Web design has direct relation with your business’ bottom line performance. How are they connected? Let’s first focus on how a web design affects to a visitor.
When a visitor lands on a website, though subtly, he looks out firstly for the quality of the website. If the first impression is good enough, he proceeds surfing the website. If not, which is quickly recognized as websites are becoming better at their aesthetic and navigational aspects and web developers also are focusing more and prominently on the user-experience first above everything else.
It’s a quick and obvious observation that if the visitor doesn’t like your website and leaves it at the moment he has come, it is the end of the story. The very chance of turning the visitor into a customer is gone. Vanished. Probably forever, until you remedy the problems for which the visitor left your website.
The obvious solution is to make your website which the users would love or to the least make it in a way that the user doesn’t get frustrated or confused. You can make it simple and accessible to retain the visitor for longer and acquire the information he desires and meanwhile you can pursue them for any CTA conversions you want.
Again, you won’t be able to do this all if the visitor lives in first ten seconds due to really unpleasant aesthetics, confusing navigation or slow website structure.
Keep this in mind,
you don’t want to lose a probable customer just because your website doesn’t look or feel good.
Quality content is another matter at user retention. You have stuck to the industry standards for the web design and web development part by hiring a great technical team. Everything looks good on site, speed is great, and navigation is easy. Still, another major and more prominent aspect than all the aforementioned aspects is the quality content.
Visitors have visited your website to acquire something. That’s their sole goal. They aren’t there to see how great your website looks or how fast it loads. All that heightens the visitors’ experience on the site, yet what makes come again and again on your website is the qualitative and unique content you serve to them. This unique content is what basically fully satisfies a visitor’s experience. That’s the goal they had come looking for and its acquisition leaves a certain trustworthy impression about your website and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look great aesthetically as the competitors’ website. As far as they are happy with your content, they would return.
That’s the overview of the problem for every type of website. Let’s dive deeper and see how it affects to an eCommerce website.
Website Quality and eCommerce site performance
The audience of eCommerce website prefer speed, usability over aesthetics.
Though, they would love it if you can make your website look amazing while still sticking to the two aforementioned traits. That’s would be just a perfect recipe to serve to the eCommerce site visitors.
Yet, it’s a hard thing to achieve for eCommerce sites. Especially sites with millions of items in their inventory. In such situation, reaching to the pages of desired items quickly becomes more vital.
Generally, eCommerce visitors mostly come on the website to see the price of the product they want to purchase. They do on various eCommerce websites and then finally make their decision.
But, again the problem of visitors leaving as soon as they have arrived on your website also haunts eCommerce websites due to their slow speed, insufficient inventory or the vibe of unworthiness a visitor gets from your site.
There could be various reasons and problems for a visitor to lose interest or trust from your eCommerce website and that means no visitors, no conversion rate and no sale.
Let’s see how your web design impacts your eCommerce performance bottom line.
At every step your website design interrupts a user’s smooth experience is a roadblock created by you, the site owner, keeping the visitor from turning into a customer.
Here are the probable roadblocks an eCommerce website could have keeping the customer from buying anything from you:
Uncategorized, scattered items
Such mess could scare away even the most untidy people. You can see a great example here:
It makes the user feel irritated and confused at getting to the desired product page. Users want a clean, understandable categorization which is obvious to follow and find things from the bazillion other products. If you succeed at this, you have succeeded removing a big hurdle stopping the users reaching to their desired pages.
Another subtle benefit is that it improves the sales. How?
When a user is easily able to find things on your website, he is more likely to surf even more products (which he wouldn’t do if finding a product on your site is a difficult act).
The user gets to know more of your product database which he was unaware of or could know that some unique products which he couldn’t find anywhere else are available on your website. Thus, it improves the customers’ knowledge and understanding about your website and its product database and when they think about buying a product, the option of online buying from your website (because they saw it on your website) also comes in their mind. Such consequential actions by users improve conversion rate.
All thanks to a nicely categorized product catalogue which allowed visitors to dig deeper on your site and know it in detail for future reference.
Sometimes websites owners want to show everything they have. They don’t want users to stay unaware of anything and instead of letting the users find out what more of they offer, they decide to show everything they have got on the very first page the visitor lands on. The results is something like this:
And the user experience is similar to seeing not one but hundred races of aliens at the first human step on mars and all of them wanting the astronaut to buy something. While the whole time the astronaut was expecting to see a simplistic land, with graspable features to first understand the land and then search deeper for any clue of alien life on the planet.
That is a horrific experience and the astronaut before putting his second leg on the ground, would step back, shut the door and leave to the NASA to report about it.
Well, the example doesn’t match perfectly as seeing hundred alien lives would actually make the astronauts and NASA jump whole night while seeing a jam-packed design would, probably, make the user stay up all night out of terror he has just seen. He would lose his trust from the eCommerce sites until he sees a website with neat-and-clean design which serves one agenda at one time. It would make it more understandable and relatable to the user. And it’s more likely that after completely understanding something (which is showcased in a convincing way) the user would be nearer to make his decision of the purchase.
Though, you can say, that the famous eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay also has too many items showcased on their website. What’s the difference?
Categorization, presentation and focus.
The problem with such a big sites is that they have many things to offer and have a really, really versatile customer base. They are required to serve them all. They needed to appeal every type of customer on their landing page. That’s why, they chose those items and categories which are mostly likely to appeal a large audience base.
On the other hand, eCommerce sites serving a single industry or even just a single product are free to customize their landing page in the way they want. Their customer base is defined, their interests are defined and the methods to convince them could also be defined after some brainstorming. Thus, you will find eCommerce sites dedicated to a single product or industry to be much more appealing, graphic heavy and simple than those popular eCommerce websites having millions of items.
Just look at visit this site and tell me that you didn’t click on the option according to your gender.
Even eCommerce sites with huge catalogues tries to make the home page interesting by simplifying things and placing objects properly in way where everything gets appropriate and enough attention.
So, don’t make the website looking full of things you offer. Instead, encourage the user to dig deeper in your website. Let them explore and find things for themselves instead of shoving your products into their faces at the moment they see your website.
Slow like a slug
While trying to improve the aesthetics and features of the sites, you have also unknowingly increased the loading time of your site, then uninstall everything which slows the site.
Study shows that people would leave the site which takes more time than a certain period and all your good-looks and features wouldn’t even be able to come in sight of the visitors as they have left your site before it completely loads.
Slow sites are the biggest turn off for visitors and you can put it on the first place on the list of reasons why customers would hate your website.
They don’t have patience. They don’t want to wait. They don’t want to get interrupted in their thought-process just because a website is running slow. The waiting-and-disappointing every second for a site to load process frustrates and irritates them to a great level. You might have experience the same thing while watching a Youtube video. You now know the feeling right? Now, apply it to a buying experience.
You saw, two examples of bad sites by far and you can see that those sites are still operable and running that means they are bringing business to the sites owners. Though, running far worse than their maximum potentials, just because the sites opens up fast enough and under the ‘customers’ patience limit window’ customers are willingly bearing the bad structure of the website. Most of them probably aren’t happy with the site-structure yet they are getting what they want under the patience window they have. So it works.
In the essence, slow site kills everything. From a visitor’s willingness to visit the site to digging deeper into the site and from killing the probable conversions to finally killing the business itself.
Little Confusions and Irritations
Some websites have false advertisement buttons which leads the visitor to an unexpected web-page for advertisement purposes. Such step kills the visitor’s mojo and highly irritate them.
Don’t fool them. Make it clear for the visitor about which is an advertisement and which is a genuine CTA and which is the content of your website.
ECommerce sites could also confuse visitors by burying an often-used button or web-page deep inside the website or requiring a long breadcrumb to follow. Such needless placement is often times made just for the sake of strict categorization.
Don’t do it. Put the most searched CTA or content on the upper level of pages where people are most likely to surf. They layer where they are sure to surf around in a single visit. If it is appropriate, give it a special space on the page. It will reduce the visitor’s confusion about finding things and will let them surf the website quickly. Also, be clear for any action the user is taking on your website or you will see a story similar to this happening on your website.
One more irritation or confusion unique to eCommerce sites is the cumbersome checkout procedure or not having enough payment options. It’s like after a customers has chosen a product from a store, the store owner wouldn’t accept the money just because the customers wants to pay through a card.
You can argue that if the customers are bearing those two websites shown above in the article, then they can surely ignore these little things, right?
Probably. But, you wouldn’t be delivering the best user experience you can provide to them, and user experience has a considerable effect on how much sales one site makes as this survey stats that 95% of the respondents favored a good user experience.
Good aesthetics with confusions and irritations isn’t a good user experience.
By listing some of the elements generating bad user experience we have provided an insight about how and when a visitor would give up on your website. You can apply this insight on other parts of your eCommerce site as well.
All in all, these are little things which makes the visitors and customers go away from your website. They don’t want to open your site and wait or get confused while searching for their desired item. They mostly aren’t willing to withstand anything which makes them uncomfortable. They expect a smooth web design which almost gets unnoticed or invisible while the customer surfs your site.
In no ways the web design should interrupt your visitor’s experience on your site and should enhance it in every possible way.
Achieve this simple fact and you have the best design you can have for your eCommerce site.