Designing for Your Audience

Written by  August 13, 2008

Over the past year or more I’ve listed a number of strategies that aim to help ecommerce store owners increase their website sales.

A portion of them involve changes to website design including proper placement of elements on the page.

In keeping with my previous post, I see a number of store owners implementing these strategies in the hopes of increasing conversion immediately yet they completely ignore the rest of their design. They end up wondering why the “changes” had little effect.

What do I mean?

Well, unless you design your website with your target market in mind, and have done your homework to find out the best plan of action on capturing that market, then simply adding a few elements in certain locations on a page won’t have the impact you hope for. If the rest of your website design misses the mark it will limit the results that can be achieved.

Sure, the changes in most cases should have a positive impact to some degree … or I wouldn’t mention them. But to really see a big impact, you have to also make sure your site is designed with your customer in mind.

A site designed in a “modern technical” style with the elements placed in proper locations when your market is antiques probably won’t have the most effective impact on sales. To get it right, the design should be custom. Taylor made to your specific business objectives and target market. It should be designed in response to answers received from very specific questions relating to both your business and your target.

Remember, conversion is a process not an event. Although making a few changes might help in the sort term, to sustain long term success you must continually test and refine your strategies. You must know your market and speak to them in a manner which persuades action. This includes through the graphics you use as part of your design.

The graphics, alignment, and color scheme help set the mood and tone of the website. If they don’t fit what market you are targeting then the results — although present — will be less than what you hoped for.

Keep that in mind the next time you are looking for a website design or website redesign hoping to increase sales. To get the design right, it must answer a series of questions that directly relate to your business, target market and demographic user otherwise it’s just a “design”.

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