Imagine your perfect online store.
What kind of impression it should reflect?
How it should look like in order to attract buyers and represent your brand in the best way possible?
You should perceive your online store as a stage and your product as a star in front of the crowds applauding and wanting more.
Lights, order, details, signs – everything on that stage has to be envisioned and executed with only one goal on your mind – supporting leading role and making the star of the show truly shine.
When your eCommerce site looks perfectly well, it portrays a certain message, certain lifestyle and values that your product carries.
That is what should make your buyers react and identify themselves with the product and the brand.
Beware of “Halo effect”
Buyers need 0,05 seconds to decide whether your online store is visually attractive.
That means that you have nothing but a split of a second to leave great first impression.
Social psychology defined the phenomena called Halo Effect, that causes people to be rather subjective when making a certain judgment and transposing feelings towards one characteristic to others that don’t correlate with the same aspect.
For example, someone that is tall and attractive will appear to be intelligent and trustworthy, even though we cannot find logical proof that can confirm that being tall is in any way connected to intelligence or honesty.
If potential buyers visit your online store and the store doesn’t look appealing, if the colours are simply wrong and your font is irritating, they will think that your products will leave exactly the same impression.
Consistency equals professionalism
Before you even begin planning entire online store design, think about your brand.
The essence of creating successful brand lyes in your ability to tell a story. It lies in the ability to position your product in buyer’s minds in a unique way.
Your online store appearance simply has to be related to your message, and visuals have to be related to your brand.
In case you have already built your brand offline, your online store should most certainly reflect that.
Be careful and try to merge brand messages both visually and textually, and don’t let them depend on the sale funnels you’re using.
Take Apple for example.
Apple’s strategy is focused on emotions – their message projects a certain lifestyle.
They emphasise imagination, freedom, innovation, empowerment of users and people in general, through technology.
Apple’s personality is leaning toward being simple – it’s cool, it’s modern, friendly, informal and young.
Their philosophy is visible through each and every product, through the look of their online store and their traditional stores.
Transparency, lighting and laid back atmosphere is completely coherent with functional and modern design of products Apple delivers.
Brand values are concentrated and presented in every single promotion and sales funnel.
Make sure your online store design brings the same feeling and appearance as your traditional store.
Brand is your identity in the business world.
You should always make sure you maintain your consistency in order to:
- be memorable
- show you’re serious about your business
- eliminate completely possibility of being replaced with some other brand
- highlight your brand’s personality
Girls like pink Boys like blue?
Just like carefully picked brand name, colour also carries important meaning that always becomes crucial for the brand identity.
There are numerous attempts to connect certain colours with specific emotions and associations.
Yellow – happiness, creativity but also caution, cowardice and egocentrism.
Orange – energy, vitality but also sign of bad taste.
Red – power, excitement, courage, youth, but also aggression, danger and cruelty.
Purple – fantasy, wisdom, nobility, excessiveness and conceit.
Blue – knowledge, freshness, peace, trust, dignity, authority but also depression, coldness and indifference.
Green – fertility, health, harmony, youth but also envy, poison, inexperience.
White – pureness, simplicity, peace, but also fragility, isolation and sterility.
Black – power, seriousness, elegance, but also death, fear, emptiness.
Researches often emphasise certain connection between sex and colour.
But, it turned out that blue is favourite among both – man and woman.
Least favourite colour was orange, followed by brown.
The biggest difference is visible when it comes to purple which is among top favourites for woman.
Man, on the other hand, have placed purple in the bottom few. Also, data showed that men prefer bright, and woman colours that are more subtle.
Power lyes in the context and user’s expectations
There is no clear and direct guide that can help you choose your brand’s colours or choose proper design for your online store.
Cultural differences, personal taste or previous experience can often blur the effect that certain colours could have on the buyers.
The idea that orange or blue will automatically evoke some specific emotion is no more precise than your today’s horoscope.
However, what we have to determine before choosing colours is the context in which they will be used.
And the context is your brand – feeling, mood, your brand’s picture – that is what plays the key role when persuading buyers.
Colours are significant because they have to be incorporated in your brand’s personality.
Predicting what buyers think is suitable for your product, is something that you can also note when thinking and defining your palette.
Buyers do have opinion whether a colour matches the product.
Also, researches show that colour has very important role when it comes to buyer’s perception of the brand or brand’s personality.
Certain associations in general, can be followed by certain colours.
For example, brown will always associate to soil, Earth, rustic, and can be well used on online store that sells wooden furniture or leather based products.
Below, you can see how one of our clients, Skinnlaaven, uses earthly colours to portray their products made of leather.
But, remember the last chocolate commercial you have seen.
Brown is most probably the dominating colour.
That’s why we can conclude that there is no universal rule that can be applied when it comes to industry or a product.
If that would be the case, banks would use blue, cosmetic brands would almost always pick purple, and all whole foods sellers would choose green.
That brings us to another extremely important component when it comes to colour choosing.
One of the worst things you could possibly do is choosing the same colour as one of your direct competitors.
Brand’s strength lies in capability to stand out.
Does form follows function?
Famous american architect Louis Sullivan describes one of the basic themes of modern architecture – form should be direct result of its function.
Now, can we apply this to online store design?
Researchers say it cannot be ignored. Google conducted a study when they wanted to establish users first impression based on two factors:
- visual complexity – how complex is the site design?
- recognisability – how does the site design fits into visitors expectations?
Results have shown that both factors are crucial when it comes to creating judgment about site’s visual attraction and that they are intertwined.
If design was too complicated, users reported that it was less beautiful even though it fulfilled their expectations.
In a situation where the website was extremely creative, or atypical for the visitors, it created negative first impression even when it was simple.
This should be understood more as an aesthetic recommendation than as an absolute rule.
It most definitely doesn’t mean that all the web stores should look alike.
Instead, determine your success criteria. What is it that will do best for your product?
Online store design if you’re selling toys will be completely different than, let’s say online site that sells fishing equipment.
Don’t let buyers search for the products extensively, or get tired from just looking at a website that is crowded and with loads of things going on.
Maybe you can sell anything to anyone, at all times.
Maybe you have perfectioned art of direct selling. Your online store, however is a different story.
Without the visual appeal, no one will stay that long to decide to take the credit card out of the wallet.