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Every business needs to have an online presence.
Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space, you need to build a website to showcase and sell your products or services.
However, slapping together a website using a free platform, with themes and plugins, isn’t enough. To see real results, you should invest in professional website design.
A whopping 93% of people say they’d leave a website if it’s poorly designed, so the cost you incur from designing a quality website design is worth it.
Why is Website Design Crucial for Your Business?
With over 1.8 billion active websites in existence, your site needs to be unique to stand out.
This, among a few other reasons discussed below, is why it’s so important for your website to have a quality design.
How Web Design Contributes to Your SEO
Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of digital marketing, and the way you design and build your website impacts the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
A poorly designed website can lead to crawling issues, broken links, slow load speeds, and many other technical errors resulting in poor SEO. You can use an SEO analysis tool to check for and rectify errors on your website.
Web Design Helps You Build Trust With Your Audience
Another reason website design is essential to your business is that it sets the tone for how your customers perceive your brand.
The way your customers regard your brand is crucial because it determines whether they like or trust you enough to do business with you. If your website’s look and feel aren’t up to the standards your customers expect, they’re likely to turn to your competitors.
On the flip side, a well-designed website helps drive your customers’ confidence in you. The result is that they’ll not only buy from you, but they’re likely to turn into repeat customers.
How UX Affects Website Design
When embarking on a website design or redesign, you must consider user experience (UX). UX refers to the overall experience your visitors have as they navigate through your website. It’s an important aspect of website design as it contributes to your customers’ overall customer journey.
You should design your website in such a way that it’s easy and pleasurable to use. Failure to do so could result in high bounce rates. After they’ve left due to an unpleasant experience, getting them to revisit your website is next to impossible.
On the other hand, website design also influences UX. A poor design results in negative UX and vice versa.
As we look at the website design principles to help you drive sales, keep UX in mind. And make sure to avoid website design mistakes that could cause your conversions and sales to plummet.
7 Website Design Principles That Drive Sales
Ready to design a website that delights your customers so much they’ll loosen their purse strings? Let’s dive into the seven website design principles to help you drive sales.
1. Keep It Simple
One of the most essential website design principles you must follow is to keep everything simple. It must be easy to scroll through and the content easy to read. Example:
Don’t overcomplicate your website in the name of being fancy. The point of a website is not to impress visitors. The main point of good website design is to convert visitors into customers. To do so, your website must present information in a simple and easy-to-understand way.
Adding too many elements, colors, or images only provides distractions that could potentially make your visitors forget the main reason they visited your website. Keeping it simple helps your visitors easily find their way around and helps increase your website’s conversion rates.
2. Consider White Space
An aspect of web design that’s easy to overlook is white space. Also called negative space, it’s the area between elements on a webpage. This could be elements like visuals, typography, icons, sections on a page, and more.
Research shows one of the biggest website design mistakes small businesses make is to overcrowd their web pages. Poor use of white space also topped the list.
White space balances the elements on a page and helps users better navigate the content.
However, one of the most significant benefits of white space in web design is that it gives your website a clean, minimalist look if used well. It’s aesthetically pleasing, easy on the eyes, and makes it easy for the brain to process the information on the page.
Another strategic use of white space is to help direct the flow of your content. White space is an active element of your pages that you should consider when designing your website.
Like all good things, however, too much white space can negatively impact your UX. Your website visitors won’t be too happy to scroll through half a page of nothingness. Not only can it be confusing, but it can also be frustrating. Both can result in high bounce rates.
3. Include Minimal Distractions
As much as you may want your website to stand out from your competitors’ websites, be careful how you do it.
Instead of enhancing UX, some design elements and features do more harm to your website than good, and these distractions can cause your conversion rates to plummet.
- Auto-playing sound and video: Nothing distracts (and startles) website visitors more than loud audio unexpectedly coming from their speakers. Instinct will move them to close the tab playing the audio. Consequently, you’ll lose a lead.
- Excessive pop-ups: While the jury is still hung on whether pop-ups impact UX or not, one thing is sure: Excessive pop-ups are annoying. A pop-up every 10 seconds is frustrating and distracts your visitors from accomplishing what they came to do.
- Loud background images: Use background images judiciously. If your visitor’s eyes are drawn more to the background image than to your content, they’ll soon forget what they’re supposed to do there.
Even the slightest distraction could result in your visitors losing focus and leaving your website without converting.
4. Create Good Content
Content plays a crucial role in successful website design.
After all, that’s the main reason people visit your website: they’re looking for information.
For your content to aid in giving your website visitors a positive UX, it must be formatted well, relevant, and valuable.
Keep your keywords in mind when you create your content. Research and select which keywords you want to rank for, and optimize your content accordingly. Take care not keyword stuff, because Google can penalize you for it.
If you aren’t comfortable creating your own content, here’s a guide that can help. In the meantime, some basic content principles are below.
Format Your Content Well
No one wants to read a wall of text; it’s intimidating and off-putting.
To make your content easier to read, format it well. This includes using the following elements to break up the text:
- bullet points and numbered lists
- short sentences and paragraphs
- using an easy-to-read font
Well-formatted content not only makes it easy to read and digest your content, but it also aids in giving it an aesthetic appeal.
Be Relevant and Valuable
Content that looks good is still useless if it’s not useful to the reader.
You must invest in creating content your readers find relevant and valuable. To create such content, consider the following tips:
- Understand your audience: Audience research helps you understand your target audience’s pain points and aspirations.
- Conduct keyword research: This helps you know what kind of content your readers are looking for. It also helps you create content that’s SEO optimized.
- Use expert writers: Written communication is not child’s play. You must use expert writers to create content that easily conveys your message and moves readers to action.
Remember, the point of website content is to showcase your expertise and authority in a way that moves your readers to action. For them to trust your content, it must be relevant and valuable.
Over time, you should use heatmaps and other tools to track how your website performs. Take note of conversions and bounce rates for each page and improve each page that doesn’t perform well.
5. Ensure It’s Easy to Use and Navigate Your Website
One of the most important design elements of your website is your navigation. It helps visitors find their way around.
You don’t want your visitors to struggle to find the information they’re looking for on your website. Instead, you want to make it as easy as you can. Try as much as possible to keep all your essential information within three clicks.
Users must be able to flow from one page to another easily.
Before we look at navigation best practices, let’s quickly look at the different website navigation elements you can use:
- Header: This is the type of navigation that features a menu at the top of your pages.
- Sidebar: These menus are placed to the right or left of website content.
- Footer: Footer menus appear at the bottom of a web page and contain links to your website’s most important pages and resources.
No matter the kind of navigation, they all must be simple, self-explanatory, and descriptive. Your website visitors shouldn’t have to look around for the way to the next step; it must be obvious.
What’s more, when they click on a tab or link, it must take them exactly where they want to go. In short, make sure every link works perfectly.
6. Focus on Your Conversion Rates Across Your Website
A big mistake many businesses make when they design their websites is to leave them running on autopilot. They don’t check how the website is performing.
Everything you do on your website, from how it looks to the content you publish, is meant to do only one thing: converting your visitors into customers.
A conversion simply means a website visitor performs an action you have intended for them to take on that particular web page. The conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors performing the action intended for that page.
Analyze every page of your website and make sure it’s converting well. Use conversion optimization tools like Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, and others to track how your website is performing. The data you get can help you optimize underperforming pages.
7. Follow Best Practices for UX
The main objectives of UX on a website are to give users an experience that will keep them on your website. This includes factors such as:
- Usability: Make sure your website is easy to access and simple to use on all devices.
- Aesthetics: The way your website looks contributes to how your customers perceive your brand. It inspires trust and confidence.
- Information architecture (IA): Use UX design practices like sitemaps to keep your content organized and easy to navigate through.
User experience is one of the biggest components contributing to your website’s performance. Your visitors may not remember everything they read and see on your website, but they will remember the experience they have. That’s what will encourage them to take action and keep them coming back.
To have an effective web design, you should follow the best practices we’ve outlined above. Doing so will help draw in new leads, keep existing customers, and give you an edge over your competitors.
If you need help with your website’s design and your overall digital strategy, we are here to help.
Which web design principles have you discovered work best for you?
E-commerce retailers face many obstacles in the realm of online business.
A common yet persistent issue is deadstock products.
The accumulation of deadstock inventory can drive up operational and warehouse costs. As more products enter the warehouse, the cost of storing unsold items can drain the valuable financial resources of your business.
What’s more, seasonal trends and products make it difficult to eliminate deadstock products completely.
How to solve this problem? This article explains how to avoid deadstock and how to get rid of it when it piles up in your warehouse.
Let’s start with the definition for deadstock first.
What Does Deadstock Mean?
Deadstock is synonymous with dead inventory.
These are items that haven’t been sold and are very unlikely to sell. If you don’t use an inventory management system, these goods likely pile up and remain forgotten in your warehouse.
An alternative definition of “deadstock” refers to goods that are no longer sold in stores. In this case, these deadstock goods, like unused or unworn shoes or vintage apparel, are sold at much higher rates.
For the purposes of this article, we won’t explore the latter definition in this post.
Is Deadstock Bad for Business?
Deadstock comes with a price.
Retailers won’t be able to recoup the cost of manufacturing products if they never sell.
As a result, unwanted items take up space in your warehouse. A longer stay means more storage costs for your business.
How to calculate deadstock? To understand its consequences for your business, calculate the costs involved in holding onto these useless products.
List rental costs, utilities, equipment, insurance, and security used to guard your items.
Ideally, businesses make up for these costs through sales, but deadstock products remain stagnant in your warehouse. Instead of making a profit, retailers pay to keep these useless goods.
Deadstock also has an attached opportunity cost.
The space occupied by these items could have been used for “headstock” or highly profitable and bestselling items, which instantly make a profit for your business.
How to Avoid Deadstock
In my experience, you need to avoid deadstock as much as possible.
Business of Fashion reports that dead inventory costs around $50 billion per year for the US retail industry.
If a retail brand’s standard margin is around 60%, then a deadstock worth $40,000 represents around $100,000 worth of retail sales and $60,000 of gross margin dollars.
I’ve advised a lot of e-commerce stores, and I can tell you it’s best to avoid deadstock than to wait for it to snowball at a later time.
So today, I’ll share tips for avoiding deadstock.
1. Improve Inventory Management For Less Deadstock
Inventory management is a major cause of deadstock.
Fortunately, an inventory management system can guarantee your inventory is monitored and managed appropriately.
Here are some popular inventory management systems:
- inFlow Inventory: an inventory management system that can manage up to 100 products.
- Sortly Pro: a cloud-based inventory management system that can handle up to 100 transaction entries per month.
- Odoo: a free open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.
- ZhenHub: a cloud-based inventory management system for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
There is no right or wrong inventory management system. Instead, find a solution that meets your needs.
Once you have a system in place, keep track of the products on your shelves, as well as those that end up as dead inventory. In addition, you must identify the products with no sales or low sales for the past year.
An intelligent inventory management system can identify bestselling items, allowable return dates, expiration dates, as well as flopped goods you’re better off without.
2. Discount Potential Deadstock Items
Pay attention to what’s selling and what’s not.
Take into account the latest market trends. What are the popular products people love? How long will this trend last?
Seasonal products might be selling like hot cakes for the first few weeks, but the excitement fades eventually.
A good tip is to discount potential deadstock items by hosting end-of-season sales.
For example, Patagonia, The North Face, and H&M frequently have end-of-season sales to sell their jackets and coats once the winter season ends. This way, they can get rid of deadstock items and make way for next season’s collections.
Perishable goods won’t be sellable after their expiration date has passed. That’s precisely why you must monitor items that will almost reach their expiration date and then offer them at discounted prices.
Tools like Wasteless utilize AI to prevent food waste through a dynamic pricing model. By using machine learning, they can use variables like brand popularity, seasonal popularity, and expiration dates to determine the real-time price of perishable goods.
Of course, your profit margins will be lower than expected for discounted products. However, a discount helps you get rid of unpopular products, and it’s a lot better than stocking these goods in a warehouse and paying more for storage.
At the very least, you have an opportunity to make up for the manufacturing costs and break even.
3. Know Your Target Audience
This happens all the time: You promote the product, but it just won’t sell.
If an item remains unsold despite numerous promotions, your target audience probably doesn’t want them.
Every time you source potential products to sell, you must understand the conditions you are dealing with.
This is why market research and surveys are crucial to your success. The socioeconomic profile, gender, location, and interests of your audience can predict the outcome of the sales of your store.
So, before you pay for manufacturing costs, ensure your consumers want the product.
To get started, create a marketing persona for your online store. This doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here’s an example of a marketing persona that considers the demographics and characteristics of your consumers:
Another idea is to perform market research by sending regular surveys to pinpoint your customers’ needs. I highly recommend getting current customers as respondents because they’ve experienced your product and likely fit with the profile of your target market.
Survey Monkey recommends asking these questions to evaluate the product/market fit.
- How did you find this product?
- How would you feel if this product was no longer available?
- What are the benefits of using this product?
- What alternatives would you use if this product was no longer available?
- Have you recommended using this product to anyone?
It’s best to conduct surveys regularly to identify opportunities within your target market.
Also, understand the items and trends that customers love and take them into consideration for future product releases. You can use inventory management software to identify products that sold out quickly to make sure you’re selling the products that shoppers need.
Having more bestselling items is key to the elimination of deadstock, and while you won’t always be able to sell 100% of items in your inventory, knowing your customers and assessing product/market fit will help reduce the accumulation of deadstock.
4. Diversify Your Products to Avoid Deadstock
You may opt to sell bestselling items only to avoid deadstock completely.
However, you must guarantee that most of the bestselling items in your store don’t have the same features or characteristics. Otherwise, you can get more deadstock too.
Having too many similar items may mean cannibalization. Some customers may prefer one brand or item over another, which leads to low sales numbers for other goods.
This is common for retailers offering similar items from multiple brands.
Diversify your product inventory to avoid this consequence.
A good tip is to add complementary products of existing items in your e-commerce store. For starters, complementary goods are products that are used together. They may be completely different from an item you’re selling, but their combination of complementary goods will sweeten the deal.
For example, if you’re an iPhone retailer, then add iPhone cases and accessories to your arsenal. As the value of the latest iPhone decreases, it may become more mainstream. Thus, more people will be buying your cases and accessories in the future.
Alternatively, you can offer an assortment of related products, instead of selling them separately.
For instance, Harry’s – a men’s grooming brand – offers a “Truman Set,” which includes a foam shave gel, blades, and razors packed in one convenient package.
How Do I Get Rid Of Deadstock?
Now, if you already have deadstock, it’s time to get rid of it.
Here’s what you need to do.
1. Return Deadstock Items To Suppliers
If you’re in the window to return, this may be the best option.
In the short-run, you’ll pay a small fee, but at least you can avoid a major loss and more deadstock.
As long as the items are in good condition, you may be able to return them to the supplier. However, review the return policy of suppliers first to guarantee they allow this method.
Most suppliers have a restocking fee worth 10% of the merchandise. You’ll likely get an option to pay in credit rather than cash.
2. Put Deadstock in Clearance Sections and Bundles
What if you sold some items at a discount, but it just won’t sell? You can take it even further.
Find out the lowest price that you can sell these products. Then bundle related and complementary products together and sell them as a set.
For example, Glossier bundles related items together and offers them at a discounted price. Many beauty enthusiasts prefer a complete set sold at a discounted rate, rather than purchasing a single item with no discount.
If you have a lot of stocks with the same item, get rid of them through freebies and giveaways. Consumers love to get free stuff, so it may compel them to return to your online store and make a purchase.
During the holidays, you can bundle items to create holiday gift sets with an assortment of products.
For example, Soko Glam bundles miniature-sized skincare products and sells them as a gift set for the season of giving. Plus, customers who make orders above $135 will receive a Dreamy Satin Pillowcase while supplies last.
3. Sell to Deadstock Buyers
You’ll likely lose some cash, but getting some money back is better than a total loss.
Here are some deadstock buyers to consider:
- Wholesale: If you have a lot of deadstock in good condition, you can sell them to wholesalers. For clothing retailers, popular boutique wholesale clothing suppliers include Sugarlips Wholesale, Bloom Wholesale, Wholesale Fashion Square, Tasha Apparel, Magnolia Fashion Wholesale, and LAShowRoom.
- Amazon Seller Central: Amazon has a Seller Central where you can adjust the pricing or match your competitor’s lowest price.
- eBay: Deadstock consisting of repaired or returned products could be sold to eBay at drastically reduced costs.
- Consignment shops and warehouses: These buyers usually purchase clothing, home goods, and old items that could be sold at low prices.
- Closeout liquidators: These businesses can buy a bulk of your deadstock and resell it in their own stores at cheaper prices.
4. Donate Deadstock to Charities
Finally, if a product just won’t sell, consider donating it to charity.
Donating to charity is a popular option for clothing retailers. You can sell deadstock items to discount stores like T.J.Maxx or the Outnet as a last-ditch attempt to make sales.
We bet there are many charities in your local communities and cities. You can donate to any organization, just make sure it’s legal. Find a reputable charity where you can sell your items.
While you may not be able to sell these goods, you can claim a tax write off for donating them. If handled well, this initiative will make your business look good.
If you want to eliminate deadstock products, make an active effort to find products that will sell.
Use an inventory management system to track unwanted items in your inventory. Bundle deadstock products and sell them as gift bundles or give them away as freebies. As a last resort, you can even sell deadstock products to wholesalers, consignment shops, Amazon, or eBay.
There are many options to avoid the accumulation of deadstock and get rid of unsold items stuck in your inventory,
How will you avoid deadstock products?
The post The Good and Bad of Deadstock Products for E-commerce appeared first on Neil Patel.