Regardless of whether you’re speaking about fashion, interior, or web design, one thing is certain: fads are constantly coming and going.
When it comes to web design specifically, retailers need to stay on top of trends in order to deliver the best possible customer experience. If your site looks or feels outdated, you risk confusing the visitor or losing their trust; meaning you miss out on sales.
Redesigning your site often is not only important to appear cutting-edge, but also to ensure your site is functioning as well as possible. Site design encompasses more than how your online store looks. In fact, how your site functions is a much more important element of web design. No matter how clean or beautiful your site may appear at first glance, if it isn’t user-friendly, it’s not going to convert.
Even if you’re happy with your current site, changing it up now and then is proven to attract customer attention in a positive way. Design matters so much to customers, when brands redesign their site they experience anywhere from a 20% – 300% growth in revenue within the first six months post-launch.
Unsure of where your site could be improved? Start out by borrowing some tips and inspiration from the best in the business.
BigCommerce recently held our annual Design Awards, highlighting the best site designs by industry. Below are five redesign trends we’ve seen lead to impressive results. These include real examples of how they can improve your customer experience and help your brand grow.
Show the product in action
This tip sounds simple, but is often overlooked by companies, especially those selling particularly complex or unique products. Whether you’re selling sporting goods or a smartwatch, seeing exactly how the product works can boost customer confidence.
Soundwall is an innovative company offering flat-panel wall speakers with interchangeable art. Their product is so innovative, in fact, that customers visiting the site had a hard time wrapping their head around exactly how the product worked. The company decided to undergo a site redesign with a new emphasis on displaying the product at work.
Simplify and Pair
On the new home page, Soundwall simplified their message to tell customers exactly what they’re selling, and paired the text with a large photo of the product in action. This was a vital change for the brand in making it clear they were selling a two-part purchase: a speaker and a piece of art.
“‘Stream Music from a Work of Art’ was the primary message,” said Adam Goodman, president of Soundwall.
“From there, we expanded on key features paired with simple illustrations. We wanted site visitors to truly understand the product prior to guiding them toward the art selection and buy page.”
After relaunching the site, the average amount of time visitors spend on Soundwall’s site has increased by over 200%. Visitors are also more engaged and less confused by the new homepage; which intrigues them just enough to encourage them to further explore the site. The new site saw an increase in average pages per session from 1.25 to 2.5, and a 60% increase in engagement from the home page to shop page.
Now visitors better understand what the company is offering from the get go and are directed with a strong call to action to “Shop Now,” creating a 50% reduction in site bounce rate. The clear messaging and imagery not only gained the interest of individual shoppers but also commercial shoppers, most notably large hospitality companies.
The new and simplified design led to Soundwall’s most important win yet: one of the largest hotel goods distributors in the industry decided to feature Soundwall’s products in their line globally.
Let the customer build their own product
When customers are buying items like furniture, it can be hard to know how the piece will actually look or fit in their home. That’s why Human Solution decided to ensure every piece works for their customers by letting customers design the products themselves.
Human Solution’s customizable office products harness the power of personalization to make sales. While many companies sell ergonomic desks and office chairs, Human Solution allows customers to completely build their own products online. They can make the decisions on product size, color and material.
“Our inspiration came from our standing desk customers,” said Greg Venditto of Human Solution. “We know they love to build custom desks, select options, add accessories and more, and we wanted to give them an online experience that would let them quickly and easily build the desk they’ve always wanted.”
Human Solution redesigned their site to put the customization aspect of their products at the forefront of their messaging. Additionally, they made it easy for customers to picture what their products would look like. They did this by including dynamic product imagery that changes in real time reflecting every choice a customer makes; allowing them to watch their desk come to life on their screen.
Customers can even visualize their entire office setup before ever purchasing a product. The website allows users to add in the lights, standing mats, storage, keyboard trays, and other accessories to the image. This helps customers get a clear visual picture of how their future office will look, and helps the company up=sell office accessories.
Since the launch, Human Solutions has seen a 21% increase in overall conversions, with an even larger increase in mobile conversions.
Capture mobile sales with one-page checkout
There has been a shift industry-wide toward customers using their mobile devices just as often, if not more, to browse online stores. If your site is not responsive on mobile devices or tablets, it’s likely hurting your business.
NatoMounts offers magnetic mounts that hold mobile devices, tablets and laptops firmly in place while operating a vehicle. Prior to redesign, the site ironically had a lackluster mobile experience with a tedious checkout process.
Mobile Friendly with Fast Checkout
“We designed our website to tackle the growing mobile market, and allow visitors to checkout in less than a minute,” said Brandon Chatham of NatoMounts. “We specifically used the new one-page checkout provided by BigCommerce and modified the cart page design to accomplish this goal.”
After launching the new, mobile-friendly site, NatoMounts conversion rate grew by 6%. They now see more than 70% of their traffic coming in on mobile devices.
Leverage customer images
Social media is not only a great way to promote your store. It’s a great way to build brand loyalty, and showcase customer reviews by leveraging photos your customers post.
Fashion brand Pink Lily sells clothing that is colorful, crisp and fun, but the retailer sells more than clothes. They truly sell a lifestyle, centered around being young, fun, classy and girly.
Social Media and Customer Pictures
However, the Pink Lily team knew their current website was not reflecting this lifestyle. So they decided to redesign it to better fit their and their customers’ aesthetic. An easy way to showcase the brand’s aesthetic and build customer loyalty was displaying the clothing on the customers themselves.
They added featured images of customers wearing Pink Lily items on the home page of the new website; along with colorful product photos and complementary design elements.
“We have customers tell us daily how beautiful our website is,” said Chris Gerbig, founder of Pink Lily. “We started out of our garage three years ago, and now we have 25,000 customers per day. They are coming to PinkLily.com because the website is beautifully designed and our products complement the look of the website.”
Go bigger with your imagery
One of the drawbacks of shopping online is customers can’t see or handle the products in real life. If your site isn’t displaying products in a way that can show fine details, you may be missing sales. This is especially true if you sell customized, non-returnable or high-priced items.
MotoXArt provides graphics for racing bikes, for professionals and hobbyists alike. Many of their pieces are customized, and all contain a range of small decal pieces; making it imperative for their customers to be sure of what they’re buying before they check out.
Re-Thinking Product Picture Size
When the MotoXArt team decided to redesign their site, they first chose a predesigned theme as a starting point. Then they customized elements of the site in order to resize their product images and display large thumbnails. This made it easier for customers to find what they were looking for while browsing and to differentiate between similar patterns and designs.
“Since we re-designed the website, we find that customers are more attracted to the site and browse longer,” said Steven Webb of MotoXart. “They’re visiting more items which has led to a 25% increase in sales over a 12-month period.”
Style Rocks is another retailer who benefited from putting an emphasis on imagery on their revamped site. The fine custom jewelry brand redesigned its site to display detailed images of their one-of-a-kind jewelry.
“In addition to showcasing the product beautifully in a suitably premium environment, our new website theme also translated well into mobile and tablet environments,” said Pascale Helyar-Moray, founder and CEO of Style Rocks. “The theme also allowed for a bigger showcase of the beautiful product photography we have, with the carousels being wider than ever.”
Elevate Customer Reviews
The Style Rocks team elevated customer reviews as a focal point of the site. These are a crucial element of the decision-making process for customers buying high-priced, customized items.
Since the unveiling of the new website in late 2016, Style Rocks’ conversion rate increased from 0.39% to 0.57% for the first quarter of 2017; as compared to the previous year. There has also been a boost in the average order value from $730 to over $800.
You don’t always need a complete design overhaul to get the job done. Sometimes small tweaks like using larger, more detailed images or showcasing your customers front and center, can do wonders in growing your revenue.
Take the time to visit your site, this time with fresh eyes as a customer would. Is it easy to browse products? Is checking out as quick and simple as possible? Often, the answer to keeping up with today’s design trends is easy: simplify.