If you had to name them offhand, what are the 7 Deadly Sins of commercial website design? Think now – think about the sites you’ve visited in the past that make you want to pound the keyboard in frustration. Most likely, these sins were committed because the site designer was:
- Selfish, or otherwise
- Not thinking of you.
The first tip to great ecommerce website design is, therefore, don’t be that guy. The one who’s so hot to sell you that he makes you run a gauntlet of pop up ads before the Home page even loads. The one who has his favorite song tinkling in the background on every page. The one who makes it impossible to navigate from the Home page, so that you have to go to the Services page before you can get to the Fees page. The one who doesn’t know how to spell. The one who makes the site All About Him – or All About His Company.
Don’t be that guy. Design your website with your customers in mind. You’re more likely to convert them to buyers. It’s just common sense: people are more apt to buy when you make buying easy, and when you don’t tick them off by making them endure cheesy music, self-indulgent bragging, misspelled words or careless design. Your company website should be designed to make it easy for visitors to:
- Contact you
- Buy online
- Find out more about your products/services
Your website shouldn’t be so huge or busy that it takes forever to load, and you should keep in mind that people will be accessing it in many ways. (Will your site display properly on a range of mobile devices?) Some of the largest and most successful corporations on the planet have the simplest websites. Some are so plain that they hardly look designed at all. But all of them are childishly simple for users to navigate, and that’s not an accident.
These simple, yet extremely successful websites prove that you don’t need showy design to attract customers. Your visitors usually don’t care what your site looks like, anyway: they care if your website has what they came there to get. For example, if a customer comes to your site to get information about hotels in Atlanta, he isn’t going to stick around long if your site makes that search hard or time-consuming.
But if your site is easy to use, brings up needed information quickly, or even offers a free video or e-book on a topic he cares about, he’s more likely to stick around – and buy.
One of the best-known marketing mantras out there is “put your customer first.” Great website design is one way of telling your customers that your company is focused on service, and that doing business with you will be pleasant and trouble-free. Your website should be an extension of your company’s customer service; users should find the experience quick, easy, pleasant, and profitable for them. If it is, there’s a much greater chance that it will be profitable for your company, as well.