Is Your Website a Hot Mess?

Sometimes, clutter can sneak up on you online, just like it can in your home. Perhaps your designer was envisioning your site one way, but didn’t take the whole visual context of the page into account, or you were meeting the needs of one product and low-and-behold, the way a different product renders on its landing page looks, well, not up to your website standards.


If your website needs an overhaul (the ‘90s called and they want their website back, or you look like you’re stuck in the wayback machine), if your checkout flow is cumbersome, or your architecture is confusing, it may be best to start from the beginning, and do a complete review of your website.

Start with some basic questions:

1. Does your messaging and terminology have legs with your target audience? Does it resonate with them? What tone of voice are you using? What is your value proposition, and are you communicating it effectively? Is your terminology up-to-date? Once you’ve nailed these questions, if you’re wondering how to sell a product online, you’ve got to start with an innovative, easy-to-navigate site.

2. Are the images on your site mobile friendly and of high quality? It may be as simple as deciding you need a new photo shoot to update the look. With smartphones and monitors displaying high level graphics and pixels, it’s important to make sure that your images portray your product in the best light possible, according to Archive. Also, if you’re merchandising on your site, are you able to display your items in each of the colors available, and show them from a variety of angles?

There are many low-cost applications available that give you the ability to show your customers a 360 degree view of your products, as well as enlarge them so they can see the grains of the fabric, or the welds in the miniature car, as demonstrated by apps in the Magento eCommerce platform solution.

3. Is the purchase path on your website clear and easy? A great way to check this is to review Google Analytics and look at the typical path. Also, note where visitors are exiting, as this may be an indicator of where you need to stop the bleed. The purchase path isn’t always the direct route, as you have the ability on your customer’s journey to upsell items, or cross sell items. Setting up your site so you can help boost the AOV of each shopper by suggesting an item to them that adds to their cart, yet moves them forward in the purchase path, is a win-win for everyone.

If you’re just beginning to set up your cross sell and upsell items, begin with what past purchasers have told you. When you look at your sales sheets and your customers, which products have they already paired together? If you sell scrubs, are you upselling the top on the product page for the appropriate bottom? Is it showing up in the same color, so that the customer can easily see why these should be paired? When the customer is checking out, are you upselling a hand cream or stethoscope, or a third item that you’ve seen as part of the items that others have purchased together? Your past customers are your best indicator for determining where to start. Use your best selling products and top profit sellers to begin the project of combining items. Then, test these out and see how they fare, and if they need any tweaking. Use special discounts and place extra items at the final checkout page, recommends Tips and Tricks Headquarters.

4. Does your website design look professional and inspiring? If it looks like clip art hacked together, are you really conveying a place where your customers want to do business? Remember, people make a judgment in seven seconds, and within that timeframe you want to bring them into your storefront.

5. In terms of visual hierarchy, are you fonts clear and easy-to-read, and is there a logical hierarchy that helps visitors understand the importance of each part of your site? Steve Jobs fell in love with fonts while he attended Reed College, which is the primary reason why Apple Computers have such a plethora of choices. He understood that fonts can create nuance and tone just as quickly as images. Although many Web designers are tired of the classics Arial and Georgia, if you’re just starting out, these are very safe choices, and Forbes recommends going with Sans Serif typefaces.

Remember, your goal is to sell your products, not to win design awards (at least not yet). This is where the tension between a good looking site and its ability to sell products comes into play. Try not have more than three different fonts on any page (size, type and treatment). Another rule of thumb is that what looks best on your printed piece might not fly on your website, so make sure you’re not just copying and pasting to save time, when an easy change could make all the difference.