This is a guest post by Patrick Foster of Ecommerce Tips.
In 2018, anyone who is anyone has a website.
Today, even beginners can create a reasonable website using website builder software.
But regardless of your current web design skill level, here are six little changes that you can make that will make a big difference to your website. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.
Make Your Hero Images Epic
Hero images have become a standard feature of most modern websites, and rightly so. The first image the visitor sees when they land on your website should inspire them to find out more. If you want your brand to spark an emotional response from internet users, make it epic.
High-quality background images, or video files with subtle movement, catch the reader’s eye and draw them in. Make your hero image fill the screen and place a CTA button as an overlay with just a smidge of supporting text — remember, less is more. Once the stage has been set with your hero image, your user is free to scroll down to find out more about your fantastic services.
‘Landing Page’ Mindset, Not ‘Home Page’ Mindset
With the rise of targeted advertising and cookies, website owners can gather detailed information on their users’ likes and dislikes, as well as how close they are to buying. Going forward, web designers should put more effort into getting their landing pages right.
For instance, if you have invested a lot into your Facebook advertising campaign, you wouldn’t necessarily set your CTA to land on your site’s homepage. That would be a waste of your hard-earned clicks. You need to make sure that you are creating pages with specific end goal in mind.
When planning your homepages from now on, keep this ‘landing page as priority’ mindset if you want to boost conversions. Set your homepage up as a high converting sales path that steadily drip-feeds the information viewers need to make a purchase.
Use Animation Instead Of Pop-Ups
Email opt-in buttons are a fantastic way to capture leads, and they are a vital channel for marketing messages among hardcore fans. However, the ‘old faithful’ newsletter popup is a huge turn off (especially for mobile users) as the overlays take over the whole screen. On a desktop, these pop-ups are a little less intrusive, but they still distract, and they annoy the heck out of some users.
Now, to solve the problem of capturing email leads without causing the user to ‘bounce’, you can use a few subtle design tricks to draw the reader’s eye where you want it.
For instance, on a lander or product page, add some subtle animation to your email sign-up button. You don’t have to include much movement – say, one small move every five seconds. This will allow the reader to see what’s on offer without being too distracted from their task.
You can also animate your CTA and text to highlight your opt-ins. This can be a classy way to attract attention, again without halting the user experience in any way.
If you run a small business, you can offer your customers 24/7 service without taking on a new member of staff. Chatbots can help your customers navigate your site upon arrival. They can also answer your customers’ fundamental objections and provide them with tailored information they need to inform their decision to buy. H&M has made great use of the chat function by offering their visitors a choice of outfits based on their individual preferences, almost becoming an online personal shopper.
Bots can help boost engagement and conversions, and best of all, the costs of programming and setting up are minimal. Even the most basic ecommerce stores have successfully added basic chatbots, and they are virtually ubiquitous with dropshipping businesses. Many dropshipping websites use chatbots as a fast and convenient solution for order fulfillment, making a hands-off business even more so.
There are many chatbot platforms to choose from, and if you’ve got the funds and your business model would benefit from it, a bespoke chatbot can reap you even greater rewards. But for brands on a budget, even the most simple AI plugin can help you grow your business further.
For this, you will need a videographer, or you can even see how you fare filming this yourself with the right equipment. Videos on your home and product pages add social proof to your sales message.
Over the last few years, many businesses have used animated videos to explain their core service offerings.
Videos that include real people are more likely to be perceived as credible by audiences, so don’t be shy – introduce yourself to your customers. Interviews with real-life customers are also great for building up positive reviews. These can be shared as social media advertisements to bring in more traffic to your site.
You don’t have to make these videos using the latest high-budget filming and editing tools. In fact, you can find free video editing programs online and even use mobile and webcam footage to put together a short video that explains who you are and why your products are so great.
Incentivizing Offers At Every Turn
When you are trying hard to make a sale, the most disheartening thing a visitor can do is fill up their cart and then abandon it at the last second. Website owners can fool themselves into thinking, ‘oh, the doorbell must have rung and they forget to buy. They’ll be back!’. But come on, you know you’re just kidding yourself.
The customer likely abandoned your site for one of three main reasons:
- Your products were too expensive
- They were not ready to buy
- Your site didn’t seem trustworthy
- Unexpected last-minute costs, e.g. high shipping fees
If your products are pricey, try using an app that generates incentivizing discount emails to those who have dropped their order at the last second.
If you have a sneaky feeling that your customer is not ready to buy, set up a retargeting campaign through your ecommerce dashboard. This will display your customer’s abandoned products as banner ads elsewhere online.
And finally, if you think that your site could be lacking in social proof, set up a competition for user-generated content submissions. Set up Trustpilot reviews and do what you can to get one up on your competitors with better content.
If you want to create a website that inspires conversions, you will need to think of your typical internet customer. Find out all you can about your audience through Google Analytics and find ways to please them with your website’s design. Go for awe-inspiring imagery and do your best to eliminate distracting page elements if you want to bring in the most significant ‘wins’ from your site design.