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Expert Advice
For Success in Ecommerce
Our team of Ecommerce experts outline effective strategies for increasing and optimising your sales!
 
50 milliseconds is how long it takes for a site visitor to form an impression about your estore design, according to the Google study, 'Working towards understanding aesthetic judgements.'
If graphics plays a primary role in increasing your sales figures then site organisation is a close second and together they form an effective site design, as Pierre Baudouin, manager of cave-atlantide.com, confirms "The site’s new user-friendly design doubled our visitor/order conversion rate!"

In this post, our experts share their top tips and tricks for increasing sales by optimising your site design. Their approach can be summarised in 3 steps: attract and instil trust in your visitors, guide them to your products and convert them into buyers by reassuring them your site is safe to buy from.

Over to you!
Keep in mind:
1. 75% of users admit to making judgements about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
2. Good design highlights trust elements to site visitors.
3. Most consumers will only wait 3 seconds for a site to load.
4. Slideshows are like a display window for your e-store.
5. 73% of visitors to ecommerce sites leave after two minutes if they can't find what they are looking for.
6. 27% of e-shoppers start their visit at the search bar (Marketing Sherpa study).
7. Product pages must reassure visitors and convince them to buy.

Yes, site design will help you increase sales! Find out how in 3 steps.

01 Attract and reassure site visitors
'Don't judge a book by it's cover,' . . . admit it, you do! First impressions are primal, and when it comes to your homepage they are paramount for keeping visitors on your site. According to a study on web credibility by Stanford University, 75% of users admit to making judgements about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
Good design is not only about being aesthetically pleasing, it's the foundation upon which you create a professional image that will give your site visitors the confidence to buy.

Colour choices aren't made at random. To stay credible and reassure site visitors, don't deviate too far from the current practices in your sector. If you notice that your industry leaders are all using dark colours, for example, then trust their choices (they'll have paid good money for research!) and don't try and stand out by using day-glow neons!


Your logo must be readable and memorable. A good slogan, strengthens your brand positioning and value . . . (simples!).


Finally, image quality is also essential for ecommerce sites. They are another way of gauging how professional your site is and they contextualise product use.
Go for beautiful, clear, photos, use progressive images for JPG files, don't use GIFs for large product images (quality issues). Don't forget to reduce size so they are optimised for the web and don't slow down your site, below 60kb is a good start. Most consumers will wait 3 seconds for a website to load on their desktops, and 5 on their mobile, before abandoning the site (KISSmetrics), so huge photos that take an eternity to load are a definite no-no!

    "The Actinic graphic studio created a high performing design, that helped us increase our sales by nearly 20%."
    René Terrier - Electromarque.com


Critical trust elements for higher conversion rates.
Creating trust and reassuring site visitors is fundamental, if you want to convert them into customers and loyal clients. 17% of eshoppers won't purchase if they are concerned by a site's security (Statistia). It’s unlikely that there’ll be a transaction without trust, so ensure that you add the following trust elements to your homepage to instil confidence from the get-go and then on all the pages throughout your buying funnel.

> Telephone number
Having your phone number displayed on your site is not only a legal necessity but having it clearly displayed, on your header for example, is a great way of reassuring site visitors that you are a professional business that can be by reached by phone if needed. It’s also not a bad idea for boosting your MOTO sales. 8% of ecommerce site visitors abandoned their shopping carts because contact details weren’t clearly displayed (LK Council)!
Actinic has a dedicated phone and mail order (MOTO) feature included in it’s subscriptions: activate it and increase your sales!

    "Actinic offers a very effective MOTO feature. The numbers speak for themselves, an average basket with MOTO is 20% higher than on internet orders and our conversion rates are steadily increasing."
    Gaëlle Barré - Univers Broderie
> Delivery Deadlines
Delivery is crucial, not just on special sales days, for customers it's every day they have a delivery planned! Multiple delivery options can satisfy all your customers delivery needs. Actinic offer a selection of delivery options, and the ability to add any that suit you and your clients. Be it, home, work or click and collect, which is going from strength to strength, delivery is a prime cause of shopping cart abandonment so make sure you have delivery options covered.
If you offer free delivery, make sure you scream this from your site pages, as high delivery costs account for 43% of shopping cart abandonment (PayPal/ComScore Study).

> Payment Methods
Offer your customers several secure payment options such as, PayPal, Credit/Debit card, transfer, etc. Payment methods are an important way of giving site visitors the confidence to buy and the methods you offer should be clearly outlined with logos.

Finally, don't forget that legally, you need to display your company info on your site as well as conditions of sale and use etc, which all need to be easy to find and comprehensible. You can add this to your Company page, adding company history, employee profiles, your values and expertise or whatever you think your customers would enjoy reading - they're a curious bunch these e-shoppers!
02 Guide visitors to your product pages
With your site visitors now reassured and confident in buying from you, sales are the next priority, get them to your product pages! When visitors first land on your site you want to start guiding them towards those products they're likely to buy.

3 ingredients for a best selling homepage
Your homepage is your shop window, you don't want people walking right by, you want them walking straight into your product pages! This is the time to show off your assets and best selling products.

> Unique selling points up front
Your home page needs to set you apart from the competition. Your product origins and fabrication, fairtrade, one-offs, organic, whatever it is that makes you stand out is what also needs to stand out on your homepage.

    "Having our template customised by the Actinic graphic studio gave us a sleek and effective website. A smart design with a wide slide that promotes our new and star products with one quick glance. We’re really impressed with how effective it’s been: 20% of our products represent 40% of our turnover! A detailed menu, complemented by striking images has made site navigation easier and more effective, our visitors look at twice as many items since we made these changes."
    Emilie Desportes – Candle Store


> Introduce the customer benefits
A slideshow on your homepage is a real asset when it comes to quickly and efficiently showing off your advantages; discounted shipping costs, special offers on certain key products or bundles, brand new arrivals . . .
Use all the marketing tools at your disposal to really target customers with your best sellers and recently viewed items.
All this without neglecting your call-to-action button! If you're launching a new offer or product then maximise the chances of clicks with a large button.
> Capitalise on events
Design is part of your sales technique! When you walk down your local high street you can certainly tell when Mother's Day or Valentine's Day are around the corner. The same should be said of your site, Christmas, Halloween, Fashion Week, Singles Day, Buy British Day, whatever it may be, if the event can sell your products then use it to your advantage.
Use the Actinic drag and drop feature to customise your homepage in minutes, no excuses not to start trying out a few site makeovers!

    "We are able to update our site ourselves with the “drag and drop” feature. For example, the Actinic platform enables us to create an optimised vertical menu with categories and subcategories in all languages in just a few clicks. In addition to saving time and money, this makes the navigation of our site more user-friendly, which is something our visitors appreciate. This explains, among other things, why our conversion rate is close to 4.5%, or twice as high as the average ecommerce site!"
    Jean-Philippe Thoër - Ballkit


Use search to match products and visitors
73% of visitors to ecommerce sites leave after two minutes if they can't find what they are looking for (Source: Marketing Sherpa study) Optimising your site navigation for ease of use and guidance through the buying funnel, is key to conversions.

> Faceted search
Through successive filters, faceted search allows users to pointpoint products by specific characteristics (type, colour, size, material, etc.). Easily finding products of interest makes people more likely to pop them into their basket! Actinic has a powerful, faceted search engine. Don't hesitate to start using it today!
> Predicitve search tool
27% of e-shoppers start their visit at the search bar (Marketing Sherpa study). When a site visitor starts typing a word into the search bar on your estore, the items in your catalogue corresponding to their query instantly become available, from the first letter entered. Thanks to predictive search, in seconds customers can find exactly what they’re looking for, which has a direct impact on conversions!
To increase the accuracy of the suggestions, make sure you’ve carefully filled in your product pages, paying particular attention to titles and short descriptions which are the first thing to be analysed by the predictive search engine.
03 Efficient product pages lead to conversions!
Your quality site navigation has led your customers to your product pages, the next step; buy, buy, buy! Once again the organisation and design of your site play a decisive role, depending on the condition of your product pages your conversion rate can stagnate or skyrocket.


The foundations: stock and price
Price is surely the most important element for the eshopper: it's needs to be big and bold! Strikethrough prices are great for showing off what a bargain the buyer is getting and to avoid price ambiguity. Make sure stock availability is also clearly displayed, so as not to disappoint your eager buyers. Using colour codes, green for available, red for unavailable for example, make it even easier for the customer to continue their orders.

Trust
We don't mind repeating ourselves, to ensure the message is received; contact details, shipping options and payment methods must be clearly displayed on all your pages, which includes your product pages!
Make sure your customer reviews are also supporting your cause by instilling confidence in your potential buyers. Shopping-Satisfaction provides genuine, verified customer reviews and as 77% of online shoppers consult reviews before buying (Econsultancy), you should start collecting reviews asap. The buying funnel that Actinic sites provide, follows the best practices of leading sites like Amazon or La Redoute, reassuring visitors who can quickly identify and find the products, coupons, shippping details and secure payment options they need.
The optional dynamic shopping cart added to a customised design makes a winning combo which will be reflected in your sales figures.

    "The Actinic graphic studio created a custom design and a dynamic shopping cart for couteaujaponais.com, a very worthy investment that resulted in an increase of sales by 20% in just one month! !"
    Fabien BOURLY
CTA Buttons (call-to-action)
Of course, the CTA is one of the most emblematic graphic elements of your site. There isn't a magic button formula but there's a key piece of advice to be observed regarding colour. The button colour itself doesn't matter too much, but it does need to contrast with your site colour in order to stand out and attract buyers attention.
Use your email campaigns to test different messages and colours to find out what works best . . . you may well be surprised.
The design site Fab tested different combinations of messages and forms for the main call to action button on their site in order to determine which would lead to the most sales. The result: a 49% increase of items added to the shopping cart! (Optimizely.com).

You have all the ingredients for a slap up site design, now it's over to you to create a masterpiece and watch your sales rise and crisp off nicely! Over to you chef!