Consumers develop emotional relationships with stores driven by physical contact and direct interaction. When you walk into a store and a sales person greets you, sometimes by name if you’re a repeat customer, it generates a sense of welcome. A handshake after you make a purchase reinforces that first impression. As an online seller, you can not offer the same level of easy emotional connection. However, there are tricks to website design and display that offset that disadvantage. You can give customers that same sense of emotional connection using thoughtfully chosen imagery, video and audio content and conversational language.
Choosing the Right Pictures
Even before looking at specific pictures, take a look at your color scheme. Warm colors promote a sense of peace and well being in your customers. One of the biggest mistakes new websites make is using jarring colors that push people away. Stick with warm tones of brown, green and red to build that basic sense of welcome. All of these colors offer visual appeal when used properly, and they do not induce the same kind of eye strain as an electric color palette.
The same holds true for pictures posted on your site. You want images that are relatable and warm. No good web designer goes for pictures that push shock value on an Ecommerce site. Develop pictures that depict regular people using your products, with a smile. Sure, the chosen models need to photograph well, but avoid the image of professional models. Most people do not relate emotionally to a woman or man so far outside the normal range. Use people of all ages to create a sense of inclusiveness. A bright smile goes a long way toward turning customers into advocates for your site.
Don’t Ignore the Importance of Sound
You don’t need video on every page, but you do need a few. Instructional guides offer a great way to engage the customer without seeming pushy. Home Depot and other home improvement stores have successfully used how-to videos to drive traffic to their site and convert for big sale numbers. A good instructional video guides customers on a project and offers them easy access to all the products they need for success.
You may wince at the prospect of paying for video production after video production, but you can always use a healthy mix of video and audio. Audio is cheaper and faster to record. It does not have the same effect as a great video guide, but it is worlds better than lifeless pictures. A how-to guide composed of still shots and audio makes a great presentation for your customers.
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
Last, but certainly not least, consider your language. When you write in a formal, professional tone, it may not create the reaction you want. Yes, expertise is important, but ultra-formal is not the only way to show your skill set. Taking complex concepts and explaining them using easy to understand comparisons takes just as much topic knowledge, and is more valuable to the average consumer. Keep your writing casual, direct and concise.
When you use warm color schemes, pictures that could have come out of a customer’s photo album, video and audio content that teaches something and conversational language, you give your customers everything they need to relate emotionally to your business. No, they do not get a physical handshake when they make a purchase, but the sense of welcome will guide them back to your site, time after time.