Visually appealing, useful, and accessible. These are the three characteristics that have dramatic influences on how your visitors perceive, use, and remember your site.
Visually appealing design
People like pretty things and enjoy spending time on websites that are easy on the eye, engaging and speak to their emotions. Your online shop has to be able to attract their attention on first sight by being unique, while creating a sense of familiarity. It has to keep your audience’s expectations in mind and make it easy to identify with your store. The first impression influences the shoppers perception of your credibility and how well you will be able to convert shoppers and forge long-term relationships.
Here’s an example of how focusing on understanding the target shopper could help SkinnyTies.com could achieve 42.4% revenue growth, 13.6% conversion increase and lower bounce rates by 23.3% (source: crazyegg.com)
You should always ensure that your online shop does not make it difficult for shoppers to reach their goals.
Developing a clear and uncomplicated layout, which gives the stage to the products and simplifies navigation will set the right mood for the purchasing process. Having a layout, that saves visitors from wasting their time trying to understand how to navigate allows them to focus on the what is important for them and you: the purchase.
The key functionalities of any online shop is the product findability – if your shopper’s can’t find the product they are interested in, can’t decide which product to choose, they can’t buy. If you understand the mindset with which customers come to your website, you will be able to create a better site usability for them.
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These are the main functionalities that deserve your attention:
– Category Navigation
– Site Search
– Interactive Product advisors or product finder
– Product filters
Your website should be accessible across different devices. As consumers are changing the way they shop online, and mobile already accounts for over 50% of all ecommerce traffic, you can’t justify not having a mobile-optimized storefront in place that is fast and easy to use.
Optimizing the above will ensure that you can deliver a great shopping experience. If it is relevant, well-built and directed to the target group, your visitors will make the right use of it, and establish a trust relationship with you. Always keep in mind that the goal is not a function, technique or tool, but should always be the user.