Whether you realize it or not, your online storefront plays a direct role in determining whether or not consumers will make a purchase, and how much they will buy. Even the smallest design elements can make or break your ability to close the deal and convert casual visitors into paying customers. If your current online sales aren't so hot, then, it's high time that you take a look at your web design. By sticking with the following five web development tactics, you can expect higher conversion rates and improved online business performance:
Tip #1: Organize Product Pages
It's important to optimize product pages in a way that is logical and appealing to customers. They don't want to be bogged down with lines of text that aren't immediately relevant to them. Customer reviews, for example, may be an important part of the buying process, but before a consumer is interested in reviews, they must first be interested in the product. Therefore, it's wise to organize pages in such a way that the first thing a reader sees is an image and brief description of the product. This will show the shopper exactly what they will get for their money. From here, you can include product details and price to maintain customer attention. Finally, product reviews and similar products should be listed closer to the bottom of the page.
Tip #2: Establish Clear Navigational Paths
While you don't want your page to be cluttered with text and imagery, too many hidden menus can lead to shopper frustration. If a consumer is required to navigate through numerous channels in order to reach a specific category or sub-category, you run the risk of losing their business. You might want to consider fly-out menus as a means of preventing clutter while making it easy for consumers to browse through categories at their leisure.
Tip #3: Optimize "Add-to-Cart" Buttons
The CTAs you use for your "add-to-cart" buttons can make a difference in whether or not a shopper follows through with his or her buying decision. Messages like "More Details" or "Learn More" can be confusing or discouraging, whereas an affirmative "Buy Now" offers clear, specific direction that will elicit a more positive consumer response.
Tip #4: Keep the Shopping Cart Visible
Once a shopper has clicked to add an item to his or her cart, they want to know that the item was actually registered, and in the correct quantity. It's wise, then, to ensure that the shopping cart is always visible from any page within the online storefront. The cart should prominently list the number of items in the customer's cart and should make it simple for customers to transition from the browsing process into the checkout process.
Tip #5: Remove Distractions from the Checkout Page
The last thing you want is for your customers to become distracted at the last minute and lose a sale. Remove distractions like left sidebar navigation and outside links from checkout pages so as to define a clear path to the purchase.
Keep it Simple
If you take anything away from the preceding web development tips, let it be that simplicity is the key to online business success. Creating an online storefront that's fast, intuitive, and easy to navigate will encourage consumers to visit your site, stay long enough to make a purchase, and come back for more.