This past weekend, I decided that rather than battling the crowds at the shops, I’d do my Mother’s Day shopping online. There’s a boutique shop in Wynwood (Miami) that I absolutely adore and it’s one of my favorite places to look for unique, handcrafted gifts. I did a quick Google search and I was in luck! They had online store! As soon as I clicked the link and the page started to load however, I was instantly disappointed. In person, this store is BEAUTIFUL. It’s minimalistic, yet luxurious. Gorgeous artwork is tastefully placed throughout the space. It’s the kind of store where you’re so immersed in their environment, you walk in looking for one item and you leave with ten. Unfortunately, this is not the case for their online store. It looked cluttered and tacky. The images weren’t formatted correctly and the user experience was downright awful.  The worst part? I had to calculate and manually enter the shipping cost – Circa 1999.
 
I was happy to go through this unpleasant online shopping experience because I’m aware of the physical store and have become really fond of it over the past several years. I love their products and I enjoy supporting local artists. But what if someone who didn’t know the business stumbled across it? There is no way they’d trust this sloppy online shop with their credit card information, no matter how awesome the goods.
 

The key takeaway here?

 

Good web design = trust.

 
Think about it. The better an online store looks and the more user friendly, the more professional it seems and the more willing people are willing to purchase from that particular site. First impressions matter. It only takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds!) for a user to form an opinion about your website that determines whether or not they like your site enough to stay on it. Make sure you have an awesome, functional design. Would you be willing to enter your payment info when the website looks like it was created by someone conning for your credit card number? Let’s hope not.
 
People buy from awesome-looking websites because they want to be a part of something. It’s not enough anymore just to have an online presence. It’s got to be a good looking one too!

Published by Merilyn McGonigal

Merilyn McGonigal (alas, no relation to the professor) is a writer and editor based in South Florida. She has crafted content for small businesses, large non-profits, tech startups, and everything in between. Writer by day and reader by night, she loathes to talk about herself in the third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time. So it goes. Find her on Instagram here @MerilynMcg