The simpler you can make your online processes the better.
The easier it is for your customers to interact with your site
the more money you’ll make,
the more leads you’ll get,
the more conversions you’ll get etc.
Just think of Google.
Late to the search engine game, it made searching so simple it eventually trumped all the long established players. (Some of you don’t even know who the players were before Google.)
Not only did Google become the premier search engine, it went on to become one of the dominant technology companies, even putting the wind up Microsoft.google
Simplicity is a very powerful marketing tool. Don’t under estimate it.
Remember the KISS principle – Keep it Simple Stupid.
Simple is Hard
Of course making things simple can be one of the hardest things you can do. Our natural tendency is to try and cram as much content onto a page or into an email that we can.
Usually this is a big mistake.
Busy pages or designs confuse the customer, often overawing them or intimidating them.
In such a situation the customer will act to reduce their stress by not buying anything and abandon the site.
They will go to somewhere where they make it easy for the customer to give them money.
Also, putting too many products on a page is normally counterproductive.
Research has shown that most customers will consistently click or buy the first item they see on a page far more than they will any of the other items.
Two Key Lessons
There are two key lessons here.
1: Make sure the first item in your product list is the one you want to sell most of.
2: And if you are going to put lots of products on page, make sure they all standout and don’t become indistinct and just visual noise.
(Successfully designing product list pages is an art in itself and too big to be discussed in this post, but have a look at Zappos.com for ideas on how to do it well.)
Avoid This Trap - Don't Stress the Customer
The other trap most sites fall into is putting way too many competing offers on a page: A sign up for a newsletter, special promotions, up-sells, cross sells, best sellers.
The problem is, these are all competing for your customers’ attention, and at the expense of focussing on the main product.
Apple understands this perfectly.
If you look at their product displays, they are solely about the product in question. There are no distractions promoting other products, services or newsletter signups.
The product is the star.
The customer gives the product their full attention.
Apple also demonstrates how you can display a lot of textual information that goes way below the fold in an attractive fashion.
Reduce Friction, Increase Results
Making a sale or conversion is about reducing friction, the customer’s natural resistance to making a commitment. Busy pages increase that friction. Simple pages reduce it.
However, don’t make the pages so simple that you leave out key information that the customer needs. That will also increase friction and buyer resistance.
As always, you should continually test to see what works for your customers.
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