How Website Design Influences UX of eCommerce Stores
B2B eCommerce is growing at an astonishing pace. According to the latest Forrester’s research, 74% of B2B buyers make least half of their work purchases online. Moreover, the same study claims that this industry is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2020. In such a competitive landscape, it is user experience that can make or break your business.
Remember, you’re dealing with tech-savvy professionals who probably have their own websites and understand the importance of user-friendliness in the purchasing process. The overall appeal of your site tells them whether they can put their trust in your products or services. This is exactly why you need to invest in UX design that will exceed the expectations of your clients.
Here are several steps you need to take to develop a comprehensive, engaging, and user-friendly website design.
Focus on a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel – also called a purchase funnel – is a technique that engages your visitors and leads them through numerous stages of involvement towards closing a deal. It consists of three major segments: the top, the middle and the bottom of a funnel. Each has a different role in user attraction and retention.
The top of the funnel is based on boosting people’s awareness of your business. The middle of the funnel, including guides, lists and website posts, helps them understand how your products or services might benefit their organization. Finally, the bottom of the funnel is about building trust through testimonials, case studies and social proof. Seeing that companies similar to theirs are buying from you, your potential clients might want to do the same.
Obviously, to drive traffic to your site, raise conversion rates, and convince your clients that your offers meet their business’ needs, you need to create a responsive website design that supports all these segments of a sales funnel. If their website doesn’t meet expectations of their visitors, they would simply leave and look for better alternatives. To back this statement, a recent research shows that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
Create a Compelling Call-to-Action
Creating a proper call-to-action is closely related to the abovementioned sales funnel. Unfortunately, the majority of online businesses haven’t recognized the importance of this mighty button yet. Put simply, call-to-action is what inspires your people to make a purchase while scrolling and clicking through your website.
First, you need to keep in mind that your customers want to know what happens when they hit the CTA button. So, if you still use generic CTAs, such as “Sign up,” “Get started” or “Subscribe here,” it’s time for you to replace them with some authentic options that will emphasize the value of your proposal, such as “Coach my clients,” “Grow my traffic,” or “Get the best rates.”
Additionally, you need to choose a proper color for your call-to-action button. Since the main purpose of your call-to-action is to grab your visitors’ attention, you need to go with the hues that stand out vibrantly and yet mesh well with the rest of your page. Never compromise the overall visual appeal of your landing page by choosing some overly aggressive colors, such as neon green. On the other hand, you should also avoid neutral colors like whites or grays.
Offer Visually Appealing Content
Since its emergence a few years ago, content marketing has become a backbone of every successful digital marketing campaign. It plays an integral role in driving traffic to your website, generating more sales and, most importantly, boosting customer conversion rates. So, it’s not surprising at all that 93% of marketers have employed or are planning to use at least some of the content marketing strategies.
However, in today’s competitive B2B landscape, creating relevant, informative and customer-centric content is not enough. The catch is to jazz it up and make it visually appealing to your customers.
Elevate Digital, an SEO company from Hong Kong, recently suggested that besides good content you should add well-optimised, evergreen, user-friendly resources such as lists, infographics, case studies, research, white papers, statistics, etc. Adding some unique images to your blog posts will definitely capture your visitors’ attention and make your content more clickable. Additionally, to prove yourself authoritative, you need to correct typographical errors before you publish the post, make your text easily skimmable, avoid spammy articles, as well as use active phrases that motivate a reader to take a desirable action.
Still, you shouldn’t limit yourself to good old articles and whitepapers only. Google’s Avinash Kaushik claims that “content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.” For example, a recent survey points out that 59% of people questioned say that if they were offered both text and video on the same topic, they would go with the video. To make your videos both SEO- and user-friendly, you need to optimize your video tag and meta description tag, get your video transcribed, embed mini-videos to increase page views, distribute your videos to other video sites, such as Vimeo or MetaCafe.
Optimize for Mobile
Even though mobile optimization was traditionally the territory of B2C businesses, it has gained momentum among B2B businesses, as well. In this hyperconnected world, 40% of mobile device owners search for B2B products on those devices.
However, it seems that B2B retailers still underestimate the importance of mobile optimization. Studies show that only 52.8% of B2B eCommerce sites are optimized for mobile users. In order to stay relevant, you need to be one of them.
To boost your clients’ experience, you need to provide them with real-time, cross-channel communication to boost their experience. Namely, 60% of B2B companies say that their buyers spend more when they interact with their site via multiple channels. Also, these customers are more likely to stay loyal to a company.
Here are several important things you need to keep in mind when choosing a mobile-responsive website design:
- Improve search effectiveness by implementing filters and make sure that the search results are relevant.
- Let your visitors explore and compare products before making a purchase.
- Enable users to finish their purchase on another device.
- Keep your customers in a single browser window.
- Make product images easy to load and expand.
- Improve the page loading speed through a wide range of practices such as minimizing HTTP requests, reducing server response time, as well as optimizing images and videos.
- Use tests to assess the page loading speed and the overall website’s user-friendliness.
Invest in Cross-Browser Compatibility
As its mere name says, cross-browser compatibility simply means that your website is displayed equally well on all major browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Therefore, by building a website that doesn’t meet these standards, you limit your own reach, traffic, growth and, consequently, your revenue. Precisely because of this, you need to determine whether there are some inconsistencies in a way different browsers interpret your website and fix them on time. For example, in order to make your site cross-browser compatible, you need to make your layout simple, place all visual formatting in CSS, validate your HTML and CSS before uploading your site, avoid quirks modes and test in as many browsers as possible.
Make your Navigation Effective
Who are you? When did you start your business? How many clients do you have? What kind of products or services do you offer? Do you store your products on your own or you go with dropshipping? Do you offer some benefits, such as free shipping, for multiple orders? These are all questions your site needs to answer. And, to help your visitors find the information they need quickly, you need to provide them with effective navigation. Every element on your website should have its place and purpose based on its relevance.
There are several things you need to keep in mind.
First, your navigation should be descriptive:
Labels like “Products,” “Services,” “What We Do” or “Solutions” are generic and don’t provide your clients with the information they are looking for. Moreover, your audience isn’t even searching for these labels. This is why they won’t help you rank better in the SERPs. You need to use labels that include some popular keywords and, in this way, indicate your relevance to search engines.
Second, you need to avoid format-based navigation labels:
These include “whitepapers,” “studies” or “photos”. They only provide your visitors with the format of content. Always keep in mind that it is the topic of your posts that is relevant to your clients. They want statistics and facts that tell them that they can put their trust in you.
Finally, make sure that your navigation is to the point:
With fewer items in the menu bar, your visitors will be able to conduct their searches efficiently. Also, this is also good for your SEO. Since the majority of websites link to your homepage, it gains the most authority on search engines. This authority is further passed to other pages through your navigation. So, if your homepage has dozens of links, this weakens the authority of your interior pages, and they are less likely to rank. On the other hand, with well-organized and concise navigation, the more authority will go to each page, making it simpler for it to rank.
As you can see from the previous examples for B2B sites, it is user satisfaction that drives loyalty, conversions, and revenue. This is why you need to come up with a comprehensive and user-centric website design. Even though there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to website optimization, these are some basic steps you need to know before you start off.
You may also want to read: 10 Proven eCommerce Web Design Hacks to Get More Sales
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- How Website Design Influences UX of eCommerce Stores - December 5, 2017