Design to Sell
As multichannel merchants look to capitalize on the all-important holiday shopping season, particularly online, many are counting on increased Web traffic and the sales that follow. But for many, the sales don’t always follow, due to poor Web design. Jeff Schueler, president of Usability Sciences Corp., a testing and user research solutions provider, has composed a list of his top Web design tips for improving online sales. Listed below are some of his best.
1. Allow ‘guests’ to buy your products. Many customers avoid sites that force them to register to make a purchase. They see the registration process as an invitation to receive spam or junk e-mail, and will move on to another site to find the same item.
2. Provide users with a road map. Regardless of the process, users need to know where they are and how many steps remain. Ensure your site allows users to return to prior steps to make changes without losing all of their selections or previously entered data. Post a progress indicator somewhere within each page from the start to the end of the process.
3. Remind them what they’re purchasing. To help boost their comfort level before starting the actual checkout process, include a clickable image of the product(s) being purchased. Although most customers have more than likely viewed the product in detail before adding it to their cart, the clickable image reassures them that they have the desired item(s) in their cart.
4. Incorporate customer product reviews. Generally your customers prove to be your best salespeople. Their reviews add tremendous value to a potential customer researching your site. Reviews should be easy to locate on the product page and should offer a rating scale of various product attributes and open-text feedback. They should be ordered chronologically, with the most recent listed first.