As the Internet continues to become more essential to all of our businesses, jewelers are starting to think about things differently. We obsess about our websites, worry about email lists, and wonder which social networks to focus on. We think about our consumers' needs and aim to offer relevant content. As this principle takes hold, we see helpful reference materials, more informed buyers, and a better overall shopping experience. The temptation is to cover everything on your website—which often leads to clutter. The priority should be shaping the experience so your customers take your desired actions. In crafting a Web experience, nothing is more effective than clear and obvious calls to action. The goal is to define the path your customers will take. You need to know what you want to achieve—whether it's sales, sign-ups, or education. From there, everything you do should drive Web visitors to your chosen location. To date, the Web has been defined by search. Because of this, we've made it our mission to get everything possible online so that if people Google it, they will find it. Every ad, every brand, and every service we offer gets digitized. We ensure there is nothing missing and assume our customers will navigate their way to whatever they are looking for.
The unlimited nature of the Internet seems like a positive, but its lack of boundaries holds its own set of challenges. When you have the ability to offer everything, you make it difficult to find anything. It can also become a distraction and a deterrent. Anyone who has ever visited a Baskin-Robbins is familiar with the concept of debilitating choice. The Web takes that 31-flavor phenomenon and multiples it exponentially. While retailers such as Amazon need to make it easy to find everything, you must carefully consider what you want your visitors to do, then curtail your current options to make that a reality. If you are preparing to redesign your site, consider scaling back your Web offerings to showcase your best products and partners. If you are starting an e-newsletter, zero in on no more than three things to make it easy on readers. If you are putting your energies into social media, make sure your updates reinforce your desired actions.
Look closely: Are you calling buyers to action?
When Web design is becoming more and more artistic, you may think I'm crazy to tell you to make something on your site look a little "off." In your store, you would spare no expense making sure everything looked just so. But a little unusual can go a long way. If you study modern websites, you'll likely notice a color that stands out from the rest, a contrasting shade used sparingly yet strategically to drive action. You'll see over-emphasized or abnormally large buttons emblazoned with phrases such as Read More, Buy Now, Add to Cart. That is how Web designers—and you—subconsciously drive customers toward desired actions. It may not look the way you want; you might need to break from your official color scheme or even conventional taste. But the right splash of color—or what is lovingly described as a big-ass button—can have the same effect as a well-trained member of your sales team: getting shoppers exactly where you want them.
Want to know if you're on the right track? Go to your website, walk across the room, and look at the screen. Is it obvious what you'd like your customers to do? If not, figure out what your calls to action should be and how to make them stand out. Don't go overboard; you want things to pop, not scream. It's a subtle distinction, which is why Web design is becoming an art. But it is essential to carefully craft a Web experience rather than to simply build a website. This may require some sacrifices and some aesthetic choices that seem illogical. Yet just as you had to learn how to design a store that drove sales, you now need to understand how to craft a Web experience that drives actions.