Design To Sell: 8 Useful Tips To Help Your Website Convert
As we see more and more businesses move their services online, and even more that begin their life on the Web, a greater need arises for websites that are designed and built to sell. A great-looking website may achieve the goal of shaping and delivering a strong brand, but its good looks alone aren’t enough to sell the products or services on offer.
1. Subliminal Suggestion Link
Research shows that objects and images you see around you can prime you for certain behaviors. For example, a study on children showed that after being shown a Santa Claus cap, they were more likely to share candy with others. The cap embodied the concept of sharing and giving in their minds, and exposure to it primed them for regarding sharing more positively. The same study also exposed kids to a “Toys ‘R’ Us” logo, which had the opposite effect of the Santa Claus cap, making them less likely to share their candy.
LegacyLocker features a photo of a happy family on its landing page, presumably to evoke in visitors a warm feeling for its product and a desire to care for their loved ones.
When choosing images for your website, think carefully about the message you’re trying to send. Pick images that are meaningful and that embody that message or feeling. Don’t put graphics on your website for their own sake — if they’re not doing a job, they don’t have to be there. Clichéd and overused imagery and stock photos are also dangerous because it may not send the right message in the given context, so select images that get the effect you’re after.
2. Prevent Choice Paralysis Link
There is a phenomenon in marketing known as “choice paralysis.” Choice paralysis happens when the user is given too many options. Choice is great, but when your customers are presented with too many options, they may be confused about where to go. Nobody wants buyer’s remorse (where a person chooses an item and decides later it’s not right for them), so many people spend more time than they should on the selection process: they become paralyzed.
In fact, according to Barry Schwatz, when customers have too many options to consider, they end up avoiding a specific service or the task in general (Paradox of Choice) – and this is exactly what we as designers need to carefully consider in our designs.
The Highrise pricing list shows a set of monthly payment plans. The most popular one stands out visually to help you make a choice.
To remedy choice paralysis, make it easier for people to find the right product or service for them. Tell them what each option is great for, and then suggest the one they should choose. You can even use visuals to highlight the most popular product and steer potential customers towards it. If the product is not right for them, they’ll pick another, but if they’re confused, a “default” choice helps prevent choice paralysis.
3. Show The Product Link
When you visit a physical store, perhaps a grocery, you can look at, examine and sometimes even taste the products on sale. You make your purchasing decision based on the information you gather there. Are the tomatoes ripe enough? Are those strawberries red enough? What about the look and smell of that freshly baked bread?
When you sell services or Web apps online, you should do exactly the same thing: show the product. It’s surprising how many websites that sell software don’t actually show screenshots of their applications. Sure, these are intangible goods, digital goods that you can’t touch or smell, but they’re still goods you can see.
Dashboard puts large screenshots of its lead-tracking app right on the front page.
People make judgments based on what products look like. Why? Because appearance is an indicator, rightly or wrongly, of a product’s usability. This is known as the aesthetic-usability effect.
Xtorrent, a torrent download client for OS X, has a product screenshot right at the top of its minimalist landing page.
If people see a complicated and cluttered interface or, in some cases, even just an unattractive interface, they may assume it is not very usable or is hard to learn. On the other hand, if people see an attractive and simple-looking interface, they may start figuring out how it works right then and will want to give it a try. Get people to imagine using your software, and you’ll get closer to closing the sale.
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