21 Jan Does Your Online Image Build Trust and Revenue?
When we talk about websites, we’re not talking about simple web pages that look like the efforts of the local nerd or enthusiastic script-kiddy. Nor are we talking about the retro websites of the early nineties either. Serious businesses require serious websites.
People Still Judge A Book by Its Cover
We’ve come a long way in technology but some habits are hard to break. One of those habits is judging a book by its cover. Time has proven over and over that online consumers are more apt to shop from a website that “looks” professional. But the problem with taking advantage of this inclination is that we can have a hard time defining what exactly “professional” is and what it “looks” like. For what’s deemed professional in the eyes of some is labeled tacky or over-the-top by others and vice versa.
Who Gets to Define “Professional”
The graphics design industry has always struggled with defining the “professional look” because while its clients want to look professional, they also want to maintain individuality and creativity: two dynamics that contribute to the quandary at hand.
Is there a feasible way to incorporate individuality and creativity in an environment that depends on a professional atmosphere? If we asked this question thirty years ago or more, we would have been told, “no.” However we are again, facing a new generation of consumer demands. Today’s consumers demand fresh, innovative approaches, yet they will not accept anything that’s less than professional. As online merchants who want to satisfy current consumer demand, we are left to define “professional” as whatever it means to the buying market.
The K.I.S.S. Principle
Fortunately through extensive surveys, user feedback, and behavioral analysis, we’ve come to understand what consumers regard as “professional.” Surprisingly, none of it sacrifices creativity or innovative solutions the way that it could have a couple of generations ago. This is because in the minds of billions of online shoppers, “professional websites” are built according to the most important principle of web design, and that principle is simplicity.
Over time, consumers have consistently demonstrated a strong propensity toward websites that are simple to read, to navigate, and of course, to use. And since the ultimate goal behind business websites is to process sales, the successful ones are crafted in such a way that they completely eliminate anything that could interfere with that goal.
Nothing on a simple website distracts visitors, while everything in its entire design leads visitors along the path of making a purchase. And whatever choices are made available, you can bet that each one of them enables visitors to accomplish some sort of sales-oriented task.
There are numerous reasons why complex websites don’t contribute to the success of the online entrepreneur, but for the most part, it’s because they overwhelm potential consumers and dissuade sales. In fact, the more complicated a website appears, the more likely it is that a visitor will leave it. Websites that deviate from simplicity slow down the impulsive nature of the online consumer, and, in the worst case scenario, could completely alienate themselves from the very markets that they’re attempting to serve.