Sawaram Suthar is the founder of TheNextScoop and Jagat Media. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in branding, promotions, page optimization, research, and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on Twitter @sawarams.
Curious how design and branding elements can make your dropshipping website successulful? Here are some of reasons, design and branding tips to learn.
There’s still a lot of momentum behind the dropshipping movement, and newcomers can make waves if they pitch their site right.
Getting the design and branding on point is crucial to bringing customers on board, especially as a fresh face in the dropshipping websites, so take these tips into account to maximize the effectiveness of your fledgling site.
Set standards for your brand identity
Rather than taking a scattergun approach to branding, it’s better to guarantee consistency by putting guidelines in place which will define how it’s handled.
This should cover everything from the fonts and typographical presentation to the corporate colors and the logo you use.
You need to settle on choices for each of these elements and have a concrete plan for how they need to be used.
For example, do you want every page of your site to feature your logo, and if so, where on the page should it be?
It’s also worth considering your brand voice in this context. It needs to be clearly defined, relevant to your audience and used consistently on your site and any other platform you occupy, such as your social media posts.
Build a brilliant homepage
While you might expect a lot of your customers to click through to landing pages and never set foot on your site’s homepage because of this, that doesn’t mean you can afford to neglect it.
You don’t need to be too regimented in terms of following particular design tropes here; just resist the temptation to overstuff the storefront of your dropshipping business with endless images, text snippets, and links to product pages and so forth.
A clean, legible, easy-to-digest homepage will not only be more practical from a usability perspective but will also make your brand seem more professional and trustworthy, even if you’re effectively running the site as a solo side hustle.
Behind the scenes: Use high-quality dropshipping automation software
Speaking of running a site of this type with a skeleton crew, using software to automate as many aspects as possible is your best bet.
There are established platforms like Fixpoint that are capable of achieving this, although the market is competitive and varied at the moment. If you’re looking for a top alternative for Fixpoint, you’ve got ample options, and most importantly, you could make significant savings without having to commit to a long-term contract.
With the right software in place, the nuts and bolts of your dropshipping site will be firmly held together, allowing you to focus on the design and branding without worrying about core functionality.
Put mobile users at the top of the agenda
Visitors from desktop devices will likely make up a minority of your site’s customers since mobile users are far more common in terms of overall web traffic today.
This means you need to be aware of how your design choices will impact people browsing from smartphones and tablets.
Mobile-friendliness has been essential for usability and search engine optimization for years now, yet it’s still something that many sites get wrong.
As well as ensuring that the interface scales to suit different size screens with touch controls, you also need to be on the ball regarding images and embedded media. If product photos don’t display correctly or videos are unwieldy to interact with, you’ll lose prospective customers rather than hooking them.
Image Source: Pexels
Create a blog to promote your brand and improve search visibility
You might think that there’s no need for sites to have a dedicated blog in the lean, mean world of dropshipping.
However, this remains one of the best ways to add relevant, up-to-date content that isn’t just copy-pasted product descriptions, thus enhancing your site's SEO credentials and giving visitors something more to do than browse your wares.
You can write the blog yourself or outsource this to a freelancer or agency. Think about the kinds of topics your target audience will want to see covered, and also consider the social media shareability of any posts you publish.
Another point to make is that it’s worth tracking the performance of blog posts to see which types of content click with readers and which fall short. That way, you can hone your future efforts and find a good formula for appeasing search algorithms as well as real visitors.
Turbocharge loading times
Many dropshipping brands are entirely unknown to the majority of visitors, and so the amount of leeway you have to win them over is far less than if you were an established, mainstream eCommerce brand.
The one thing that can put off prospects quicker than anything else is if they have to wait around for pages to load for more than two or three seconds.
Ideally, it will seem that your site loads instantaneously, and so anything you can do to improve page load speed will make a big difference to conversion rates.
Compressing images without reducing quality, trimming unnecessary media elements and menu items from pages, and ensuring that you’re using a quality web hosting package will all help in this regard.
Image Source: Pixabay
The use of a call-to-action on every page of your site where this is appropriate will further bolster the effectiveness of the design because it will make each element purposeful in funneling visitors toward the checkout.
A good call-to-action should be solution-oriented, clearly written, and prominently positioned so that it entices the viewer to interact with it.
Pick images carefully
We’ve discussed images briefly already, but it’s worth looking more deeply at ways you can use them to enhance the design and branding of your dropshipping website.
First, if it’s at all possible, get professional product images that are unique to your site rather than using generic examples that the manufacturer provides.
This obviously comes at a cost, but this will be recouped if you’re able to make your site look like a cut above the rest of the market with the quality and variety of the photos you host.
Second, don’t go overboard with stock photos for other parts of your site because it’s very easy for visitors to detect when the images they see have been conjured up to apply in almost any scenario.
This also means making sure that you use images purposefully rather than sticking them in whether they’re appropriate on a given page.
The more discerning you are, the more it will benefit your brand identity while also enhancing the design by moving more towards minimalism than clutter.
Image Source: Pexels
Don’t be afraid of descriptive navigation elements
There are literally millions of websites that have top-level navigation that’s basically the same in terms of the way it’s worded. A generic button labeled ‘Products’ will not do much to give visitors an idea of the types of goods you stock and necessitates sub-menus and drop-downs while also making your site look bland and cookie-cutter in its design.
The alternative approach, and one that’s particularly well suited to dropshipping sites, is to have descriptive navigation that goes into more detail.
This works best if your site is focused on a few core product categories; for example, if you sell watches, you could have sections labeled ‘Men’s Watches,’ ‘Ladies’ Watches,’ ‘Luxury Watches’ and so forth, rather than grouping all of these under ‘Products.’
It’s not just about enhancing the site's design but also about reducing the number of clicks customers need to make to get where they need to go.
Make your content easy to read
Whether for product page descriptions or blog posts, you have to give visitors an easy time in terms of the readability of the copy you include on your site.
Short paragraphs and concise sentences are a big help here. Subheadings are also your friend, breaking longer chunks into bite-sized bits of text that won’t overwhelm customers.
Simplicity is also a powerful tool for selling products and conveying your brand identity. Don’t assume that everyone who comes to your site will be an expert in the products you stock. Clarity of language, and avoidance of jargon, will work wonders.
Include the option for customers to leave reviews and share products elsewhere
Dropshipping sites might not seem like the place for user reviews, but people are far more likely to trust your brand if they can see that others have provided feedback on your products.
The same goes for making social sharing of your pages and content simple. Including embedded buttons for popular social platforms to make each share a one-click affair will make a real difference to site traffic.
There’s a lot that goes into making a successful dropshipping website, and the most successful businesses in this space don’t skimp on design and branding elements.
You also must be willing to test site performance and refine your efforts with time to secure strong, ongoing growth.
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