The design of your website is a very strong factor in the amount of sales you make on your website. The way your online shop looks is not as important as the way an offline shop (traditional shop) looks, but they work on the same premise. If you were to create a sex shop and decorate it like a pet shop then you are not going to get the clientele you desire. The same goes for a website – in that if you design your website appeals to the incorrect user then you are not going to get the amount of traffic and sales that you desire.
When designing your website you should keep in mind your targets consumer. Prior to creating a website, you should have done extensive research on your target consumer. You should know what they think, how they feel, where they work, and what they are interested in. You should then use that information to construct your website so that it is highly targeted and designed specifically for your desired user. If you are fully aware of your desired user’s attitudes, interests and believes then you should be able to create a website designed to target them far more efficiently.
Ease of use
The subject of ease of use is overlooked by only the most foolish of web designer. The days of designing a website to look fantastic whilst sacrificing usability, took a nosedive in 2001 when the Internet bubble burst. Nowadays if you’re putting the way the website looks above the way it works then you are dooming yourself to failure. If you make your website easier to use then you help to ensure that your target viewer will remain on your site, and will not leave due to frustration. If you make the user experience pleasant and simple then you pave the way for gaining loyal website visitors.
Lead them by the hand
You can use Internet web design to lead your consumer by the hand. You can create a website to acts like a large telephone directory – in that it is based on a large index, which people then have to navigate to find the item they desire. Or you are also able to create a website to act like a storybook. You can have a user land on one page and lead them by the hand through a series of pages–a little like reading a book or (more appropriately), a little bit like going through a sales presentation. At the end of the presentation there is an option to purchase your goods.
You can work it another way and have your viewer go through a short obligatory sales presentation, and then give them the freedom to navigate the website and find the products they desire. You can even adjust be website cookies, or operate a login system, so that the returning customers need not go through the sales presentation again.
You could work in a different way and have your website designed so that when a person decides to purchase they are led through a sales presentation selling them the higher price version of their product. If you do it this way then you could start by pleading with a very low priced product, and gaining a “yes” from the customer prior to selling them you’re more expensive and more profitable products – since at this stage they will be more amenable to purchasing from you, because they have already agreed to purchase from you and so have let their guard down.
A website can be created and designed so that it has a very low bounce rate. Do not misunderstand the term “sticky website.” This does not mean designing a website that has pop ups appear when the user tries to leave. These sorts of dirty tricks will result in less people visiting our website on a regular occasion. It is the equivalent of you visiting a shop and having a sales assistant standing in front of the door saying are you sure you want to leave–would you visit the shop again?
A sticky web site is one that is designed to engage the user and keep them interested in the website. The easiest way to do this is to make sure it is very well internally linked. This means that the user is exposed to a number of different things, some of which they may find interesting enough to stay on the website for. Other design techniques involves creating and maintaining elements with which the user must invest time, or will want to reuse on a regular basis (on such a regular basis that they will want to keep the webpage open even whilst there are on other websites).
Educate and then sell
A website can be designed so that it is primarily an education tool, and is a selling platform as a byproduct. Websites can be set up so that people are taught certain things, and then when they are educated they are able to purchase the products and items they are researching about. One obvious way of doing this is to offer reviews of items. For example you could review a movie and then at the end of the review give an offer to sell of the movie to the user.
This technique comes into its own when dealing with products that require a certain amount of education prior to purchase. There are many products on the market, which are of a very high quality, but a consumer will have no way of knowing this unless they are told and educated first.
For example, take electrical items, one is cheap and one is expensive – how will the consumer know why one is more expensive than the other if the consumer is not educated in advance? The website can be designed so that the consumer is educated first and then sold to second. On many occasions educating the customer first is more acceptable in the consumer’s eyes than being sold to, just so long as the education section is not a covert advertising section.
A website can be designed so that there is an up-sell section. This can be an extra section, which is shown prior to the point where a consumer is supposed to pay for item. Designing a website with an up-sell section is a matter of common sense. If you do not have it then you are missing out on a very profitable income stream based upon impulse shopping.
The after sell
A website can be created and designed so that it has a very high after sell appeal. Once the purchase has been made and the user is staring at the final completion page–there is nothing stopping you from designing a whole new website to go on the end of a completion page. The consumer has already spent his or her money, so the anything you can get out of them at this stage is a bonus.
Even if you do not optimize your final pages to be highly saleable, you can alter them so that the consumer is encouraged to return to the site after a few days, or after the product has been delivered. This can come through techniques such as offering them a discount if they return to the site or encouraging them to register the product once it arrives.
If you want to make sure consumers feel special then why not give them a private or VIP area within the website itself. If it is correctly utilized it may be a very good way of gaining repeat business.