With retail ecommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart setting the bar extremely high for website design and experiences, smaller online stores are left behind to constantly make updates to ensure their websites are similarly easy to use. It is absolutely crucial to have a visually appealing website, seeing as 38% of consumers will leave if they find the layout unattractive.
In order to prevent future customers from abandoning your site, here are 7 tips to visually optimize your website:
Include the Most Important Information Above the Fold
The content on your homepage that is “above-the-fold” is visible before any scrolling occurs and will be the basis of a user’s first impression, so it needs to be good. Putting the wrong content above the fold may result in a high bounce rate and a loss of customers and revenue.
Pro Tip: According to Wingify, brands should include their logo, contact information, navigation and search bar, current promotions, shopping cart, and calls-to-action above the fold.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Mobile commerce makes up 30% of all U.S. ecommerce, and mobile traffic represents 53% of all ecommerce traffic. If your website does not conform to smartphone viewing, you can easily lose all of those shoppers. In order to make your site mobile-friendly, you will need to:
- Choose a mobile-responsive theme or template
- Strip back your content
- Make images and CSS as light as possible
- Avoid Flash
- Change button size and placement
- Space out your links
- Use a large and readable font
- Eliminate pop-ups
- Test regularly
Include Images & Videos
Images and videos are great for enhancing the user experience, especially when it comes to showing off your products. Clicking on a website, only to stumble upon a plain page with minimal colors and no pictures, is very boring. Shoppers should be able to know exactly what it is you sell the second they get to your homepage.
Pro Tip: While pictures can be used all over your website, videos should be used sparingly, especially since having a lot of them can slow down your page. Include a video on your homepage that depicts people using your products. Shoppers will be captivated by the video and will want to finish it, and it shows firsthand how your products can be used and help others.
Ensure Those with Disabilities Can Still Access & Enjoy Your Website
Nearly half (46%) of retail brands have more than 10 critical errors on their homepage, meaning that 15% of the global population that lives with a disability cannot access the site. For instance, even a seemingly minor decision like color choice can make an experience you design unusable for the one-in-12 men (and one-in-200 women) who are colorblind. If you want more eyes on your site, brands need to ensure that everyone can access and enjoy it.
Pro Tip: Alt text makes the web more accessible to users relying on screen readers or browsers that block images. By including an alt tag with every image you post, you ensure that users with visual impairments are still able to appreciate the imagery on your site.
Provide Multiple Images for One Product
While one picture is great for shoppers to be able to see how the product actually looks, multiple images can give the item more dimension. Convertcart suggests that an average of 8 images is good and can even help conversions. Top brands like Adidas, Victoria’s Secret, Zappos, and H&M use about 8 images per product.
Pro Tip: Organize your images properly, such as with a sitemap, which can help Google easily find product pictures. Adding multiple keyword alternatives for each image can also improve your rankings on Google, according to Convertcart.
Create Detailed Descriptions for Each Product
Not only can adding multiple images to your online merchandise help with SEO, but including more detailed descriptions for each item can also increase your search rankings on Google. The first thing retailers should do is conduct keyword research, and then include hot and trending words in your product descriptions.
Pro Tip: Convertcart suggests that brands use search terms that have an image stack for them — this means users want to see images for that search query. Google attaches image stacks to keywords that are re-entered in image search because this means users were looking for images in the first place.
Provide Contact Information
As obvious as this may seem, as many as 44% of website visitors will leave a company’s website if there is no contact information or phone number. Shoppers are becoming more aware of scams and fake websites, so it is super important to allow customers to be able to contact you, especially if they are thinking ahead about if they may need to return an item.
Pro Tip: Not only does displaying your contact information help build trust, but it can also create a better user experience when someone needs to contact you. Different customers prefer specific contact methods, and Wingify says to leave as many options as possible, including social media channels, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Even if your brick-and-mortar store looks flawless, it is not enough to only cater to in-person shoppers. Ecommerce offers such a huge opportunity to increase brand awareness and make sales even when your physical storefront is closed for the day. Let these tips take your website to a whole new level in 2022.
Independent Retailer is the leading trade publication for independent retail store owners. Dedicated to business professionals who manage or own a brick & mortar retail establishment as well as to those with an online store, each monthly issue of Independent Retailer offers expert advice on wholesale buying and selling. Offerings from America’s leading importers and manufacturers are showcased in dozens of product categories, and buyers across the country use each issue as their supplier resource of choice. Here is the link to bookmark: https://independentretailer.com/
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