We all like to think looks don’t matter, but let’s be honest – they do. And this is no different when it comes to your website. Your website provides visitors with their first impression of your brand, so every micro-second counts. Literally. On average, it takes an online visitor 0.2 seconds to form that first impression of a website.
0.2 seconds?!? Yes. But if it makes you feel any better, the average person waits up to three seconds before leaving your site. Time is truly money in this case – a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Not to mention that 79% of consumers will not revisit your site if their first visit took too long.
But have no fear, if you put time and effort into your website design and development, your site visitors will stick around. The platform you choose is important, but what you put on the page matters, too. I’ve outlined three elements your ecommerce site needs to grab online shoppers’ attention.
1. Deliver an attractive, well-organized design.
Your ecommerce website should be clean, intuitive and well organized. Upon entering your site, online visitors should know immediately what action you want them to take.
At this point, your attractive, well-organized design should be mobile-friendly. Why? 66% of shopping is being done on mobile devices. Combine that with Google’s mobile search algorithm update and you’ll see why serious online retailers need to offer an optimal user experience across multiple devices.
Responsive design is an effective way to achieve an optimal user experience across multiple devices (desktop, tablet, mobile). Retailers who use responsive design benefit from a single code base and there are robust responsive frameworks available that are cost effective and easy to manage for experienced developers.
2. Make a strong connection with the right people.
Unlike Amazon with its huge number of products to suit the masses, your business is likely founded on a product mix created to suit a specific audience. Therefore, it’s very important that your website design appeals to those same target buyers. With under a second for a prospective buyer to form an impression of your store, you need to evaluate every conversion tactic in your marketing tool kit. Website colors, fonts, imagery, navigation style and site functionality, including merchandising and search tools, should be carefully selected with your buyers in mind. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ensure your site offers a strong brand connection that will be remembered.
3. Offer a clear value proposition.
Does your value proposition come across loud and clear as soon as the page loads? Online shoppers visiting your site should identify these five things in under five seconds:
- Who you are.
- What you sell.
- Who is meant to buy from you (if you mastered #2 hopefully they know it’s them).
- Why your products provide an advantage over others.
- What to do next (A.K.A. a strong call to action).
Take Skinny Ties as an example.
- Their design is clean, simple and utilizes bright colors in keeping with their products to provide character.
- We recognize immediately what they sell.
- We know their products are for people who are looking for stylish business and formal attire.
- We know why shoppers should give their products a chance.
- We know what to do next. Start dressing better. All of the ties above and products below are clickable, sending the shopper right into the product pages.
Every second counts when it comes to gaining prospective buyers’ attention and making a good first impression. Once you have their attention, your site must be optimized for conversion. No detail is too small if it removes barriers to a customer purchase. Check back for my next article, 5 Ways to Master Onsite Merchandising for Your Online Store, for tips and tactics to develop a strong onsite merchandising strategy.