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When you’ve got a website you’re trying to market, more visitors are nice, but convincing them is the source of the sale.

That’s why e-commerce thrives on conversion. High rankings are great, but high revenue is better. Your site’s extra hits only miss when they don’t result in a turn-around, sale or lead. E-commerce web design creates a rewarding user experience, making it convenient and enticing for your user to buy or sign up for your product. Once you’ve gotten your audience to find you in Google, you need to hook them beyond the first nibble.

Grab a visitor’s attention from the beginning. Put your site’s most important and enticing features at the top of the scroll. That includes your sales pitch, what your site offers, and especially your order button, clearly and succinctly placed above the scroll for users to easily find. All of your main products, your top selling items, the very things you most want for conversion, should be easily labeled. Make your users’ experience easy. Most sales are lost because websites make it too complicated and confusing. Make the most important elements clear from the beginning.

First impressions begin with graphic design. A well designed, visually appealing site attracts like a smile. Notice how attractive sites are designed, and use them for inspiration. Start the conversation off right with a visually good impression, and then work down to the details.

With an online presence, retail is detail. Every little aspect that compels the user to interact in a positive sale is essential. Every user visits your site asking, “What’s in it for me?” Give them all the details about how your product or service can improve their lives. An interesting sales hook, perhaps a compelling fact about your product or service that may apply personally to their lives, or even an angle they might not have considered about your product can help pique their interest and inspire them to seek further.

Simply put, reduce download times. Visitors have short attention spans, and if your page loads too slow, they’ll switch to a different site that loads fast. Ideally, your pages should load in 2 seconds or less. Reduce your graphics as much as possible without sacrificing too much of the quality. Host your site on a quality server that can deliver higher speeds. Simplify the information visitors see at the top of the page. Set up pages to include only what you need, with checkout information linked to a different page to keep pages free and easier to load.

Make checkout easy and give users confidence. Once your user decides to buy your product, don’t make it hard for them. One indicator of an effective checkout is the ratio of abandoned shopping baskets to total orders. If it’s higher than 10 %, your checkout process is ineffective or it just takes too long. Make it simple and easy, but also secure. Customers need not only an easy experience making purchases, but confident assurance that they’re transaction is safe and protected.

Check out what your competition is doing. Find out what other strategies might be drifting in the wind. There’s no such thing as a new idea. How do other sites interact with their users?

Written by: Daniel Griffith on October 18, 2009

Daniel is an Author, Designer, and Entrepreneur. With over 10 years of industry experience, Daniel utilizes his unique blend of mathematics and poetry, engineering and creative thinking to solve both technical and business challenges.

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