First Impressions Count: eCommerce Websites

Table of Contents

First Impressions Count

If you visit the Marks and Spencer’s website, this is what you see;

Marks And Spencers

If you are a first time visitor to the website, what does it tell you about the brand, their values and what they stock – absolutely nothing.

Why? M&S was formed nearly 140 years ago, have 1500 stores and they presume that most people will know about their brand.

Take another (relatively) well-known brand, Fat Face;

Fat Face

Although they are younger and smaller that M&S (35 years old, 200 stores), they have taken the same approach – their website tells you nothing about the brand. In fact, you can’t even see the products that they stock.

This is a trend across a lot of online shops. They seem to focus on the latest product or sale. Whilst this works for a big label that have already have a reputation built up. It won’t necessarily work for the smaller online brands.

Daisies And Conkers

This website from Daisies & Conkers is the perfect way to do it. Within seconds of visiting the website, you have a clear vision of what they are about and their products.

Compare it to this website;

My Little Green Wardrobe

You might be able to work out what the company is about from their name and menu options but it doesn’t really shout about who they are.

If you scroll down the page, then you see the answer;

My Little Green Wardrobe - Description

It would help this website if these two lines were moved up onto the first page of the website, then you would instantly understand the brand and their ethos.

Donald Miller in his book, Building A Story Brand, has a concept called “The Grunt Test”. If you put a caveman in front of your website for 5 seconds, would they be able to say what your business is about.

He breaks this down into 3 questions;

  • What is it that you offer?
  • How will it make my life better?
  • What do I need to do to buy?

From the website examples above, how many do you think passes the grunt test?

Don’t make your potential customers work to find out about your ecommerce business, give it to them on a plate. The initial screen of your homepage, often called the hero section, is one of the most important pieces of real estate you have – use it wisely.

That is unless you are a big brand like Marks and Spencer and then you can break all of the rules….

Ascot based, Lens Digital is a leading web design agency that helps businesses of all sizes create professional, user-friendly websites which showcases their products and services. We create custom websites that are tailored to each client’s unique needs and goals. We are passionate about designing and building visually stunning websites that are easy to navigate, optimized for search engines and look great on any device.

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