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    Designing Your Website for $Billion Sales

    posted by clicktale 4:25 PM
    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Guest Article by Eliran Mesika

    Over $1 billion in online sales were spent this year on Cyber Monday alone… and the holiday season has only just begun!

    ‘Tis the season to shop and, chances are, visitors arriving to your website want to buy! So don’t give them a reason to bounce away from your site empty-handed. By evaluating and gearing up your website design for the holidays, you can give your customers what they want and improve your conversion rates.

    race-to-checkout

    Spruce Up Your Landing Pages

    The design of your landing pages is in essence a window display of your products, attracting visitors to become shoppers. Let your landing pages entice your visitors to enter and start navigating your site. Pay attention to how certain webpage elements either help or hurt the conversion process.

    Banners: Having a sale? Let you visitors know! Use festive, interactive banners that lead them straight to the products they are interested to buy. The key to successful banners is making them aesthetically attractive and easy to read. Keep the amount of banners per page to a minimum (I would recommend no more than two). Too many banners can overwhelm visitors and send them away from your site. Use concepts like automatic slides or a carousel to highlight sales, product categories or specific products.

    Search Box: People like to search for the specific items. Make sure that your search box is in an accessible, visible place on your landing page.

    Contact Info: Remember, your online store is often responsible for your in-store customer purchases, as well. Many visitors that plan on making in-store purchases use websites as a point of reference. For example, they might want product information, directions to your store or a phone number to call up and ask if a specific product is in stock.

    Best Buy's homepage is a great example of good web design tips to keep in mind, among them a visible search box, a clear interactive banner, sale offerings and store information.

    Best Buy's homepage is a great example of good web design tips to keep in mind, among them a visible search box, a clear interactive banner, sale offerings and store information.

    Make Website Navigation Clear

    Visitor navigation on your website should be seamless and intuitive. Your visitors should not feel they are working hard to find the items they want to buy.

    Navigation Tool Bar: Apply design concepts that are familiar to users such as tabs in your navigational tool bars. The quicker and shorter the paths to products visitors want to buy, the better. Be sure not to overload your top navigation bar and keep it at one pop-up menu per category.

    Product Headings: Have a lot of products to offer your visitors? No worries, just make sure there are clear product headings that your visitors can scan and scroll through to easily find what they are searching for.

    Avoid Shopping Cart Abandonment

    Holiday online shoppers come Cyber Monday are literally begging to give you their credit cards numbers, especially if you have the products they need at the prices they are willing to pay! If visitors are coming all the way to your checkout page and abandoning their shopping carts, your checkout page could be in need of usability improvements.

    Checkout Form Fields: Evaluate the fields on your form and check to see if they are all necessary to the checkout process. Your goal is to make the checkout step as comfortable and as understandable as possible. The shorter and cleaner your form, the more likely customers will complete it.

    Shipping Cost Information: As PayPal research has found, high shipping costs are the number one reason visitors abandon their shopping carts. So consider discounting your shipping costs and letting your customers know, right on the checkout page itself.

    Product Purchase Descriptions: Before visitors confirm their purchase, they like to see exactly what they are getting. To prevent visitors from browsing backwards, include a small top section that lists the products and quantities being purchased.

    Checkout Button: Your checkout button, aka THE MACRO conversion button, on the checkout page is crucial! It should be highly visible, with good color contrast and coordination to the other colors and concepts of your brand.

    This is Amazon's checkout button. Customers are guided and encouraged to proceed towards checkout.

    This is Amazon's checkout button. Customers are guided and encouraged to proceed towards checkout.

    Conclusion

    Holiday shopping is the prime time to be on top of your website’s performance. By using good In-page web analytics tools, you can learn exactly how your visitors use and navigate through your site, no guessing needed. Use the data you discover to make instant changes to your webpages and improve usability. Don’t miss out on potential holiday sales, ensure a successful holiday shopping season both for your customers and your business.

    About the Author


    eliran-profile-small Eliran Mesika is a Customer Experience Consultant at ClickTale, focusing on business, user experience and conversion consultation. His portfolio includes Fortune 100 clients working on some of today’s leading websites. Eliran holds an Industrial Engineering & Management degree from the Technion.



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