The first point of contact with potential customers is often a business’s website, so now-a-days, having a static one-size-fits-all site is not enough..
A well-designed website is an incredibly powerful tool to connect, attract, engage and convert visitors into loyal customers; and the evolution of website design technology has played a pivotal role in driving business growth and success… this article will explore how.
In the digital world, consumers expect seamless user experience (UX), with visually appealing layouts and easy navigation. HTML and CSS are the backbone technology that powers your website – these codes tell browsers what elements are on your website and how they should look. However, website design technology is more than code, it encompasses the tools, frameworks and techniques that are used to create and optimise websites that are not only designed for functionality but are aesthetically pleasing too.
With an effectively optimised website, you can convey a brand’s message, values and offerings to your target audience. An eCommerce website is a virtual storefront that is accessible 24/7 which can allow a business to sell to anyone, regardless of geographical boundaries.
A well-designed website can also build trust and credibility, an essential consideration to convert visitors into customers.
Responsive design Responsive design is a way to put together a website so that it automatically scales its content and elements to match the screen size on which it is viewed. In the wake of different access modes to websites, such as mobile, tablets and desktops; it is no longer optionable for a website to not be responsive as we live in a multi-screen society.
Google places great emphasis on mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, which further demonstrates the importance of responsive design. Another benefit to responsive website design is that it replaces the previous need to design and build a dedicated mobile website for smartphone and tablet users. Now, instead of designing a multitude of the same website for different screen sizes, you are able to design one website that scales up (or down) automatically depending on which device it’s being viewed on.
Although the number of mobile viewers outnumbers desktop, statistics tell us that it’s wise to appeal to both desktop and mobile viewers.
The benefits of choosing responsive design for your website include:
Cost effective Having (and maintaining) separate sites for both mobile and desktop audiences can become expensive. Responsive design mitigates the cost of paying for a mobile site as you only need to invest in a single site design that appeals to all visitors and devices.
Flexibility Responsive design means that making any changes to the site is quick and easy – you don’t need to worry about making changes on two – or more – websites. This flexibility is a huge advantage when you just want to make a quick design tweak or fix a typo on your site—you only have to do it once.
Improved UX You want people to like the look and feel of your site, right? Well, with responsive design you can offer your visitors a great user experience that convinces them to come back many times.
For example, if someone visits your website on a mobile device, and it takes forever to load or your pictures do not have the proper resolution, it can make your company appear unprofessional… which means that the potential customer will not hang around, and will exit the site immediately.
An improved UX means that prospects will give your business a chance, which is all you need to show off how amazing your products are.
SEO gains Responsive design can help with SEO because Google gives preference to websites that are mobile-friendly. In combination with other SEO factors, responsiveness can help give you a big boost in search engine results.
In our article “Navigating immersive experiences to attract and delight your customers online”, we proudly say:
Attracting your customers isn’t as “simple” as it once was, and delighting them when you only have a small timeframe online to do so is even more difficult. If your website or app isn’t up to the job by being (for instance) too slow – you’ve lost a good few customers… who probably won’t return.
Nearly 60% of consumers will abandon a site if they experience more than three seconds of load time
Visual storytelling In addition to responsive design, visual storytelling is paramount in attracting and engaging your present and future customers.
Visual storytelling combines images, videos, graphics, and animations to tell a brand’s story in a captivating manner. This makes a website more engaging and enhances brand recall and recognition. The rise of technologies like CSS animations and parallax scrolling* enables designers to create dynamic and interactive websites that leave a lasting impression.
In our eCommerce article “Boost your profits with digital window-dressing” we explain that:
93% of buyers focus on visual appearance before purchasing anything, it’s vital that your online shopfront is fully optimised.
*Parallax scrolling is a website trend where the background content (i.e. an image) is moved at a different speed than the foreground content while scrolling.
Cyber-security and trust The main threats to eCommerce cybersecurity are currently:
E-skimming: E-skimming involves cybercriminals capturing the information that clients enter into online shopping checkout pages in real-time. They typically gain access to the eCommerce site through a successful phishing attempt. Phishing: Customers of eCommerce stores risk being targeted by phishing, typically carried out using fraudulent messages that aim to trick recipients into sharing personally identifiable information (PII), such as passwords, account numbers, and debit/credit card numbers. Cybercriminals can use this data to achieve unauthorised access to one or more user accounts. Malware: Malware (malicious software) is an attempt to infect a computer or mobile device. It is effective at obtaining PII, including access credentials, redirecting users to alternate websites, stealing money, and blocking access to the site and systems. Distributed Denial-of-service (DDoS): Cybercriminals use DDoS attacks to disrupt target businesses, bombarding their servers with requests to overload the systems. These attacks are normally controlled by one machine using botnets, a network of malware-infected devices to flood the target with requests. DDoS attacks are for the sole purpose of disrupting a business. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): XSS attacks are a type of injection of malicious code on an eCommerce business’s webpage. These attacks occur when a hacker uses a web application to send out malicious code, affecting users by exposing them to cyber attacks, including phishing attempts and malware. Maintaining a solid cybersecurity is critical in website design technology. In an era of increasing online threats and data breaches, a secure website will protect both customer data and business reputation.
SSL certificates, data encryption, and secure payment gateways are among the technologies that contribute to a safe online environment, and encourage your customers to trust to buy from you time and time again.
Final thoughts For businesses in the eCommerce sector, integrating advanced technology into website design is essential; while your website may look great – it needs to focus on more than aesthetics. The marriage of design aesthetics with advanced functionalities such as responsive design, visual storytelling and cybersecurity creates a holistic online presence that attracts, engages, and converts visitors.