea to take pictures of your products from different angles, so that customers can scrutinize the product they are about to purchase.
Though high quality images are the grandfather of all design improvements for an eCommerce website, product descriptions matter as well. They give buyers enough information to convince themselves that they’ve found what they were looking for.
Instead of debating between long and short product descriptions, offer both. The shorter version could provide the gist of the product, the bare bones version of the description about what the product does and who is it for.
The longer version should provide enough information so that the buyer has no queries left. If, after investing the time in reading the entire description, the buyer still has basic questions regarding the product, then you probably have not done a good job at explaining its attributes.
Allow the products on the website to be customized by the customers. It’s fun and provides a game-like element to shopping along with creating a sense of ownership for the product. Once your customer has spent a few minutes configuring the product, he/she will be bound to feel uniquely about it.
An example is of Timbuk2 bags, here is how they customize it:
Of course, the extent of customization depends on what you sell. Hence, if you are selling your own manufacturing, then you can conveniently have it customized to the buyer’s tastes. A Timbuk2 bag is created within 30 minutes, so it is possible for them to offer customization options on their site.
Similarly, jewelry store Gemvara capitalizes on customization by promoting it with the tagline “I designed it myself”. If you want to offer jewelry as a gift, the Gemvara website allows you to customize your chosen piece with your mother’s, or your friend’s favorite metals and birthstones, making it an ideal gift for moms.
Gamification is using video game elements in a setting that is unlike a video game. Like customization, it also makes shopping interesting and more of a game. For example, an eCommerce store can use a progress bar to show buyers how close they are to spending an amount that qualifies them for a discount.
In video games, every time we level up (for example, clearing levels in Candy Crush) or beat the villain, we get a boost of dopamine, our “feel-good” drug. By adding elements like a progress bar, the shopping experience also starts to resemble a game and allows buyers to feel the same shot of dopamine.
Moreover, gamification elements are so effective that they can increase conversions by up to 7 times! So a progress bar can be used for any goal, be it creating an account or leveling up customer status, such as becoming a gold or a platinum member.
Loyalty programs that offer badges, points for product or site reviews, or add a silly game to your site are all different ways that you can gamify your website with.
4) Remove distractions from the checkout page
When your customers are close to making a purchase, it is not really the time to push discounts, offers and pop-ups in their faces. Your checkout page should, ideally, be completely free of distractions, like an island in the middle of the sea.
The only way your customers should be able to leave this page is to close the window or head back to the store to make further purchases. Look at Nike’s and Amazon’s checkout pages as examples:
Thus, making checkout pages simple and clutter-free is not only favorable, but also a relatively easy change to implement, technologically. It decreases the likelihood of cart abandonment and effectively helps to increase your conversion rates.
5) One conversion goal at a time
They weren’t wrong when they said too many cooks spoil the broth. If you try to sell many things at the same time, you may end up selling nothing.
For this reason, it is far better to concentrate on designing each page with one conversion goal in mind and focus on design clarity.
If you offer too much information, chances are that the shopper will feel overwhelmed, which might result in him/her abandoning the cart altogether. As a matter of fact, there is even a study conducted at Simon Fraser University on “Website Design and Culture” which indicates that design clarity is the foundation of customer loyalty and trust online.
In the example above, Zen windows was doing “okay” in generating customers but they wanted to increase their conversion rate. Adept Marketing restructured it on the premise, so that when a shopper lands on a page, he should know three things immediately:
Where he is on the website: Using breadcrumbs like navigation menus, descriptive URLs and page titles help greatly in this regard.
The action he is expected to take: This should be your primary conversion goal.
What happens when the user takes the targeted action.
The redesigned website is much more user-friendly. It is designed in a way that leads users down specific paths so that they can easily take an action, become a lead, and be converted.
There are many tactics, strategies, and tricks that you can employ to improve your eCommerce website design and boost conversion rates.
However, when you run a website, it’s more important that you make it easy to navigate, user-friendly and incorporate eye-catching photos accompanied by details, and fun elements of customization and gamification.
You will soon realize that you may not have to do much more than implement these changes to increase your customer base.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.