In online retail, web design is one of the most important aspects that determines sales performance, as it influences the site’s conversion rate quite heavily. We will first focus on some of the primary reasons as to why web design plays such a key role in boosting or decreasing sales performance of eCommerce sites.
There are several stages which define a customer’s position within the sales funnel, but it always begins with interest. The incoming traffic must like how the site looks and what they see on it if they are to stay for longer than a few seconds on the landing page. Several visual aspects such as the choice of colour scheme, suitability of the chosen theme, text placement, media placement and other similar elements must come together harmoniously for the page to create a good first impression on the incoming traffic. Conversion on the first visit is not the target here, but generating interest and retaining it for a second visit is.
Ease of Access and Fluidity
Every commercial site must be designed with ease of access and fluidity in mind. Even if the site has products/services that a potential customer is very much interested in, the visitor is very unlikely to convert if they find the task of navigating through the site’s menus sluggish and confusing. For only mildly interested first-time visitors, that would be an immediate turnoff with almost no chance of a wilful second visit.
Necessary Pointers for Developing and Designing a Sales Oriented Website
The reasons discussed here are not the only ones, but these should be sufficient for making it clear as to how and why web design can reduce/increase an online business’s sales figures. Next, let’s take a quick look through some of the influencing aspects that developers and designers should never forget about while designing a commercial website.
Personalization in Web Design with the Client’s TA in Focus
During the client onboarding process, it is important for the web designing team to also acquaint themselves with their client’s business, brand, visions, target audience and expectations. For example, Unbranded Manchester designed and developed utilitybidder.co.uk, which now serves as one of the most popular platforms in the UK for companies to compare bids from the top business utility providers. On paying a visit to the home page, we can immediately identify some of the crucial design elements which stand out in a positive manner. To see for yourself, visit https://www.utilitybidder.co.uk/.
The colour scheme used is professional, the textual content looks crisp, and the dynamic design ensures easy accessibility across all mobile and desktop OS platforms. Instead of unnecessary marketing fluff, the text and infographic content focus more on factual stats. It’s an excellent example of professional web designing suited for the B2B audience which it targets.
Minimizing the Distance Between Interest and Conversion
Far too many websites (including some of the more popular ones) lose out on sales because they do not take actions to minimise the distance between interest and conversion. This is the distance that exists between a potential customer first seeing the product, and the checkout process. It is often unnecessarily lengthened due to the site’s design on two fronts:
- The amount of time it takes for the interested visitor to navigate from the product description/listing/landing page to the final checkout page
- The number of pages, steps or prompts that come between the product page and the final checkout page
A sales driven website should be designed in such a way that it minimises both the time and the steps between noticing and purchasing a product of interest. Placing appropriate Call To Action (CTA) buttons right next to every listed and available product is an easy, effective and fairly simple practice to shorten the distance between the extremes of the sales funnel. Some additional measures that can be taken to reduce the steps and time in between interest and purchase are as follows:
- Suggesting the client adds more payment options from day one
- Adding the option to check out as a guest
- Reducing the number of mandatory fields on the checkout page – alternate email addresses and phone numbers are not essential details during the checkout phase
- Presenting the option to enter payment method and information immediately after a potential customer is in the checkout page
- Strategically placing multiple CTAs across the website that lead to either a product page, an informational page, or the checkout page
How to Improve Page Load Speeds as a Web Developer
Page loading speed depends on several external factors such as the user’s own internet speed and the site’s server speed. However, web developers can take steps to reduce a website’s average loading speed under favourable conditions. A faster website almost always boosts sales figures, and web developers can help make it happen by:
- Optimising page codes by removing unused codes, unnecessary characters (space, comma, etc.), code comments and unnecessary formatting
- Automating the optimisation process and testing it with Google Optimise for finding the fastest options
- Using dynamic or adaptive web design – this allows developers to decrease redirections by negating the need to add separate mobile variants of the site
- Enabling CDN hosting for large media files to reduce page weight while loading
- If using external CDN is not an option, set the minimum and maximum image file size to keep page weight down
- Disabling auto image compression, as low-quality images on a commercial site speaks poorly of the company
As a final tip, we would suggest that before using a zipping tool, you need to understand what it actually translates to in real life user experience. The software will zip most of the heavy page files, which will lead to an almost instantaneous experience for the user initially. However, that is just the base website, and once bigger files start getting unzipped on the user’s network, the experience could at times be very unpleasant for users with slower connections, as CTAs, hyperlinks, text and media start shifting all over the page in jerking motions.