More people are buying online than ever before and by 2019, online sales are forecast to account for 20% of all retail sales.
How can your small businesses compete?
In our previous post on e-commerce we argued that if you want to be successful online you had to focus on what it was that makes people want to buy something from you.
The next step is to make sure that your website looks good and works well.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
There are lots of opinions about what looks good on a website and what doesn’t. So are there any simple rules you can follow? We think so and have put them into a list to share with you.1. Be responsive
A large and growing proportion of your visitors will come to your website on a tablet or smartphone. Use a modern, responsive design, it is expected by consumers.2. Quality photography
If you are selling online, it is likely that the first time people see your products will be via the photographs on your website. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. so make sure you use good quality photographs of what you sell. Consistency is the key...
- consistent composition.
- consistent lighting.
- consistent image dimensions.
Lists of differently sized, inconsistently lit images will undermine your attempts to be taken seriously as an online retailer. Do consider using a professional photographer.3. Don’t use photos as a visual filler
Good photos of people or products are great, but studies show that photos with no real point or purpose are likely to be ignored by customers, but photographs of products and real people are often closely scrutinised because they feel authentic. Stock photography can look OK, but does it really convey the emotion or message that you are trying to put across?
4.Big images are good, when people request to see them.
Allow users to see larger, more detailed images of your products if they want to. People often like to see alternative views of a product or see them in close up.5. Easy to read text
Think short, sharp copy, don’t write for paper. People read differently on screen. Make it easy for people to see the key information. Make sure you use some of the following approaches rather than big blocks of text:
- headings and subheadings
- bullet points and numbered lists
- highlighted keywords
- short paragraphs
- a simple writing style, and
- avoid jargon!
In short, having a good looking website that gets the key information across in a way that is easily digestible is more likely to persuade someone to take your business seriously and that is a big step towards a successful e-commerce site.
The next topic we will cover will help you make sure your e-commerce website works as well as it looks.