How to Encourage Purchasing Decisions with Your Website
Purchasing decisions rest on a variety of factors, including the effectiveness of your website. Your site can exert a huge influence if you know how to invest the time and energy into managing it.
A website can be so much more than just a conduit to make sales; it can strengthen your entire business plan if it sports the right design.
Being able to generate purchasing decisions demands strategic planning. Here are some design and content tips that can help you come up with a website that drives sales.
Write Detailed Product Pages
Customers want information about your products and services. That’s one way to stand out from the competition and prove your product is better than the rest.
Detailed information about every item in your stable can accomplish this. This website for an apartment complex in South Carolina is a great example of how to do it.
Along with beautiful pictures of their properties, the website creators have listed amenities and details that will capture users’ attention, including information about the neighborhood, which is often one of the biggest yet hard-to-define factors when someone chooses a property.
This style of product pages makes it easier for potential customers to develop trust in you while deciding your products are what they want.
Focus on Value Proposition
A big part of writing detailed product pages involves nailing the unique value proposition. You can’t simply post product descriptions to your website and hope people will flock to them.
There’s too much competition for the same products. Identify what your products presumably do better than anyone else’s and focus on it.
“If you’re selling a washing machine that rates poorly on energy consumption but runs a fast cycle,” Nathalie Nahai of Psychology Today shares, “you could potentially prime your visitors for speed and influence them into comparing the speed of your machine against the speed of others. Getting your consumers to pay attention to speed and not price could result in greater sales for you, and a blow to your competitors.”
Consumers have an easier time trusting companies that seem to know their stuff. Writing out product pages and blogs is a good place to start. You’ll also want a strong social media presence and industry-specific details on your website.
Customer testimonials are among the most impactful methods of establishing a website. Studies have proven time and again that consumers want to know what others—even complete strangers—think when buying something. Eighty-eight percent say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Gather customer reviews and post them on your site, but don’t delete the negative reviews. “They actually help sales if there are only a few of them and they are politely worded,” says Peep Laja of ConversionXL, but she warns it can go too far. “If there’s tons of negative reviews, most people are naturally turned off and look elsewhere.” At this point, you’ll have to engage in some serious damage control to restore your good reputation.
Make a Good Impression
It takes about 15 seconds for a first impression to form, and that impression is very difficult to change once it’s in place. This is critical to designing a good website.
According to a study from the Harvard Business Review, the little things that make your website look professional and authentic often go a lot further in convincing customers to buy than the words on your page.
“When making decisions involving risk, such as an online purchase from a website, consumers tend to rely more on intuition than on deliberation,” study authors write.
This means that purchasing decisions, particularly high-risk ones, are often focused more on the first impression than they are on a long, drawn-out decision-making process. Customers will consider all the factors of your website and products, but the gut feeling that your company is a good or bad bet will ultimately have the biggest influence on them.
“’Simple’ changes (such as page layouts and choices of fonts, images, and colors) may be far more critical to associative trust-formation processes than we previously understood,” the authors continue. “Our findings suggest that what seem like merely aesthetic design choices may actually be the way your customers learn to trust you (or don’t).”
Use Simple Design
If you want to make a good first impression, simplicity is the name of the game. Cluttered, unorganized websites leave a negative impression on users, which can be detrimental to your sales. It’s all about cognitive fluency, which is the human tendency to gravitate towards the familiar and easy to comprehend.
This means designing a website that has a white or light background, simple fonts, well-coordinated colors, and words and names that are easy to pronounce. It makes a huge difference in your ability to impress and influence customers to buy something.