Add credibility to your landing pages and order forms by focusing on design.
To set yourself apart in the online marketplace, the first thing experts often suggest is branding. It’s true—branding is essential. A congruent brand image creates an experience for shoppers and helps boost return customer rates through association, brand loyalty, and customer identity. While branding relies heavily on design, the fundamental framework that design is built off is user experience.
User experience is a broad term for the interaction a user has with an entity. According to Emily Stevens, writer and contributor for CareerFoundry, user experience is about serving the customer by providing a path to satisfaction.
“UX designers combine market research, product development, strategy and design to create seamless user experiences for products, services and processes,” she writes. “They build a bridge to the customer, helping the company to better understand —and fulfill— their needs and expectations.”
If developing a thoughtful UX for your product’s website is not in your wheelhouse, it’s worth it to shell out the funds to hire help. User experience is the number one “make or break” element when it comes to building customer trust. Let’s take a look at how users decide to trust and why UX matters in their decisions.
Customer Trust in Online Retail
Consumers are looking for three key points when it comes to developing brand trust in the online retail arena:
- Honesty: Is the information I’m receiving true?
- Transparency: Is this company and its products what they claim to be?
- Security: Is my data and information secure on this website?
All three of these factors can be achieved through an optimized user experience. Each aspect of your website must placate any potential worries that a user may have around those topics. Making information easy to understand and locate; developing a reassuring order form; and maintaining congruent design and aesthetic throughout the website prove to a customer that the digital wool is not being pulled over their eyes.
Cross Cultural Implications
It’s not just western users that feel this way. According to a study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group, it doesn’t matter what country potential customers are accessing a website from—they use the same basic factors to determine if it is trustworthy. The research bolstered the belief that, while design trends change, humans across the globe continue to approach website usability with the same needs.
Familiar and Intuitive
Designers are probably familiar with “Jakob’s Law of UX Design,” but laymen who are business-minded and attracted to innovation and newness may not be. The adage states: “Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know.” A failure to abide by this general rule of thumb is likely why some websites that are built without the guidance of a UX designer fail to reach desired conversion rates.
The science behind why users prefer the familiar boils down to people’s propensity to stick with what they know rather than learn something new. This is due in part to intuitive thinking which guide’s the actions of a user more often than their reflective thinking—which is slower and more engaged.
This is all to say that your web design should resemble websites that users are familiar with. Save inventiveness for your product and stick to what the users know and expect for your website. Trust is earned when users find what they’re looking for without have to teach themselves to use your website.
Consistency in Design
One of the most important ingredients in developing trust with users is internal design consistency. There is only one way to achieve this: adherence to strict style guidelines. Throughout the website—from the home page, to the order form—the same type, icons, colors, and layout schemes must be present. For one, this infers to the user that the business has an attention to detail and it instills the feeling of a congruent experience for the potential customer. Without congruency in internal design and branding imagery, the experience begins to feel unfamiliar, which can cause users to abort their buying objective.
Implied Quality Through Attention to Detail
Everybody who uses the internet knows that things break sometimes. Redirect pages happen and links don’t always go where they are supposed to. There’s a certain amount of forgiveness for tech failure, but at the end of the day, these seemingly small things spell trouble for user trust.
Before you launch your website, do a thorough audit. Make sure that anything clickable prompts the right behavior when actioned. Proofread everything. Double check transaction functionality. Small missteps make your brand and design look lazy or sloppy. Performing fine-toothed quality assurance will make sure users trust that your website represents the standard of your product and your overall brand.
UX design always has a hand in steering how potential customers will interact with the website and can also influence profit patterns. For example, users tend to accept defaulted options, so—depending on your ethics—you can choose to set a default quantity to one that is more profitable. However, while you may notice more revenue coming in, design decisions like this catch up to online retailers in the long run.
Users notice manipulative design. Being forthright in your design intentions is never a bad idea and will build consumer trust that will pay dividends down the line.
A Good Place to Be
If you started selling your product on a rinky dinky website and you’re now noticing a need to elevate your UX, this is a good place to be. Users might not like change, but in situations like this, change means growth. Optimizing your landing page and order form to be more honest, transparent, and secure will only help your product and attract more affiliates. Building relationships with your customer base through honest information about why you’re redesigning will help them get on board and secure their trust even more so.
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