How We Design Conversion Rate Optimized Stores

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Stanford University research says that 46.1% of people believe a website’s design is a significant factor for choosing if a company is trustworthy or not. Your online store's design can make or break your business.

Why do you think good design is important?

Aesthetically pleasing web design plays a significant role in the eCommerce industry. In a study by Adobe, given 15 minutes to consume content, only two-thirds of people will read something beautifully designed than something unattractive or plain.

My team and I masterfully laid out steps and tips on how we design conversion rate optimized stores for our clients. Here are our best practices to help your online store get better conversion rates through good design.

1. Use only high-resolution images.

Your online store is more than just a pretty face for your business. It also provides additional authority on why people need to take you more seriously, with that being in mind, you have to ONLY use high-quality images. This is non-negotiable.

So regardless of what you are offering, whether you have physical or digital products, invest in beautifully shot high-resolution photos. Avoid using stock photos as much as possible. There might be some possibility your target market has seen it or a competitor is also using it.

2. Add some emotional appeal.

Having a design that appeals on an emotional level is one of the most common design strategies being used today. Step into your customer's shoes and imagine a purchase experience so seamless, your market cannot help but convert and purchase your products.

How to stir emotions with your design?

There are thousands of ways to do this, but one trick is to test different designs to a handful of people and see what they feel. What emotions evoke from seeing the design? Does it make you happy? Does it give a strong feeling of desire? Does it want you to hit the check out button?

Take a look at Strong Lift Wear one of our clients, whom we have helped to design their Shopify store. On their homepage, you can see a variety of images evoking strong emotions of strength, comfort, and active lifestyle.

You need to use quality images to speak to your buyer's desire to have a better life by purchasing your product. Once you have conceptualized the photos to be used, it will be easy putting it on your store.

3. You have to prioritize whitespace.

Whitespace or also known as negative space is a popular design principle implemented to every successful online store. It refers to the empty area surrounding your products.

It is a common practice among designers to not cram the landscape and overload consumers with tons of images, texts, and other visual clutter. Using the whitespace efficiently makes your content more readable and your website more usable.

Here is the caveat though, many falls to the blunder of not using whitespace effectively. Your customers need to feel a sense of simplicity or minimalism in an otherwise saturated and cluttered market. But not overtly simple that you remove other relevant information about your product.

High-end, durable athletic clothing brand, Strong Lift Wear, beautifully uses whitespace. They are not cramming all the critical details of their product in one area. These details are spread throughout the page to give way to pleasing design but also readable content.

As we have emphasized, whitespace is a fundamental principle of a well-designed online store that draws attention to what really matters: your incredible products. When consumers are not bothered by full product pages and listings, they can easily add items to their cart then checkout.

4. Use a well-coordinated color palette.

Strong Lift Wear has a beautiful, nice, clean look. Not only they use a well-coordinated on-brand color palette, but they also use colors that make their products pop. Black and white provide a luxurious feel to potential customers especially if you are targeting buyers who have higher economic status. Strong Lift Wear also uses the color red to highlight and provide a sense of

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The way we design our client's online shop has a huge impact on conversion rates, and so does the representation of their products themselves.

5. Have some storytelling approach.

Seth Godin said, “People do not buy goods & services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”

Integrating storytelling into your product pages can make simple online transactions transcend into an almost life-like experience. You are giving them a peak about the story of each product and how they come to fruition.

Not only this approach is intriguing, but it is also likely you are giving stories that will stick with your consumers for a while than a mundane product description.

6. Back to Basic: Keep it Simple

You have probably heard of the K.I.S.S principle, and it applies to a lot of practice most especially to design a conversion friendly website. Having useful but straightforward and pleasing site can be challenging.

Is there a way to make it simpler?

You might have asked yourself while building your online store. However, I believe in the power of simplicity. It is not only about limiting your options, but it’s also about creating a clean and organized design that does not have distractions.

If you have too many information, texts, and images crammed into one-page viewers will be easily distracted and bothered by the presentation of information.

After incorporating all the design elements, remove anything that will not affect the product at all. Get rid of design elements you can’t use or does not make sense at all. If it doesn't serve a purpose, do not hesitate to remove it.

7. Embrace the smartphone revolution, use responsive designs.

More online transactions are happening on mobile devices right now. In 2017, 52% of total online traffic was from mobile users. If your website is still not using a responsive design, you are left behind already.

Mobile-friendly vs. Responsive Design

Mobile-friendly and responsive website design is often used interchangeably. But both play a critical role in conversions and search engine rankings. These two terms may sound the same, but the stark contrast between them boils down to the layout of information.

Mobile-friendly websites use codes designed to reduce an exact copy of the site as it is viewed on a desktop computer and fit it into different mobile device ecosystem. This leads to poor user experience and results in the annoying task of pinching and zooming in order to navigate around.

In contrast, responsive websites use codes designed to restructure the content, so it is presented across all devices in an aesthetically pleasing, readable format. Though it's more complex than mobile-friendly design codes, this produces a decisive user experience while allowing them to navigate the full site with ease. In conclusion, all responsive websites are ready for mobile browsing, but not all mobile-friendly websites are responsive.

8. Effective Call to Action.

I have mentioned earlier the importance of high-quality photos and emotional appeal, by combining the two you can convey the primary purpose of your product page and draw their attention toward your main call to action.

Strong Lift Wear uses large signup buttons, with a simple and clear call to action.

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Use a customized call to action rather than a generic "Buy Now" button to help you achieve better conversions. You can also use power words to make your copy more enticing and engaging. “Activate Discount” call to action gives the consumer the sole power whether to use the lead magnet or not.

9. Maximize social influence.

Social influence is the fastest way to build trust. One of our favorite tools for creating social influence is Loox. It that can be implemented within a few seconds and integrate with some other marketing tools such as Zipify and more. Loox comes with SEO Schema markup, and it helps in improving the search click through Google when users are looking up at your brand.

If you get a fantastic testimonial and you want to use it to drive more conversions on your opt-in form, you could place it directly below the form. Even if the testimonial is not explicitly written about your lead magnet, the user will associate the two because they are near each other.

Do not forget to include faces into your pages, testimonials, opt-in pages, and landing pages for a boost in your conversions. Doing so adds more credibility to your business.

10. Consistent Branding

There are lots of factors that can affect conversion, ensuring the information is easy to find, to communicating a trustworthy brand image; these are all relevant to how your eCommerce site is designed.

Branding is not just about logos. It is about your overall message and consistent use of your brand voice. Make sure you are only using your brand voice throughout your website, and proper use of the logo is observed.

You can develop a brand style guide first before creating your online store. You can use it as your "design bible." This is to maintain a coherent user experience and visual identity your consumers will instinctively associate with your brand. It will also help you communicate a distinguished representation.

Consistency builds trust and trust leads to conversion.

The above does not only apply to your website, but you should also maintain a coherent visual identity throughout your other online and offline marketing materials, like social media ads or postcards.

This will guarantee a consistent user experience throughout the whole customer journey.

Do you love the tips we have provided?

They are easy to implement, and our clients are happy with their well-thought online store with minimalistic approach infused with a strategic call to action.

Gerald Ming