Web design has been around for decades, but many people still think of it as merely a way of making a website look pretty.
While it’s true that taking care of a site’s aesthetics is a primary concern of web design, it’s just one of many factors web designers take into consideration in their work.
People care about a website’s appearance and is often the first thing users notice about it. A tastefully-designed site with all the bells and whistles makes a good first impression on people and draws them in.
However, that first impression will eventually dissipate once visitors realize they’re not having the best experience while exploring your site. You can have the most visually-stunning website ever created, and people will still leave your site if it’s not easy to use.
Web design plays a crucial role in providing the best user experience or UX. A mobile user, for example, will have a much better user experience if your site has responsive web design. The better the UX, the more likely your visitors will stay longer on your pages and buy the products or services you’re selling.
Conversely, a bad user experience caused by flawed web design will most certainly lead to a high bounce rate, which can also affect your bottom line. Let’s take a closer look at some web design issues that may impact your online sales
1. Does An Attractive Visual Design Still Matter?
Yes, web design isn’t all about making a website look good, but its appearance still matters.
Sure, visually-stunning websites may still get dropped by users because of bad user experience, but that means they would still be spending more time on page and then leaving it when the going gets rough.
Websites with poor aesthetics, on the other hand, aren’t even likely to get a few seconds of a user’s time. Once visitors take in the cluttered layout, the inappropriate color scheme, or the garish graphics, they will head for the door and forget they ever saw one such website—if they can.
2. Slow-loading pages
People have a need for speed when accessing websites, especially the newer generation of Internet users whose attention spans seem to be getting shorter by the day.
Users today expect the pages they open to fully load within three seconds or less. Anything slower than that, and the probability of users bouncing increases.
If you’re running an eCommerce site and your checkout pages take forever to load, you can expect shopping cart abandonment to increase.
If you want faster-loading pages, you might want to find another web hosting company that will provide you faster servers. On the web design end, you can do things like optimizing images, refraining from using custom fonts, and dialing back on the heavy graphics.
3. How Important Is Good Navigation?
One of the most fundamental things that make visitors stay and explore your site some more is an organized and clear navigational structure.
When it’s anything but, users will have no qualms about closing your page. They’re not going to waste time getting lost trying to find your product listings or email signup page because your navigation is all over the place.
People opting out of your site will not do your sales figures any good, so make improving navigation a priority.
Organizing categories is an excellent place to start. It would also be great if you can make navigation elements clickable and recognizable to make them easier to spot.
As much as possible, don’t sacrifice user experience for creativity in your navigation placement. You would want people to find what they’re looking for, so go for standard placement, like navigation and search bars on top of the main page or to its left.
Internal linking would also work, although you have to make sure the hyperlinks are visible so people would not miss them.
4. Long, Complicated Checkout Process
The products you’re selling on your eCommerce website maybe some of the hottest in town, but you likely won’t see any sales if buying them means spending a lot of time going through a complicated and drawn-out checkout process. About 21% of online shoppers in the United States abandon an order because the checkout process is too long and complicated.
A simplified and streamlined checkout process is what you need to boost your sales, and web design is going to play a role in making that happen. Instead of multi-step checkouts, go for a one-page popup checkout page. It would be easier to check and edit and will make everything go so much faster.
The more streamlined the checkout process for your eCommerce website, the better the user experience will be.
5. How Many CTAs Should Your Page Have?
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are meant to spur visitors to your site to take action or encourage them to actually buy whatever product or service it is you’re selling.
However, some businesses tend to go overboard with the CTAs sometimes. It’s not uncommon for a website to have several CTAs on a single page. It would be alright if all your visitors would take the time to investigate and evaluate each CTA before acting on them, but that just isn’t the case. More often than not, multiple CTAs only serve to confuse and overwhelm them.
One crystal clear, relevant call to action should be enough to get your visitors to do what you’re egging them on to do. If they see one CTA too many, they will probably leave your site to spare themselves from the confusion.
6. Lack of Mobile-Friendliness
A 2016 survey on U.S. adults by the Pew Research Center underscores how crucial mobile-friendliness can be when it comes to eCommerce.
According to the survey, 8 out of 10 Americans shop online, and that 51% bought something using a cell phone.
If you’re going to sell your products or services to mobile users—who, by the way, have long outnumbered desktop users—it’s only logical to make your website as mobile-friendly as possible.
If it doesn’t have a responsive design, your eCommerce website will not render well on mobile devices. Loading pages is going to take some time too. You cannot expect mobile users to keep on zooming on your pages to be able to tap the necessary buttons to make transactions.
They will simply look for other websites recommended by search results, and you will miss out on what could have been a surefire sale.
Does Web Design Impact SEO As Well?
Web design affects SEO the same way it impacts sales. People leaving a site because of bad user experience brought on by flawed web design reduces dwell time, a ranking factor that refers to the amount of time a visitor spends on a web page.
These are just some of the ways that web design affects your online sales. If your website has any of the issues mentioned above, you might want to tweak your web design a little.
While many other factors may impact your products or services’ sales, your web design plays a huge role in it, especially when practically the whole world is now doing their shopping online.
Make your web design enrich their user experience, and better sales—the ultimate conversion—are likely to follow.