A beautifully designed website that resonates with your audience is a powerful weapon. And that’s not only because it can help you present your brand in a positive light and encourage your audience to perceive your organization as trustworthy or authoritative. More impressively, a well-designed website works, in some ways, on its own, helping you achieve your business goals without having to actively work towards them.
In 2023, effective web design is crucial, as inspiring consumers to convert is becoming increasingly challenging. According to research from McKinsey, most people are cutting back on their spending, which can be a genuine problem for businesses that rely on a steady revenue. And even more worryingly, customer retention rates are on the downturn in the retail and consumer services industries, which shows that organizations operating in these fields will have to work much harder to convert new and keep existing customers.
So, if you’ve been wondering whether any web design hacks could help you attract and retain more customers, the following strategies are definitely worth a try.
Create a More Enjoyable Browsing Experience
People want to interact with websites that look and perform great.
Adobe’s research discovered that 89% of people will stop interacting with underperforming websites (or switch devices). And, if you’re looking to convert and retain more customers, this is a huge obstacle.
So, you need to create a more enjoyable browsing experience that your prospects will truly appreciate.
In addition to ensuring that your site is aesthetically pleasing to look at (a pared-down design is always a good choice if you want to ensure you don’t alienate visitors with overwhelming visuals), do your best to invest in UX design.
Paying attention to elements like page load speed and responsiveness (yes, 58.99% of all global traffic comes from mobile devices) will tremendously improve the user experience and boost your chances of getting people to stick around.
Highlight the Value of Your Products/Services
The second hack that will substantially improve your chances of attracting and retaining customers is knowing how to frame and highlight value.
After all, consumers are increasingly prioritizing value for money when making shopping decisions. So, it’s not a bad idea to use web design to highlight the quality of your solutions.
The easiest way to do this will be to display social proof on your homepage and relevant product pages. Brands like Menlo Coaching do this spectacularly, choosing personalized and authentic feedback to show on their websites, which address the exact pain points future customers have come to solve.
If hand-picking reviews to highlight on your site sounds like too much work, you can automate the process by embedding Trustpilot or Google reviews. Although, keep in mind that this approach gives you less control over the feedback displayed to potential clients.
Another thing you can do is offer fast or free shipping. According to Shopify, 80% of buyers want free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount. Plus, judging by the increasing number of Amazon Prime subscribers, consumers also appreciate the convenience of getting their purchases quickly and hassle-free.
With this in mind, a simple design hack like displaying a banner that offers free shipping to email subscribers, like the one on the Olipop website, could do wonders to encourage conversions and boost customer retention.
Finally, if you’re looking for creative ways to highlight value with design hacks, it’s also not a bad idea to call your prospects’ attention to the fact that they’re making a low-risk decision by shopping with your brand.
If you can, try to offer free and uncomplicated returns. Then, create a custom trust badge, which you can add to your homepage or product pages. Alternatively, provide web visitors with an overview of your returns policy, like Tentree does in the example below.
If you’re looking for impactful tactics that will help you attract more customers, you should absolutely not forget to invest in search engine optimization.
Data shows that the average CTR for the #1 result on Google is 27.6%, which is 10x higher than the click-through rate of the 10th result, proving how much value you can generate by investing in SEO.
In addition to optimizing existing website copy to target relevant keywords and meet user intent, don’t forget to invest in original content that will present your target audience with value they can’t get anywhere else.
Brands like Zoma do this marvelously with content like in-depth mattress sizes guides that help consumers make better purchasing decisions they won’t regret down the road.
If you want to take things to the next level, you could also consider developing interactive content, like the Sorting Hat app on the Wizarding World website.
Make Your Newsletter Sign-Up Stand Out
Did you know that email is one of the most effective distribution channels for generating organic traffic with high conversion potential? That’s right, investing in a user-oriented email marketing strategy could be your secret weapon for attracting and retaining more customers.
However, the only way for your email marketing efforts to work is to ensure that your newsletter sign-up form stands out. Fortunately, there are a couple of tactics that can help you make this happen.
The easiest method would be to give prospects something in return for signing up to your email list. Bellroy, for instance, promises first-time website visitors access to exclusive deals, new releases, and surprise treats in exchange for an email address.
January, on the other hand, points out the fact that access to its cutting-edge app is still only reserved for those who join the waitlist. That is why, in this brand’s case, the sign-up form takes center stage on the brand’s homepage.
Lastly, you could also develop valuable gated resources, which are free to download for anyone that provides an email address in return. This is a popular approach amongst SaaS brands like Semrush, which understand that their audience appreciates the value and doesn’t feel like providing an email address is too much to ask for in exchange for original insights or data.
Of course, the only way this strategy will work in the long run is if you use the email list to deliver relevant and valuable information to your subscribers. If the only thing that lands in their inboxes is promotional content, they’ll unsubscribe quicker than you can say “customer retention.”
Focus on Boosting AOV and CLV With Design Features
Achieving an impressive conversion rate on your business website is one surefire signal that you’re doing something right. But do you know what two metrics are even better indicators of a well-designed website? Average order value (AOV) and customer lifetime value (CLV).
If you hit high numbers with these two KPIs, you can know that what you’re doing isn’t just working. But more importantly, you can rest assured that you’ll achieve the business growth you’re after, which will be based on loyal relationships between your brand and your audience.
Now, in addition to offering next-level support to your clients — via live chat, phone, email, and social media — there are a few additional design hacks that will allow you to boost the metrics mentioned above.
First and foremost, if you’re looking to boost AOV, the best thing you can do is encourage web visitors to spend more. This can be done in a couple of ways.
On the one hand, you can call web visitors’ attention to the fact that purchasing more than one item allows them to save a significant amount per product. This is what sports nutrition brand ATH does on its homepage, where shoppers can use a dropdown menu to choose the number of products they want to order.
An alternative approach would be to employ standard upselling and cross-selling features, like those on the Woolrich website.
On the other hand, if you feel like you’d gain more by focusing on CLV (which is achieved through solid customer retention), the best thing you can do is offer product subscriptions, like on the Meow Meow Tweet ecommerce website. This design feature calls shoppers’ attention to the fact that subscribing allows them to save 10%. Plus, it also gives buyers advanced control over their subscriptions, which is guaranteed to lead to a positive customer experience.
Remove Conversion Obstacles
In most cases, the best way to encourage web visitors to convert is to address their doubts head-on, then present them with information that will help them overcome those obstacles and go ahead with their purchase.
For instance, in its website hero section, Thankbox points out that prospects will only pay for the service once they’re ready to send, encouraging all web visitors to create an online card and experience the solution firsthand.
Or, knowing that SaaS customer retention rates tend to be low, you could choose to employ design hacks to call your prospect’s attention to the lengthy trial period you offer, like Apple Music’s Six Month Offer.
This won’t just allow potential loyal customers to explore the benefits of your products at leisure. But more importantly, it will give you an opportunity to create a great onboarding process that will help turn your solution into an integral part of your audience’s lives, maximizing their chances of becoming loyal customers.
Lastly, if your goal is to achieve impressive retention rates, don’t forget that, in some cases, all you have to do to boost customer loyalty is to reward it.
You could provide frequent shoppers with exclusive perks, as Ikea does with discounted delivery options and 5% off on in-store purchases.
Or, you could develop an advanced loyalty program, like Sephora. This brand’s Star program encourages buyers to spend more to unlock special perks. Plus, it awards exclusive prizes to those who invite friends to shop with the brand, making it a superb way to boost both customer retention and acquisition.
Whether you’re just launching your business website or thinking about an overhaul, know that investing in customer acquisition and retention is one of those things that will guarantee a high ROI.
Yes, the results might not be visible from the get-go. Especially if you’re trying to boost retention, you’ll have to be patient to see whether your strategies are, indeed, driving customer loyalty. But, even if the tactics outlined in this article require a bit of tweaking to meet your specific goals, they’ll still deliver value to your business, which you’ll definitely see reflected in your bottom line.