But Is Your Fashion Ecommerce Site Truly Ready for Press Attention?
You did it! A story about you and your brand is going to run on that website your target customers love! This is going to bring an influx of visitors to your online shop – which means it had better be doing its job and turning them into customers.
Your website’s design can make a big difference in the impact you see from your media attention. Visitors are going to immediately judge your brand based on their first glimpse of your website. Here’s what they’re thinking:
- Does it look legit/professional?
- Does it match their personal style?
- Can they see themselves (or their aspirations) reflected in the images and words?
Once your website’s aesthetic has captured their attention, the functionality of your website’s design will be put to the test.
Ideally, your new visitors will fall into one of two camps: people who purchase immediately and those who follow you to purchase from you later, maybe after they’ve saved up.
Creating Customer-Friendly Web Design
First, for your web site to help people in both camps, you’re going to want to take steps to create a customer-friendly user experience.
1. Remove Barriers
In order to turn the most visitors into customers, you need to remove as many barriers as possible. Start at the homepage and count:
- How many clicks does it take you to to get to the checkout? This route should be as short as possible: most sites do it in 4-6 steps.
- Are there any superfluous clicks that you could get rid of? Imagine you’re a new potential customer (or ask a friend to help!) and consider what they will think is unnecessary.
2. Keep Your Links Simple
Is your website arranged by imaginative collection names instead of garment type? Have you called your blog something cutesy?
People like feeling smart, and if your website makes them feel confused, they won’t want to stick around. People also don’t like clicking on things when they don’t know what’s behind them, so make every link obvious. There are other opportunities to express your brand; your menu is not the place.
3. Review Your Product Descriptions
With a stream of traffic headed through your site, you’ll want to make sure your product descriptions are giving visitors exactly what they need to know in an easy-to-understand way.
Here are some things to ask:
Are the descriptions brief and informative? People find it easier to read short paragraphs, so adding lots of text will just hide the information they need. Lots of ecommerce websites have tabs to separate information and make it easier to find: one tab that describes the garment’s benefits (how it will help your customers achieve their dreams), and another with bullet points about features (button fly, pockets).
Can customers easily find what the garment is made of and where it was manufactured? Knowing how a product was sourced and manufactured is an increasingly important factor in customer purchasing decisions today.
Is there a size guide? Most often there is a link right next to the size selection, so people expect to see it there. If they don’t, they might get discouraged.
What will appeal to your target audience? Highlight that! Is sustainability important to them? Make sure they know that shirt was made from recycled water bottles.
Do you have high quality product photos against a white background in every color? Product photos can make or break a sale. Since online shoppers can’t see the garment in person, they are getting all the information they can from your photos.
Do you have any special notes about fit? Some websites share the model’s measurements and what size she’s wearing. Others might just say “relaxed fit.”
Is it easy to find information about shipping and returns? This probably won’t be directly in the product description, since most people are used to finding it at the bottom of the page, but it should be easy to find.
Web Design That Turns Visitors Into Followers
Not every visitor is going to become a customer right away. Many, in fact, will opt to follow along and purchase later – sometimes many months down the line. To turn visitors into followers, here are strategies every ecommerce brand should keep in mind.
1. Ask them
The first rule of getting people to sign up for your email list or follow you on social media: ask them to.
People are rarely motivated to search out how to keep up with your brand, but if they made it to your site, they are probably interested. Place your email list signup near the top of the page and provide an incentive for signing up.
Warning: Google doesn’t like pop-ups on mobile. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use a pop-up to collect email subscribers, but make sure its effectiveness is worth dropping down a few spots on Google searches.
Ready to start? Prepping your website is easier with this free website prep checklist!
2. Know Your Stats
Before making a proactive effort to get press coverage, make sure you have analytics set up on your website. This could be Google Analytics or the stats provided by your ecommerce platform.
Some useful numbers you will want to know:
- Where traffic is coming from, sometimes called acquisition. This is especially important if you are getting press on more than one website and you want to evaluate which outlet is sending you more visitors and customers.
- Bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave your site before visiting a second page)
- Conversions (how many visitors purchased something)
When you know these basic ecommerce stats, you’ll know how effective your website is – and you’ll see your numbers grow as you improve your site and get more press.
For lots of business owners, getting people to your website is the hardest part. So once you have them there, make the most of it! Don’t let them leave empty handed.
Elise Epp is a graphic designer for fashion startups, boutiques, and makers. Her made-to-measure visual branding and websites capture the heart of her clients’ businesses and provide a solid foundation for growth. She has been pursuing an ethical wardrobe since 2015 and loves cats, feminism, and ice cream.