What Online Retailers Can Learn About Site Design That Converts


The following article is written by Wiser’s own Ashley Bello

On the last evening of 1999, many of us were expecting to wake up the next day and find cars flying up in the air, driverless cars on the road and robots walking around serving mankind. Although most people were incredibly disappointed when Marty McFly didn’t show up at their doorsteps with his floating skateboard, it’s safe to say that the digital revolution has not only impacted our daily lives but has also changed how business is done in retail.

About 25 years had passed since the “birth” of the internet and we are living in a world where many consumers shop online. Because of this drastic shift in how buyers find merchandise, every online retailer should think of their website as their business’ store front. When shoppers walk into a store, there are various factors that play into their decision to buy something. Prices definitely make the list but they also pay attention to how welcoming the store is, how friendly or helpful the employees are and how streamlined the checkout process is. The same can be said about a website.

Whether aesthetics are important to you or not, it’s been proven that site design makes a big difference in a customer’s shopping experience. The chances of someone purchasing from a website with poor design are slim because it doesn’t give the shopper confidence in clicking past the first page. With such a visually competitive market, the saying “you are the image you portray” has never been more true. If your website’s goal is to convert and increase sales, then that image should be at par with the experience you would expect from a beloved physical store.

Below are some of the most important site design trends from top retailers.

Smart Logo Placement

When redirected to your website, a customer’s eyes naturally look at the main image first, then they look at your logo. A logo that sticks out and leaves a positive first impression will encourage users to continue browsing through your online catalog. Most major online retailers place their bold logo on the top of every page towards the left. Why left, instead of center? Eye tracking studies show that our eyes naturally read left to right then up to down. If you keep your logo on the upper lefthand corner of your website, you’re allowing shoppers to quickly identify your brand.


Responsive Design/Mobile Friendliness

For shoppers always on the go, it’s important for online retailers to have a web design that allows customers to browse on any device. Whether you’re on a desktop, tablet or smartphone – your design should respond and adjust to any parameters set by screen width limitations.


Organized Menu/Seamless Navigation

When you walk into Best Buy, how do you find the laptops section? When all employees are busy helping other customers, you follow the department signs! Enhance your customer’s online shopping experience by giving them the same direction with a clear menu that has seamless navigation. And don’t forget to the search bar! While some may be browsing, others could already know exactly what they want and your job is to deliver.

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Live Chat

Not finding what you’re looking for is frustrating, but that doesn’t mean what you’re looking for isn’t in stock. It just means you didn’t find it on your own. Nordstrom offers their customers a way to communicate directly with customer service agents through live chat. Your business can personalize a customer’s shopping experience from any location.


Fun Pop-Ups and Promo Codes

Try to engage your users with large text and bright, inviting colors on each page they visit. If you don’t want to overwhelm your website visitors, pop-ups are a creative way to get your customer’s attention. Make sure they’re easy to click out of to avoid disrupting what the customer is browsing through.

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Every business has a different opinion on what great site design really looks like, but all of the top online retailers have a few tactics in common that increase their online conversions. Their goal is to create an incomparable shopping experience by building a website that is visually appealing and easy to use. Following these tips can not only increase website conversions but also increase overall profit.

To learn how you can pair a killer web design with awesome prices, sign up for a demo of our flagship product, WisePricer.

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Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the Marketing Director at Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.