You don’t need a huge budget or expensive graphic designers to have a successful business on the Internet. The key to a flourishing e-commerce website is an understanding of your product and your customers.
If you are a family owned business, you do want an ultra sleek web design that a giant retailer would use. You want your site to accurately reflect your image and your products in order to build trust with your potential clientele.
The following are things you want to keep in mind when designing your website’s layout and functionality in order to build your brand in the right image:
1 – Color Scheme
Marketing experts have been studying the effects of colors on the buying attitudes of customers for years. The right colors help to influence buying decisions and build trust. The wrong colors can subconsciously warn potential clients to stay away. In order to choose the right colors, you must know your products and the customers you are targeting. If you are selling children’s clothes, bright pastel colors might be a good reflection. If you are selling tools, colors like blue and silver might be a good fit.
2 – Images
The key to choosing the right images for your site is an understanding of your customers. When a potential client visits your website, they want to see images of people just like them enjoying the product. This will create an immediate familiarity for the customer leading to an increased chance of purchase. The wrong images can just as easily turn off a potential client, so make sure you know the demographic you are targeting.
3 – Multimedia
Just like with images, multimedia such as videos and interactive displays can be very effective selling tools. A mistake most websites make is trying to get too fancy with the bells and whistles. This is where knowing your product comes in handy. Some products need a video to demonstrate to clients how it will work for them. Certain kitchen appliances, a closet organizer, or stain removers are just a few that come to mind.
Overloading a site with multimedia, however, can cause it to run slowly, crash, or not be able to be viewed by some web shoppers. These incidents can spell disaster for an e-commerce website. Remember, your goal is sales. Do not make your site so interactive that it distracts the client away from what you are selling.
4 – Navigation
As all e-commerce businesses know, getting a customer to the website is extremely difficult. So once you have a client on your site, make it is as easy as possible for them to choose the products they are looking for. If you are selling a product that you pitch as “easy-to-use,” make sure that the website itself is noticeably “easy-to-use.”
If a client finds it difficult to navigate the website, they are going view this as a reflection on the product and the sale will be lost. Also, make sure that all roads lead to the product.
5 – E-Commerce Platform
Once you have attracted clients to the website, gained their trust with the proper color and images, and made navigating the site as user-friendly as possible, you must then provide an easy way for the clients to purchase your product. There are a number of enterprise e-commerce solutions out there to choose from, so find the one that best fits your product. Customers are most used to seeing shopping carts or baskets when buying on the web.
The most important thing to remember is that your website is designed to sell your product. Everything about the site must reflect the product and your brand. Effectively branding your site and tailoring it to your products will increase sales and build trust with your customers.
About the author: Brent Carlson is a small business and financial writer.
Credits: Image courtesy of Artur Cimoch.