Unlike traditional design that hardly involves any scientific methods to woo the visitors or to influence their mind about the company’s image, ‘Growth-driven Design’ (GDD) is a continuous process to improve the user experience and leverage the best things to process the smooth streamline of business transactions at the online store.
Before the online stores became the norm, or we say, before they became a necessity for the people having busier lives, the eCommerce stores had poorly designed websites and the owners never bothered to get it a personal touch to improve their user base and to establish them as the real authority to look upon in the virtual world.
In GDD, you minimize the risk by giving your attention to the data and play around it to perpetually stimulate your eCommerce design for the better-imagined output produced. You keep a close track on your visitors’ behaviour on the site and keep doing the additions on the design to receive positive user signals regarding your website.
Note: A lot of people would say, we must forget the design and get straight to the development. They can’t be more wrong when they fail to see how a design, no matter complex and simple, can truly help their business miles. The best example is of Whats-app. While the application has no real complex design, yet its presentation is elegant with proper color usage and knows where to use which thing. It has an outstanding UI/UX design that propelled the company to gain the trust of the users. The development came afterwards that gave life to the design.
Why is GDD Becoming the New Face of Online Store Designing?
In order to perform consistently, you need to keep reshaping certain things that don’t work anymore and keep inventing new by executing the user signals. The shoppers have become aware of the marketing tactics used by the companies because they have too many alternatives to shop from. Unlike the real world, they don’t have to drive through the busy roads to reach the market and hop from one showroom to another to find their desired products.
How??? I mean how to keep planning when the time is to incorporate certain actions to produce desired results?
And… You read – Plan AHEAD?
Yes, for it, you need to develop buyer’s persona and it’s developed before the ecommerce website development – at least in the current world forming due to the digitalization and the changing habits of online users have made it critical. To do it, you need to actively do quantitative and qualitative research.
While doing research, please don’t hurry the process. It won’t be good for your future business run and might give you a hard blow and you might end up losing it all. When you are serious about running an online store, you do good investment to have your strong physical presence and if you hurry in the groundwork process, which means the real-time research, you are hurting your business and may fail to sense the dynamicity of the web. It happens to lots of impatient entrepreneurs and even industry renowned businessmen who fail to see things coming due to the lack of groundwork.
Even companies like Google (known as the internet giant) failed few times to develop a social media website. First, Orkut and later developed, Google+, was a huge blow to company’s reputation. Google even failed to make an application like WhatsApp. Though the company developed Google Allo, but despite countless features and having A.I. integration, it failed to woo the audience.
How to do it?
The first question arises in the mind of marketers and owners is that: how to do it? The best way to tackle such type of circumstances when you don’t know how to lay the foundation of great groundwork is to opt S.M.A.R.T. strategy.
S.M.A.R.T. = Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Time-bound
Don’t always think to generate more revenue. That will happen when you successfully grow your conversion percentage. More sales will itself lead to more business revenue. When you are thinking of growing your business many-fold, you are behaving like a kid who wants to comprehend the cosmos at all once but doesn’t even know the vastness of the solar system, or the Milky Way, let alone the Universe.
Similarly to grow more revenue, you need to take baby steps to reach there. That’s why a huge emphasis is made on developing customer persona. When you develop it, you get to know in which segment you need to work harder and which you can push back to work at the later stage.
The main thing for you is to reach the right people and connect with them. What’s the use of connecting with the people who are least interested in your products?
Hence, in GDD’s perfect outcome, you need to understand S.M.A.R.T. technique and how to do segmentation of buyer’s persona to cover them in different marketing campaigns. The ultimate goal of an online store is to attract, convert, and delight the visitors – and your data-centric design creates an emotional touch and speaks volumes, even if the users can’t hear any voice.
Let’s talk about the most important eCommerce designing principles that can help you miles.
- Publish Easily to Scan and Skimmable Content-
Microsoft studied the human attention span and revealed that after 2013, it will reduce to merely 8 seconds on an average. It’s 2017 and it’s happening and even reducing than 8 seconds in some cases. That’s too short time to influence anybody and if your website is loaded with tons of useless features that most people don’t really use, you are losing potential leads all the time and only a handful people are coming till the checkout process.
A lot of stores mistake to add more content on the website to rank better in search results. Although the content is the backbone of the digital marketing efforts, it doesn’t mean you are going to flood your homepage with it and confuse your visitors with the enormous amount of text/pictures/videos to consume.
No one is saying you not to add the content; otherwise, who is going to understand what you are dealing with. The best thing is to skim the content in certain categories so the visitor can understand what’s the product is about and can scan the item he’s looking for. Remember that no one is going to consume all the unnecessary content. Google’s RankBrain understands the user signals to rank the website, as per their behavior on your website. Although SEO has no significant relevance left, like it had once, there’s no smartness in running after keywords on your homepage.
2. Create Clear and an Easy-to-Read Copy
Don’t go with the fancy fonts to look different. Some owners tell their designers to develop their own fonts, like Apple did, as Late Steve Jobs had a massive love for Calligraphy; it doesn’t mean you are going to be successful.
While it may appear beautiful, but until it won’t help the readers in reading the content with ease, you are losing the potential leads. Use the regular fonts if it’s necessary or the fonts that are loved by customers the most. Skim the content and properly present it using headings, sub-headings, bullets etc.
Use clear and easily understandable fonts with proper line spacing. Don’t forget the importance of content and keep doing skimming. A beautifully designed page attracts visitors, but only content glues people to the content.
3. Simple and Interconnected Ways to Navigate-
As discussed in the last para, not using headings and sub-headings can severely affect your page’s presentation. Try to break the content into little parts that can be easily skimmed and users can consume the main information without reading the entire content, even it’s merely few lines.
Don’t remain in a mythological world that if you skim the content and use few lines without proper presentation, consumers will consume it at least. Some visitors hate reading and want to only pick up main information even from few lines. You can use bold or italic option on the main points for the users looking to consume the important info regarding the website or the product.
It’s the duty of the designer to place the content in a certain way that it looks presentable and not dilute the eyes with poorly used fonts etc. Don’t think of only desktop versions alone. Think of mobiles and how to improve user experience on mobiles through UI/UX designing. The future is the mobile, so think in such direction.
Use Breadcrumb method to keep your audience hooked and it will certainly help you in doing card navigation perfectly. In layman’s term, use the small but important information to navigate customers from one place to another.
4. Avoid mandatory sign-up and keep it minimal
No matter how beautiful your sign-up pop-up is designed, you can’t really force anyone to sign up and give you their email address. No, you can’t. It’s simply a dead-end if you think they will love how great your website is in design and the pop-up on which your designer has worked day-and-night can entice visitors to share their personal information.
It’s a proven fact that signups prove very beneficial to the company during customers’ acquisition phase. But it doesn’t mean you start forcing it to all the visitors. If you still don’t agree with the fact, then the best way to initiate the topic is to understand the Google+ example and how company forced every new Gmail user to sign up for the platform. The strategy completely backfired, resulting Google to take a step back and think of something else.
It, however, doesn’t mean we are not advocating using email pop-ups. Use them in a deliberate manner to navigate users to their rightful destination that can add value to you and them. Use basic instruction to guide the users through the sign-up process keep them engaged and they show their rage by abandoning your store.
Moreover, if you are using the signup process to create a user account; don’t make it a mandatory option. Offer guest option or signing up with social media accounts to properly showcase your different benefits in your design. It looks more elegant and catchy when a user sees social media channel icons beside signup with email.
5. Use Meaningful and Differentiable Call-To-Actions (CTAs)-
CTA is an important thing on the web page. They lead to the conversion and make user’s journey easy and fast to take certain action. Make sure they are properly visible and look catchy to have the attention they deserve.
A lot of online stores mistakenly use same type CTAs for product sizes, buy actions and out-of-stock options. Your different CTAs should be unique and easily distinguishable to avoid any confusion among the shoppers. Don’t try to make the mistake that is quite common in the lots of online stores. You don’t want to risk all your hard work just for little reason, which is actually quite big and prove costly when you do it wrong.
A lot of successful online ecommerce stores use bright colors for their CTAs to grab the attention, but there is no rocket-science to use it only. You can use a blend of dark and light colors for different CTAs as per your overall website design.
6. Make checkouts easy-
A lot of people find it difficult during the checkout process. Sometimes they don’t even find the option to make the payment, while sometimes they don’t find the information on the different payment modes accepted by the online store.
Don’t make the page too complex and place other options that work as a distraction and you end up losing business from your about-to-be customer. To reach the checkout process from CTAs, create fewer steps. Try to do it in one step and easy the journey of the shoppers.
Note: Don’t try to act smart to your customers. Once they smell something fishy, they leave and never return. That’s how customers are. If you hide something from them, they are going to bash you at the places where it will hurt you the most: social media. The word travels faster on the web and the cheating cases get more shares by the people to aware others not to buy from you.
Hence, be transparent with the total product cost including shipping cost. Make it visible clearly and effortlessly. If the shipping is free, make it visible too.
7. Showcase Properly How Customers Rate You-
There’s no marketing like the reference market. According to the marketing Guru Neil Patel, a business can increase its sale by 18% if it knows how to use the reviews and testimonials in the marketing strategy. Hence, it becomes critical for the businesses to make them visible to every visitor coming to the page.
Humans have the psychology to trust the product if it has a long list of positive reviews. Moreover, customer review section also displays the customer interaction with the business, which also helps it to gain the trust of the first time shoppers.
Reviews provide a sense of security to the customers because they can see the engaged clientele and their thoughts regarding the product, or regarding the company’s entire services.
8. Personalize the Shopping Cxperience
You help your business when you create a personalized shopping experience. Serve your customers what they want by creating personal pages. If you have visited Amazon.com and revisited it again before clearing your cache, you know how they personalize your shopping experience by displaying their products you last time visited and their algorithms understand what you might be interested in to show on the homepage in a very clear and elegant way.
It captures your attention because you are getting the things right on your home page without making any effort of searching them. From those products, you can go the page and see other products, displayed beneath its information. That‘s why people love shopping from them because they understand the customer and adapt to the existing environment.
These features make an eCommerce store a very friendly and personalized for the shoppers. It creates human touch and streams the certain emotions to increase sales and leads.
9. Make Products Discoverable Through Search Bar-
A search bar should be placed at the top of the page. Even the web accessibility guidelines say so. Hence, if you are going to use it at a different location of the page, you are losing business from disabled people who don’t understand the page very well. Make your search bar elegant presented and clearly visible.
Customer’s satisfaction increases when he/she sees the search bar because a low-grade website would not use it. In addition, if you are using advanced search setting features in the search bar, you are completing lifting the standards. However, you need to see what kind of content (options) you need to display in the advanced search setting in the search bar to ease the journey.
10. Give it all to Make your Home Page ‘ Outstanding’-
Your home page is everything to impress the first time, visitors.
“First impression is the last impression”
Don’t take the proverb for granted and overdo the designing on your homepage and make it look like a garbage that does nothing, but scare the people away. Use things in a limit and at their respective place. Don’t ruin the image of the homepage just because you want to make it appear cool.
- Catchy Headlines.
- Featured Products
- Latest Promotions
These are certain things that can help you to keep the things in check. It’s better if you make a checklist and work on it. Understand the dynamics of customers and keep preparing the persona to incorporate in your design. Remember that homepage design changes are a forever task and you can’t run away from it if you are serious about the long-term business run.