For many years now, we’ve been offering a lot of great advice on how to grow traffic and conversions. We’ve served eCommerce clients in a wide range of different fields and industries, so we’ve seen a little bit of everything. From the high-level view of an eCommerce designer, we’ve gleaned a few things that are more or less universally applicable to the world of eCommerce web design.
Here are some of the ways you can improve user experience and help boost conversions on your website, whether your aim is to get prospects to sign up for your newsletter or to complete a sale.
The Importance of Nonstandard Images
The idea of this is so simple, and so critical, and yet time and time again you can hit the internet and find examples of websites that use poor quality product and promotional images. It’s also just as easy to find websites committing an even more mortal sin. It can be tempting for online businesses to take their pictures from their suppliers, distributors, or manufacturers, but it is a practice you should not follow.
Both of these are terrible, and generally easily rectifiable. In the first place, a user visiting your website is not going to want to see a grainy picture or one with poor lighting. What does that say about your brand, anyway?
In the second case, you might be able to find great photography from another source (like a distributor) but in the one case this may qualify as piracy, and in the other, it may be recognized as a duplicate by search engines, in which case you will lose out on SEO value.
Additionally, customers will not hang around a site that seems untrustworthy, and including low quality or unpersuasive product images is a great way to rack up untrustworthy points. By including your own high quality images, you will automatically appear more trustworthy.
With that said, there are some additional positives to why you should include high quality, original photography of your products. It is a representation of your brand. Your products should appear on your website the way you expect them to appear in the home of a prospective customer. Since customers can’t physically shop online, oftentimes their best way to interact with a product before purchase is through the product images.
On that note, you don’t need to have bland images of your products against a white background. Branch out a little bit and include images of your product in use that showcase its quality and value. There’s more than one way to go about this – just remember that high-quality product photography is a huge differentiating factor that clients who shop online really trust.
Just look at this picture of one of the products of our client, J Devlin Glass Art, who worked with us for custom design, development, and SEO. That jewelry box has been given new life with just a little bit of extra care. They could have taken a picture of it against a plain background, but instead, they took the extra love and care to get a picture in situ. Visitors to their site can practically feel it jumping off the page and playing with the light. That is how it would look in someone’s home, at the end of the day, and it is far more convincing than it would otherwise seem.
On the Importance of Quality Content
The other content that appears on your website, such as product page and category page descriptions, blog posts, and videos, is also very important. Product images are important enough to warrant their own category, but the importance of the content on your website cannot be understated.
Consumers cannot physically shop online. They will look to you as an authority on your product, on its practical uses as well as for tips on maintenance, care and more. Including relevant content to any or all of these things will – you guessed it – make you seem more trustworthy. It will also give your customers another avenue to interact with your brand while increasing your overall value as a supplier.
Just look at this blog that one of our custom redesign clients, Waterfront Gourmet, recently published. It is an original and glowing account of some choice selections from their menu. This gives patrons in the Philly area an outlet for entertainment and education while they are at home, and also helps them to keep in touch with their customers. It also is an avenue by which they can present their menu items in an enticing and irresistible light. While they are operating under an altered schedule at the moment, go ahead and read the blog. At this point, you know you want to, and it will give you something to try out when the lockdown in Philly ends.
By the way, including original content (that you have not found somewhere else!) is not only great for interacting with your customers, but it is also a great way to boost your visibility online as part of an SEO campaign. By regularly publishing original content, you can engage with your customers while getting in front of more of them at the same time. Imagine that.
On the Importance of Social Proof
Social proof comes in many forms, and in a lot of ways it is the ultimate form of trustworthiness. Social proof is basically a way for your customers to vouch for your product or your business, and customers trust customers. They’re in the same boat, after all.
It doesn’t matter what you sell online. The importance of social proof like reviews, customer testimonials and images provided by customers cannot be stressed enough. It is as important, if not more important, than the other two categories above.
The numbers related to the importance of reviews in specific will vary based on the source and what the source is trying to prove. However, it is not uncommon to see polls listing numbers as high as 90% indicating the number of shoppers that seek reviews out while shopping. It will vary across age groups, as will the relative importance of negative and positive reviews.
Even so, there is no way to deny the importance of giving your customers the ability to leave reviews on your website. It is arguably the best way to cultivate trust with your users. Your customers will look for reviews elsewhere if you don’t post them, anyway. You don’t need to have your customers resort to social media when you can offer them what they want right on your eCommerce store.
Consider the multiple bases that this following client of ours hits. Unicycle.com has partnered with 1DigitalⓇ for SEO and digital marketing, and you can just see from one of their product pages what lengths they go to in order to provide social proof and connect with their customers.
On that product page you can see that they offer a high-quality image, as we mentioned. But you can also see that they offer customers the ability to review the product – and their customers have. They also enable their customers to contact them directly and you can see that their rewards program is prominently advertised.
Scroll down the page just a little bit more and you can see that they also enable their customers to leave their own pictures as part of their review process. They’ve hit all the bases and then some.
There are other forms of social proof, too, like giving customers the ability to leave written testimonials of your customer service or the quality of your products. You can even let customers upload their own images of your products or of themselves using your products, as Unicycle.com has. That is another way to build loyalty, to make customers feel involved, and to increase the credibility of your brand. By the way – customer uploaded images are original, and if they are high quality images, you can kill two birds with that stone.
These are, without a doubt, some of the most important considerations you can make while ironing out the fine points in the web design of your online store. As a leading eCommerce designer, we’ve gleaned this insight from many years of serving the eCommerce community, and as design experts, we’re here to help you out. Our team of website designers, content creators and SEO specialists is here to help you tackle these challenges and more – so reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 888-517-5188.
- Michael Esposito
- May 22, 2020