Many companies make the mistake of rushing to get their websites up and running without much regard for aesthetics. This is a crucial mistake, and one that could cost these companies dearly. In fact, an unattractive website can increase your bounce rates significantly and practically push your customers into your competitors’ laps.
A Recent Survey with Surprising Results
Recently, a company called Vistaprint conducted a survey in which 1800 consumers provided their initial reactions after visiting a variety of eCommerce sites. The results were surprising, and they show the importance of aesthetics when it comes to website design. Some 42% of the consumers who were surveyed said they were “very unlikely” to make a purchase from a website they viewed as ugly or unprofessional, and 21% of those surveyed said they were “not likely at all” to buy anything from an unattractive or unprofessional site. This means that if your site is unattractive, you’re losing up to 21% of your business.
Why Aesthetics and Design are Crucial
When a consumer makes a purchase online, he or she will form an opinion of your site in a matter of seconds. If your site is cluttered, or if it’s difficult for that consumer to find what he or she is looking for, then there’s a very good chance that the consumer will leave your site in favor of a competitor’s cleaner, more professional site for a strong user experience. What’s more, online shoppers are more concerned with trust than the actual location where the product comes from, and if your website has numerous errors or is difficult to use, consumers will associate this with numerous errors in your products, too.
That’s why aesthetics and design are so crucial to your company’s website. When it comes to eCommerce, no matter what you’re selling, your website serves as the first line of contact with consumers. You can think of it like your storefront and your sales team if you had a retail shop. You wouldn’t have a storefront in disarray, and you wouldn’t have your sales team hide in a hidden corner at the back of the store. You’d make sure your storefront was neat, and you’d have your sales team front and center where customers could easily find them.
Things to Check to Improve Sales
Now that you understand why it’s so vital to have an attractive, professional-looking website that’s easy for consumers to use, it’s important to take some time to examine the various aspects of your own site so you can make improvements. Here is a list of website components you should check, and what you need to look for.
High-quality photography. Blurry, poorly-lit photos won’t do much to pique buyers’ interest. Take the time to capture high-quality images of your products from a series of angles and use these, instead. The more details you can show a customer, the better the chance that he or she will purchase it.
A company description, or “About” page. Because trust is so important to online shoppers, you should really take the time to create a descriptive paragraph or two that describes your company. Make sure the link to this page is available from anywhere on your site, too.
Ease of use. Make sure that you can access any page on your site in fewer than three clicks. If it takes longer than that to find what you want, chances are good that your visitors are growing frustrated with the navigation and leaving before they buy. Along those same lines, check and repair or remove any broken links.
Concise product descriptions. While it may be tempting to go into detail about every product you own on a category page, it’s best to avoid this. When customers are viewing many products in a list or grid, you should provide a brief, but accurate product description. This will pique interest and drive them to click. At this point, your product page should provide all the information that consumer will need to make a buying decision.
Complete policies. As part of the trust factor, your buyers will likely want to check out your privacy and return policies. After all, these things can make or break a sale. Make sure you’ve provided these clearly, and make sure it’s easy for your visitors to find them. They should be thorough enough that customers don’t have any questions when they’re finished reading.
Solid design. Finally, your website should be designed in such a way that the colors, font, text and photo placement, and even size will appeal to your customers’ eye. Even if you must hire a web designer to do this, consider it an investment. That increased 21% sales will make up for it in no time.
It’s plain to see just how much an ugly, disorganized, or unprofessional website can cost you. Per recent surveys, you’re losing at least 21% of your potential customers. Take the time to review and improve the important aspects of your site, and you’ll find that your sales will start to increase immediately.