A well designed website is what gets customers interested, not the actual products themselves. Now, stay with us here, you might think that the products you’re offering are what will secure a sale, but the product is only a small part of gaining a sale. Sure, an established brand can have a site where it’s product after product, but even then they’re just appealing to the same customer base that come back time and again!
The first thing to think about is visuals – these are of the utmost importance, as it lets first time visitors know exactly what you’re about. So, use imagery that corresponds with what your brand is. If you’re selling coffee, add images of coffee beans and a percolator on the front page, selling building materials, then add images of cheerful builders and a pile of bricks. It’s simple but highly effective.
So often with brand websites, visitors are submerged in a deluge of products, every attention has been paid to showcasing each product, and usually stuffed all onto the front page, yet less than a minute has been spent on actually telling the visitor why they should buy from them or what product will suit them best. This overzealous attack mode rarely works in face-to-face sales, and it’s certainly not going to work online. Remember, most people can only handle a decision based on 2 or 3 options, so crafting a minimal, decision based journey for the visitor is what will secure a sale. Designers shouldn’t try and put everything on one page just so all bases are covered!
A good example is to group products by scenarios or use cases. When there are similar products doing the same thing, put them on the same page and make them easy to compare. If the user wants to drill right down to the nitty-gritty, let them, but this should be several clicks from the home page once they are confident they have the product they want. The information you provide alongside should be informative yet uncomplicated.
Simplicity is king here, as Gregory Johnson describes in his post 9 Tips On Web Design and Development For Customer Driven Websites: “Your site should immediately convey your focus. It should provide important details and clear calls to action supported by information that helps the user make a decision. Make your site easy to use. Resist the urge to incorporate hard-sell tactics, or long copy that provides too many options.”
At Creative Freedom, we covered the subject of simplicity in a previous post, titled The Psychology of Site Structure: “On the one hand, people like having access to as much information as possible; on the other, too much information is likely to distract or overwhelm people to the point where they no longer care. You need to have a very clear idea of what your users are going to be looking for once they arrive at your site. Dr. Weinschenk recommends offering users a small amount of information and giving them the option of finding out more—something I think is an exceptionally useful tip. You can do this by condensing the content of one page into a short, tweet-length (140 character or so) summary by the link, in order to allow users to gain an idea of what information lies on that page.”
Any potential customer wants to be at ease with a brand before they buy, so by following the advice we put forward in this post, your site is guaranteed to be a sales winner!