E-commerce is expected to hit $4.5 trillion by 2021, making it essential for all businesses to have an online presence. As the online space becomes more crowded, you have a mere 4-8 seconds to capture the attention of your potential customer. Once you are able to catch their attention, you need to give them the best possible experience. Here are a few ways to improve your customer experience with web design.
1. It is All About the Looks
Having a site that is visually appealing it your first step in being able to capture the attention of your potential customer. It is the first thing that they notice. There are several things that can be done within a reasonable budget to make sure that your web design is eye-catching.
Go for a Modern, Clean Design
You want to make sure your web design is both modern and clean. A site that looks dated, poorly formatted or too busy is unappealing to most consumers. Instead, you want a design that has white space and is strategically laid out. You can even make use of trending design elements such as parallax scrolling, where two elements scroll at different speeds (i.e. text vs. background image).
Multimedia is Your Friend
Employ multimedia in your design. We all know the quote “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Use technology to quickly show potential customers what your product is and how to use it can enhance your customer experience. Use full width “hero” images to showcase your products or even incorporate video or interactive media. Using multimedia ‘above the fold’ of your site has a greater probability of catching the user’s attention.
Carefully Use Color
Choose the color scheme of your web design carefully. This is true for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the psychological effect of different colors. For instance, green is often linked to health or growth while blue is often linked to trust and dependability.
Another reason is that if you use a color scheme that contains contrasting colors you can easily direct users. For instance, using the contrasting color on call to action buttons (such as learn more, buy now, sign up, etc.) catches the user’s attention and can prompt them to follow through.
2. The Site Has to Work
This is a not-so-secret secret. No matter how a potential customer tries to access your website, it needs to work, and fast. A site that doesn’t work is a lost customer and a lost sale.
Nearly 73% of millennials think of their mobile devices as their most important shopping tool. This means your website needs to work on the traditional desktop as well as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. While this used to be quite complicated, nowadays it is quite easy by simply implementing a responsive design.
This will automatically adjust the website’s design to make the site function properly while also looking good.
Speed is King
More than half of all users will leave your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This means that you must make sure your web design is fully optimized to make your site as fast as possible by maximizing loading speed and reducing wait time for the best possible customer experience.
This can be done by shutting off autoplay for multimedia elements, using more white space in the design, and editing and adjusting images to reduce file size (ultimately improving load time).
3. Make it Easy
The first thing you need to do before you design your site is to figure out what your customer needs from your site. If your customers are looking to make a purchase or a booking through your site, you need to make sure that you have that functionality available. Beyond functionality, the site must also be easy to use.
Three areas that can improve your customer experience is your search, organization, and navigation. The search functionality should be honed so that customers can easily search directly on the site. The organization of the site should be logical and predictable. Your web design should make use of headers, bold fonts, product categories, etc.
Meanwhile, your navigation should aim to assist the user in quickly finding what they are looking for. Key elements to achieve this include dropdown menus, breadcrumbs, and the like.
4. Emotional Connection = Conversions
Once the user has stayed on your site beyond the initial 15 seconds, you want to make a connection with them. Being able to make an emotional connection with your user helps build trust and can also translate into sales and possible brand loyalty. This can be done in several ways, with the main way being to use human faces.
Put a face to your brand. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity endorsement (although it could be). It can simply be pictures of your employees, key players in the company, pictures of customers using your products, etc. Use these images and video to tell a story and make your brand relatable.
This emotional connection can be further enhanced by making the customer experience personal. This can be done using design elements that make suggestions based on other items that they have viewed or previously purchased. The same can be true by making use of data such as the customer’s location and device.
You can change your images and wording, based on location and device to help the consumer feel more connected to the brand. For instance, hero images may include models that are more representative of the demographics of a certain region or may be geared towards different seasons for international companies that operate across hemispheres.
5. Keep Your Site Professional
Another way to improving your customer experience is to keep your web design professional. This means having the information about your company that your customers expect to find on your site. This can be information regarding your company values and approach to business, pictures of employees, and easy to find contact information.
Customers also expect to find feedback and testimonials from other customers as well as a place where they can leave feedback themselves.
It’s Time to Evaluate
If you don’t have a website yet, what are you waiting for? If you already have one and you’re not getting the traction you were expecting, it’s time to step back and critically evaluate your web design.
These steps are easy to implement and if done correctly will not only improve your customer experience but your customer’s engagement with your site as well. This can translate into sales both on and offline, so keep these steps close to the vest and revamp your web design to give your customers (and your business) the best experience possible.