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Vision 2020 - Improving Website design to grow Sales


Improving Website design to grow Sales

Design and usability matters a lot when creating a company website and getting it right could be the difference between business success and business failure.

Getting design right is both hard and controversial. If you ask a cross section of the population their opinion of a particular design, there are usually as many opinions as the number of people. To try to understand design in a business context, I think that it's worth asking what the difference is between design and art? I would define design as the constrained application of art. Good designers are interested in the practical application of their creative output. And design is not just about aesthetics, it also embraces usability, cost and other more prosaic factors. Designing a website that can sell successfully has many of the elements of ordinary sales and marketing, combined with creativity.

When designing ecommerce web sites, there are some principles which pretty much always apply. These include keeping your site simple and easy-to-use. Make sure that it is obvious how to add something to the shopping basket. Use common metaphors such as View Basket, Checkout, About Us and Contact Us. Also stick to common concepts, such as making the logo clickable and put the basket at the top.

Remember that buyers can arrive at any page in the store via search engines, so ensure that each page supports the brand proposition. This is another reason for providing contact details throughout the site, including telephone number, email and physical address. Other tips are to communicate delivery charges clearly and early on in the checkout. Don’t force customers to create an account to buy – many already have too many passwords to remember.

Once you have established interest, make it as easy as possible to find your products and services. Usability testing, observing people from your target audience actually trying to buy can be tremendously helpful at ironing our problems. It's incredible to imagine, however a major ecommerce store recently conducted a full usability overview of their store. Frighteningly, they discovered a single button in the wrong place was preventing customers from purchasing products. The store estimated that this problem had been costing approximately $300m lost sales a year.

Remember the key rule of usability - if in doubt just keep it simple.

Source: Business Zone

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