Web design for online businesses

Web Design & Strategy – Building your online business

Web Design is Everything

In the digital age, business is quickly shifting away from brick-and-mortar shops to instead focus more heavily on e-commerce. A well-built website is now a requirement, with mobile integration quickly becoming a standard. Yet, many people still think that an e-commerce website is merely a “different medium” compared to the traditional sales method. It’s not. Mobile e-commerce platforms have completely changed the ball game of business in general.

The Customer Funnel is Dead

In the traditional business sense of the “customer funnel,” Customer A would visit Business A to purchase a hat. Upon entering the store, a salesperson from Business A would help Customer A find the right hat with the perfect style, colour and size. Customer A then purchases the hat from Business A.

Unfortunately, business doesn’t work like this anymore. In today’s world, Customer A would visit Business A, find the perfect hat, style and size, then buys the item off Amazon. Or, Customer A would go online to find reviews for the hat, realize that Business B is having a sale for that item, and go to that store instead. Mobile e-commerce completely cuts off the customer funnel before its completion.

Web Design – David’s Goliath-Slaying Stone

Taking on the e-commerce medium can be a daunting task. How can a small business thrive when larger companies can undercut sales for the same product? Take your edge back by having a targeted web design, supported by consumer insights. If you know your audience well, and make sure that they recognize you in return, you’ll be ready to take on your strongest competitor(s).

At Cucumber Marketing, we believe that your branding is the core of your business. Good web design places that brand at the forefront of your strategy and entices your customer with the right promotion, at the right place, at the right time. Here are some key points:

Poor Web Design Kills Business

Even in the traditional customer funnel, you would require a good salesperson to push a lead into a sale. In e-commerce, smooth web design is your online salesperson; if your customers cannot find the item(s) or information they want, they will leave. The #1 task of web design is to give your customers the right information when they want it, to make it easily found on your website.

Good Web Design Generates Opportunities

Promotions and discounts are only useful if the right customers see them at the right time. If you have a promotion for 10 different products littered across your front page, you decrease the chance that each promotion successfully reaches its intended audience. Instead, create several landing pages that specifically cater to the needs of your incoming customers. If you’re a retailer for 10+ different products, make sure that each product page provides the right information, targeted promotions, and trendy items to keep a prospective customer interested.

The key word here is “trendy.” The magic of e-commerce website is that you’re constantly generating “leads” and pushing potential sales just by having site uptime. The best way to increase your sales is to be “in-the-know” regarding trends in your industry. Do you sell protein shakes? You might want to lurk in body-building forums and find out what athletes love (and hate!) about your product. Once you generate a list of insights, make sure you address these on your website. Instead of merely pushing your product, research your core customer’s usage habits and offer a solution to their troubles. Here’s the difference:

“Protein shakes at great value! Buy now!” <– Product-Focused

“Gain weight fast without hating your diet. Our protein shakes are proven to work, and taste great as well!” <– Solution, Usage-Focused

Now that you’ve figured out how to position your product, you have to get to work at making your campaign.

Crafting Your Campaign

Crafting a campaign can sometimes be difficult. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Matching a Customer

Your total traffic isn’t an important metric. Your total conversion rate is the metric to track. With this in mind, you want each landing page to be a conversion machine. If you create a promotion to advertise “svelte hats,” then you had better attract “svelte hat” customers to that specific page. All other customers do not matter (unless they may be interested in buying svelte hats in the future)!

Making a Sale (Improving Conversion)

By setting up a landing page for “svelte hats” and driving targeted traffic to that page, you’re essentially setting up a “meeting” between each client and your “online salesperson” in the form of your website. Each salesperson needs to be persuasive, so here are the main points you must hit:

  • Create Urgency – If you don’t create the need to purchase your product right now then your “client” can potentially run off and buy a similar product elsewhere. This is where you need to stress “limited-time offers” to keep them on the page.
  • Stress Benefits– If you’re not pushing any limited-time offers, you need to stress a reason for your “client” to stay on the page. Do you offer unique services? Cheaper products? Cool swag and benefits? Make sure that your customers know them!
  • Reduce Barriers – Customers defect from sales due to barriers such as shipping, lack of research time, or inability to try a product. You can improve conversion by identifying your “worst barrier” in making a sale and dissolving it. For example, if the main deterrent in buying a hat is the shipping, you may consider dropping your 20% discount and instead offer “free shipping.” The cost may end up being the same, but the lack of barriers may actually increase overall sales. Experiment!

Excellent Web Design Promotes Loyalty

In the digital age when switching costs are so low and the need for “best value” is so high, the only thing that generates true business value is your company brand. Do you stand for a particular cause? Do you promote a particular service or goal? Why do people buy your product? You need to know your own brand before you can start building brand loyalty.

If you know where you stand and what makes you special, you will start naturally building a network of “brand advocates.” Your customers are your greatest asset. If you keep your customers happy, you will essentially “flip the funnel” and have your customers generate business for you! Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool that is strengthened a thousand-fold by social media.

Your website should facilitate engagement. A good product induces satisfaction, but an excellent customer experience induces loyalty. Your web design should be able to facilitate healthy discussion surrounding your brand, stay on top of trends with seasonal products, and create a cool user experience overall. Always think: Why would someone buy from [your website] instead of [your competitor’s website]? Work to create a customer experience that will win over the hearts of your customers, every time.

Want to chat about marketing? Give us a call or send us an email! Our office is located in downtown Vancouver, and we offer a full suite of marketing services to fit the needs of your business. Whether you’re in need of branding services, web design or an online marketing strategy – we are here to help you grow your brand.