At 2019 Summer NAMM, Madison Revell of Inbound AV shared five simple design principles for your website and e-commerce platform to achieve more sales and improve relationships with your customers. Here are highlights. (Watch the video to view the full session.)
The Power of Design
Revell stated that great design versus good design will give you a competitive edge in online sales. According to Revell, three things are essential to creating a positive online experience and gaining trust with your customers:
Identity. It’s a direct reflection of who you are and how you do business.
Credibility. It helps build trust with customers. You’re more likely to get customers to try your products, come back for more and endorse your business to their friends and family.
Experience. User experience is a commonly used term in the design and retail world. The success of your online presence will be affected by positive or negative feelings about customers’ experience with your website.
Web Hack #1: HERO
A Hero is a large banner image on your home page. A Hero is useful for highlighting something specific and is often the first element customers see. Revell added that Heroes are your answer to getting customers to buy a specific product or service. Using a Hero will help you: optimize home page real estate, tell a story (i.e., hook customers from the get-go) and drive traffic. Use imagery, call out sales, link to a page or have multiple slides in your Hero to drive traffic to desired destinations. Your customers will love how easy it is for them to click on a call-to-action button.
Web Hack #2: Style Guide
Revell noted that if you’re working with one or more designers, a style guide will keep everyone on the same page. She offered her Style Guide Starter Kit to cover the basics and give you a solid foundation for your website: colors, logo, fonts and voice. Choose colors to use throughout your website and branding materials. Start with four: a color you like, one that complements it, a dark neutral and a light neutral. Have several versions of your logo: black, a color version, an alternate and a white version. Select primary and secondary fonts to use for your branding. Make sure they’re legible fonts. Finally, establish your brand’s voice and tone for audio, written and visual storytelling. Sticking to a style guide will help:
• Cohesive branding. You have colors, look and a tone. Keep your branding consistent.
• Keeps things simple. Your style guidelines are clearly defined, and there’s no guesswork. It makes you recognizable.
• Cross-platform application. Your style guide applies to printed and digital materials, from business cards to apps—and not just your website. It increases customer familiarity that’s based in feeling good about your brand.
Web Hack #3: Keep Content in Check
Revell emphasized that content be edited down and refined for customer ease and convenience. You want your website to look polished and smart, so it reflects well on you and your brand. Keeping your content in check will help keep your storefront clean, make browsing easier and improve user experience by creating a positive association.
• “Bite-size” content. Limit content on your home page (and generally speaking).
• Titles and descriptions. You want evenness and to make it easy visually for your customers to scan.
• Product pages. For more detailed descriptions, Revell recommended creating individual product pages. You can also have drop-down menus with more information.
Web Hack #4: The Grid System
The grid system is the design skeleton or framework of your website. Revell shared that when it’s done right, you won’t know it’s there, but when it’s done wrong, customers will know something’s off because the imbalance is easy to recognize. Using and trusting the grid system will give your website structure, create visual balance and show customers that you care. (Watch the video for examples of the grid system.)
Web Hack #5: Go All in With Imagery
Revell stressed the importance of quality imagery for your e-commerce platform and website, adding that it can do leaps and bounds for your sales when done properly. (And when it’s done incorrectly, it can break your online business.) Going all in with great imagery will give a positive impression, visually endorse your products and increase your overall brand.
Images, without exception, must always be high-resolution. We’re more willing to trust what we see online than what we read about in reviews. Using a low-resolution image of a product makes it look poor quality. You can also use an application image that shows products in use with a message that connects to your customer.