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Influence of visual factors on e-commerce sites

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 by Servage

Influence of Visual Factors on E-commerce SitesVisual appeal of a physical or virtual product is the prime deciding factor in conversion. Therefore, managing the visuals of e-commerce websites definitely increases the ROI and conversion. Let’s check which visual factors influence our e-commerce website performance. When we view a product, we just ask our mind and heart subconsciously how it looks at first glance. If we get a positive response, we are less reluctant to buy it, whether it is a physical product in a store or a virtual product on a website – or just a signup. Therefore we can say that before applying other sensors, we use our eyes at rapid speed first, to build a first impression – which greatly impacts our later decision. Many positive factors can be overlooked or ignored, if the first impression is negative.

Technically, there are many factors influencing the visual appeals of websites, such as overall layout, colors, design themes, etc. However, when we check individual visual factors of a web-shop, we can name the following ones, which influence it the most:

Image slider or carousel

Sliders and carousels feature grand product descriptions at premium locations – usually at the top – of your website. If they are used, they will often be the dominant element – and must therefore be designed with proper care.

Utilizing good images and short and sweet – yet appealing – texts or sentences are leaving great impact on the minds of visitors. However, many conversion experts deny its importance and favor a static banner or image. If we look closely, the trends towards responsive designing don’t favor the carousels at all, as it’s occupying big space on the tiny smartphone screens. Moreover, it’s a non-standard design, which may frustrate the visitors even on desktops. Recent statistics of heat-maps have revealed that very few are seriously looking at banners and reading texts. Thus, designing such banners may prove to be bad for conversion optimisation. However, there is no doubt that many kinds of businesses and their websites use sliders, including prominent companies like Amazon – such as a holiday theme banner for example. So, if done right, conversion will improve. Use split-testing to prioritise between multiple variations of your sliders.

Callout Boxes

In technical terms, callout boxes are not much different from the sliders or static banners or headers. However, their placement is always below the header or on the web page wherever they are appropriate. Since they are usually two or three in numbers, they offer unique opportunities to push your various messages in effective ways. They can please the search engines too with their optimised content copy in texts. Engaging copy is highly effective if you leave it at mid-way and give maybe place “Read More”-button next to them, leading to a relevant page.

CTA

Call-to-action buttons are always in highlighted and get the immediate attention of the visitors. Moreover, effective CTA initiates the action and lead visitors to interact with your site further. If your design is not implementing visually appealing CTA there is less chance to obtain good conversion. If you are working to improve conversion rates, then the right placements of CTA buttons – and their design – is quite an important thing. You can place CTAs on carousels and callout boxes too, if the message is clear enough to trigger an instant action.

References & More Reading

Understanding Ecommerce Design, Part 2: Banners and Boxes
Understanding Ecommerce Design, Part 1: Key Components

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