words Alexa Wang
Like it or not, online shopping has revolutionized the whole world, and led to the creation of the 200 billion dollar man. There is a load of money in e-commerce; it’s the largest sector of any electronic industry, worth over $25 trillion globally, and still growing year on year.
Part of that growth comes from an expanding audience, as people start to make use of logistics systems and more, but part of it comes from increasing the value that comes from web purchases i.e. making the average user buy more stuff. Here are the clever secrets behind how that’s done:
The conversion funnel
You’d probably like to think you make a fully informed decision before you buy a product, but you’re much more likely to have been led down the path of a conversion funnel. This is a funnel that guides potential customers from awareness to interest to decision-making to an action (like buying a product), and good web designers always keep this in mind. To quote DigitalSilk, an NYC web design company which has helped big businesses like HP and Xerox increase their conversion rates: “We create every element of the UI and UX design to propel your users further through the funnel and facilitate the conversion process.” This means that every element of a website is tested to see if it increases the likelihood somebody will buy a product and every single part of the user experience is tailored to make the buying process as simple and quick as possible.
Connecting with customers
A good website will know exactly the sort of person would buy a product from it, and then tries to connect with them on a personal level. That is part of the reason that many websites have started blog pages (the other reason is SEO); as, if you find content on a webpage valuable, you will be more open to developing a relationship with the company behind the content. What’s more, if content is available for free, you will feel like you’ve received a gift and want to give back, perhaps with a payment, which is the strategy behind emailing potential customers with exclusive content. First impressions matter a lot, so the impact of design cannot be overstated when trying to connect with customers.
Offering social proof
Can 50 million Americans be wrong? Elvis didn’t think so when RCA Victor released an Elvis album called “50,000,000 Elvis Fans can’t be wrong”. What the record floggers were doing was encouraging the record to be bought by telling prospective customers that other people have done the thinking you’re about to do, and they have decided that this is a product definitely worth buying. Social proof is used on websites in the form of customer reviews (so important in swinging undecided purchasers) and even placing logos of established brands that have had some connection with the company. Social proof puts prospective customers at ease by encouraging a ‘safety in numbers’ mentality, linking back to the days when humans lived in tribes.