Is Your Web Design Driving Customers Away?

Guest Author June 12, 2010 2

Nowadays, websites have become so critical to the success of practically any company.

A good website in many cases can spell the difference between a viable business enterprise and a failed disaster. It is true that a poorly laid out website can actually drive the firm or sole proprietor’s potential customers away.

With so many competitors only a mouse click away, the website in question needs to be both attractive, easy to use, and cutting edge all at once.

Ensure that the Price List is Easily Available

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Customers can not purchase a company’s products or services if they are not easily able to figure out what they cost. A business or individual ought to go out of their way to ensure that it is simple for any visitors to the site to reference and understand their price list.

There are websites which actually try to conceal their price lists for their various goods. They will not give a price until a customer selects the order or buy button. Sometimes, they even make the potential customer wait until an account has been set up on the site to divulge this critical information.

Whatever the logic behind these types of actions truly is, they only harm the prospects of the seller in the end. If the visitor is only window shopping and wants to write down the price for possibly coming back to purchase it later, be sure that he or she will not hunt around the website for a long time looking for it. Rather, he or she will just go to another e-commerce website instead, one where the seller is upfront with his or her pricing information.

Remember that numerous Internet experts have claimed that the typical Internet surfer possesses the same attention span as a flea does.

Offer Both Descriptions and Pictures for All Products and Services

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There has been a raging debate on this topic where company websites are concerned. On the one hand, web designers are told to keep it brief, as they will only get a few minutes, or seconds even, to impress the surfer enough that he or she stays on the website.

On the other, experts recommend that products be well described, and have pictures as well, in order to thoroughly impress a potential client. There is a happy medium ground which will meet both objectives.

Amazon proves to be an effective example of the way that this can be properly and effectively accomplished. They put up a short description, a small thumbnail type of picture, the cost of the item, and a link to see more information on the item, as well as to purchase it.

The point is that Amazon does have a full product description page for all items somewhere on the website. This sort of description and picture process is critical for a successful website. In particular, if the product being considered has many competitors offering it, or proves to be fairly expensive, then this becomes even more important.

Put simply, these product descriptions and pictures are like salesmen pushing a certain product to a walk in customer. On the top of this description page, as well as at the bottom, the vendor should have an Order Now or Buy button.

The key is to make it as simple as possible for the potential customers to complete the sale once they are convinced.

Make It Simple for Customers to Browse the Website However They Would Prefer

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There are all too many websites which lock the visitor into a pre-arranged sales pitch. First, the user is forced to read the authoring company or individual’s introduction on the product itself. Once the tiring tome is completely read, a link to the next page magically appears at the bottom of this particular web page.

The message on the second page must be endured before the user is allowed to move forward, once again. Although the individual might have already chosen to purchase the product, he or she is simply not allowed to skip all of the propaganda to get to the checkout page. This is too much like a high pressure salesman tactic, and it certainly leaves a negative impression on any visitor.

Simple to Use and Intuitive Navigation

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If the navigation of a website is not simple and straightforward for the visitor to figure out, then the website usability factor is particularly low. This will likely discourage anyone who might simply wish to buy an item on impulse.

A golden rule to run a company or sole proprietor website by is that the customer must not ever be made to click his or her way through numerous pages before he or she is permitted to get to the download or buy now buttons. This is the fastest way to drive away a good portion of the visitors who came to the website looking to purchase a good or service in the first place.

Keeping the Website Simple, Staying Away From Flash, and Appropriate Use of Colours

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Complex websites do nothing to help a business’ cause with Internet surfers. When they are not able to quickly and easily find the features and products that they are seeking, they are likely to simply go to a competitor’s site which is easier to understand. Staying away from the use of flash is a related point.

Since everyone is using a different specification of computer and Internet connection speed, the business should avoid flashy websites which look good in theory, but in practice, may keep a potential customer from being able to quickly access the website, or even require that he or she downloads missing plug ins along the way.

A last point to consider concerns the colours used on a website. One thing that ought to be remembered for certain involves avoiding colours which clash. Do not use a dark colour on a black background, for example. This could make it hard for some users to distinguish the text from the background. Once again, anything that makes it more difficult for the user is likely to cause them to disengage and leave the site.

Conclusion

The best thing that a business’ website can possibly do is to make the majority of important links easily available from literally each and every page of their website.

In simply putting them up on the navigation bar, this is most easily achieved. Businesses must never forget that truly great customer service over the Internet begins with an simple to use website. And having a readily available and reliable business website starts with finding a trusted e-commerce hosting provider.

How the business or sole proprietor designs and maintains their website will certainly determine if a given visitor will turn into a buying customer, or go on to become the customer of a competitor, instead.

About the Author:

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Rebecca Wright is a 34-year-old native of Florida. She has a knack for details on web hosting and anything about it. She works full time as a Senior Web Copywriter for one of the country’s leading e-commerce web hosting company.

2 Comments »

  1. Paul June 15, 2010 at 21:31 - Reply

    I have been studying this site and I have been very impressed with all the information provided on various aspects of website’s and web design. Keep up the good work

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