For online businesses to succeed it has become essential to have beautiful, conversion-driven websites. Traditional business practises often had marketing and design operating in separate hemispheres.

In the digital age, these practices are outmoded, and customers now have new expectations on how to consume information and make purchasing decisions.

With e-commerce rising from 11.6% of the market in 2012 to 24.1% in 2017, websites are beginning to rival traditional storefronts.

Therefore, it has become essential for marketing to operate in conjunction with effective design to generate sales.

Great Content Needs Great Presentation

Effective design ensures marketing content is presented to prospective customers in engaging and interactive methods.

The design must adapt to the users’ viewing requirements and be responsive across all devices including smartphones, tablets and computers.

Navigation must be instinctive and able to direct prospective customers to the correct landing pages and well-placed calls to actions (CTAs).

One of the most important features of effective e-commerce design is the removal of potential distractions and obstructions. Prospective customers should be able to go to the website, place products in their shopping cart and then proceed straight to checkout.

It’s all about moving customers from point A to B without the need for a point C. The more additional steps designers include, the more complicated the sales funnel becomes.
Some additional elements are useful, like customer feedback forms and newsletter sign-ups.

But it is essential to consider their potential effect on conversion first. It’s important to avoid internal competition, at all times have one prominent CTA that is highlighted through contrasting colours and design.

This highlights how a designer’s role is more than just making sure the site looks good. Designers must also consider conversion goals. After all, the fundamental objective of all e-commerce sites is to move all visitors through the sales funnel.

Although, marketers often want to include too much content. In this instance, it’s the designer’s role to keep the UX elements of the site in mind.

Your Website’s Design is an Extension of Your Business’ Brand

Although we might not want to admit it, first impressions are essential in all relationships.

Getting off on the wrong foot can be disastrous. Prospective customers do their due-diligence, and if the website looks unprofessional it creates doubts in their minds about the excellence of the product and the customer service.

Your website’s design reflects the brand’s ethos. Regardless of the amount of marketing gone into getting customers on the site, poor design can undermine it all. The design must appear legitimate and professional to attract customers. Indeed, data reveals that design-driven companies outperform the S&P in the US by 219%.

One of the most critical elements in converting prospective customers into brand evangelicals is trust. To do this, designers must consider the audience’s perspective and focus on their needs. Often marketers encourage designers to push too hard on visitors to give-up information or cash straight off the bat.

Developing this level of trust takes time and it is the designer’s role to encourage visitors to remain on the site for more than just a few seconds.

Likewise, in the current climate, it’s essential to be transparent.

Being open with all the information related to a customer’s experience will help to begin the development of trust. No customers like hidden fees or terms and conditions.

Although it isn’t just the website’s visuals that reflect a business’ brand. The entire tone of the written marketing content will be communicating with users. It’s essential that the brand’s tone-of-voice remains consistent across all channels.

Once users are on the site, marketers must offer content that is both relevant and authoritative. It’s also important to consider SEO. Inbound marketing relies on effective use of SEO to make content discoverable.

Clear Team Communication

In closing, both designers and inbound marketers must cooperate to create a positive and effective experience for potential customers.

Marketers are the driving force of inbound traffic and responsible for creating content that is both entertaining and informative.

Designers focus on the ease of use, communication of information and directing the sales funnel.

Active communication between designers and marketers is essential to the success of an e-commerce business. Creating detailed briefs will help to avoid misunderstandings. It’s important for these briefs to be as comprehensive as possible. For designers, it’s important for marketers to be as detailed as possible in their vision.

For marketers, it’s important for designers to be aware of the conversion objectives of each design.

To facilitate communication, it’s important for both teams to have immediate access to one another. Get rid of email, move the teams closer together and use real-time communication platforms like Slack or Skype.

This will minimise the risk of last-minute changes, but it will also help to develop strong working relationships between the teams.