design-elements-cyber-mondayThink about your past Cyber Mondays. Were they a happy event or were they another day of elusive traffic and high bounce rates? There are times when all it takes is for a few simple design changes to tip the scales in your favor. With the big shopping day coming up soon, here’s a short design check-list:

Make sure you’re designed for mobile

In a report from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, online sales for last year’s Thanksgiving day surged 19.7 percent. The number rose 18.9 percent year-on-year for Black Friday. For Turkey day, the numbers were at 21.8 percent of total sales compared to numbers of the day before, which were at 25.8 percent.

In the same vein, a 2013 report from the ForeSee shared that 70 percent of shoppers used mobile phones during the holidays, with 62 percent taking a gander at the shop’s site or app.

Given the numbers, mobile ecommerce sales are up. More people are using their smartphones to shop. That’s why having your site optimized for mobile is going to help you get the kind of traffic you want.

Organize your shop

Some sites have too many things going on. Whether these are product pages, FAQs or a shopping cart, make sure your audience knows where everything is. If your bounce rate is constantly high, you may want to change ecommerce templates. Ecommerce solutions like Shopify provide you with plenty of design templates to play with. If the old template doesn’t work, try for a drastic change. Always make sure, however, that the new template—no matter how edgy or different or far removed from the previous one—fits your shop’s brand, personality and voice, to a tee. Putting up a sitemap can be helpful too just so your customers know where to go.

Don’t put links to your shop’s app just anywhere

According to a 2013 report from Point Inside, retailers gain five times more engagement through apps designed with store mode. More and more customers are shopping online and they’re doing it through store apps. Apps, after all, are one of the best channels today to earn coupons, loyalty discounts and superb deals.

So make sure you put that link or icon to your shop app in a strategic place on the page. It has to be highly visible. Use bright colors and a clickable banner. Help your customers find it within their first few minutes on the page and watch your mobile sales climb.

Design a shopping experience for your customers, not for you

Brand recognition is valuable for a business. That’s why most shops take advantage of every chance they get to promote brand recall and awareness. However, designing your shop according to the needs of your business shouldn’t compromise the shopping experience you provide your users with. Customer service should be at the core of your site design, not promotion. Everything on the page has to help your customers, not just to urge them forward to a sale, but to make sure they find whatever they need.

Don’t forget about videos

Site videos often add to a positive user experience for customers. Videos are quick to watch and often one of the best ways to let your customers know about a product or service. It also adds a more relatable element to the experience, leaving customers more excited about an upcoming purchase, and often in a good mood to shop.

Don’t stop innovating

Ensuring top ranking for your site is a continuous process. It doesn’t end the minute you beat the rest of the competition. It takes work and effort on a daily basis to keep that spot. Don’t let the success get to your head. With Google rolling out changes in its algorithm every few months, there’s always bound to be a change in the quality and amount of your site traffic. Keep ahead of the pack by constantly updating your knowledge and applying that to your site, whether these involve design, content and other elements on your site.

Get your SEO right

Some businesses think SEO is all about blindly putting a few keywords on the site and waiting for customers to come. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have to learn your SEO. Hire a specialist if you’re not an expert. SEO includes the creation of the right tags and URL chains. You also have to know how to generate the right keywords to optimize. Use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner for this to get you started.

Compatibility is important

Bring your user experience to the next level by ensuring improvements on your site design work with different technologies on multiple platforms and devices. Apps, videos, flash—make sure your site is updated with the most modern technologies to appeal to a wider audience.

These are just eight ways for you to improve online sales through your site design. Start experimenting now and you’ll be all kinds of ready when Cyber Monday next year rolls in.

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