Online Mind Control: How Your Business' Website Design Affect Sales

Can website design, such as color choices and mobile compatibility, influence customer buying behavior? Psychological experts discuss...

March 29, 2017 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant

You put your best foot forward when you're trying to close a lead in person; funny how rarely that insight translates online.

2016's J.D. Power Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study makes a direct connection between bad website design and poor sales. 59 percent of new-vehicle shoppers consider themselves more likely to take a test-drive if they're delighted with the user experience.

The flip-side: make user navigation too complicated, and satisfaction takes a nosedive. (So much the worse for Toyota, Mitsubishi and Ford – the owners of the three “worst” websites according to the study.)

Psychology and good web design: they go hand-in-hand. Good design and usability decisions encourage website visitors to stay longer, read more about the site's products and services, and come back for future visits. Not to mention act on the website's call to action in the real world. (As above: good auto website design=visiting a local dealer for a test drive.)

To bridge the gap between a business owner's targets and their target market's actions, conscientious website designers freely use the following psychological levers:

Living color. Different primary colors communicate different subliminal messages about the brand. Fast-food brands capitalize on the color red's vaunted ability to stimulate appetite. Youth brands love the cheerfulness brought by the color orange. And premium brands underscore their sophistication with the color black.

There must be some magic to black, at least for the tech industry: “Out of … tech startups that have achieved valuations of $1 billion or more, the most common primary branding color was black or grey,” writes Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins. “A total of 38% of companies, including stalwarts like Uber, Vice, and WeWork, rely on these hues for their outward appearance.”

Ease of Use. As the three worst automotive websites mentioned earlier might want to note, slow loading speeds and too many steps between A and B, can prevent companies from translating pageviews into actual sales.

“If your website's slow or confusing to navigate, you make it difficult, if not impossible, for people to buy anything,” writes tech journalist Owen Andrew. “It’s extremely important to make sure the purchase funnel is as simple as possible, so that even the least computer-savvy visitors can find and buy a product on your website quickly and easily…. You’ll find that with each simplification, your overall conversion numbers get better, and your dropout rate decreases.”

Professional=trustworthy. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, users pay attention to visual cues that reinforce security: badges, security icons, and pages reinforced with bold color blocks or otherwise designed with a robust feel reassure visitors into more readily providing secure information like credit card details.

Beyond icons and hefty borders, a site's trustworthiness can be communicated more generally by competent design that displays a significant investment of effort and thought.

“A professional level of design… communicates a level of commitment has been made to ensure a successful outcome and therefore a return on that investment,” writes web designer Shaun Cronin. “On the flip-side, amateurish design, poor performance and sloppy mistakes communicate no investment, no consideration and therefore no commitment to the project or the user.”

How do you put all these elements together into an effective website that drives sales? To make all these factors and more add up, mosey over to All Covered and their Web Development Services.

By taking a systematic approach – including research on your industry, defining your company's objectives and positioning your company versus the competition – All Covered's experienced team can design, develop and deploy an optimal web solution for your organization.

For a look at our portfolio of clients' websites – and for a closer look at our team's experience, present capabilities and list of services – visit our Web Development Services page.