Most small businesses who sell to consumers (B2C) have a website today. Finding the best ones to use as examples requires narrowing down options to various categories and then comparing a variety of options. Amazon is often considered the gold standard in e-commerce B2C websites, but there are many other examples that help with the best design elements as well.
The United States Small Business Administration estimates there are around 33.2 million small businesses in the country. Although not all are B2C companies, millions of small businesses cater to consumers and have an online presence.
Whether a brand always has a site and wants to improve it or is looking to create a new design, there are a few things that make the top ones stand out from the rest. Here are some favorite elements to include:
1. Crumbl Cookies
Crumbl Cookies uses a video hero image to immediately engage site visitors. B2C websites should keep the consumer interacting from the moment they land on the page. Since most people have faster streaming than in the past and reliable internet connectivity, utilizing videos within designs can ramp up the success of any site.
2. Brighter Lights Media
Brighter Lights Media uses a perfect mix of white space on their site. Since they offer a service where they film events, such as weddings, they already include video clips and beautiful images. However, creating the symmetrical balance between text, images and white space is challenging.
The site is a good one to study to fully understand the ample amounts of negative space needed to draw the user’s attention to specific elements on a B2C website and help them navigate the buyer’s journey.
3. Praxxis Pro
Praxxis Pro does an excellent job of including a brightly colored call to action (CTA) button. Consider the best location for a CTA. Some sites include it on multiple pages or mainly on the home page. The sales model for a B2C website will determine where the CTA gets the best traction.
Businesses can also use some A/B testing and see which locations, colors and wording users respond best to for the CTA.
Zappos is one of the top shoe e-tailers today. One thing the site does particularly well is choosing categories most likely to be items people are looking for. B2C website owners should thinkthrough the most likely things people who land on the site seek. Hunting through top keywords is a good indicator.
Narrow the options down to five to seven categories and create a navigational hierarchy that makes the most sense for the business’s potential customers.
5. Max & Lily
Max & Lily pulls in the help of a countdown timer. When companies put a time limit on a sale, it drives customers to go ahead and make a purchase. Once the user bounces away from a website to “think it over,” the chances of them returning are greatly reduced. Entice them to stay with a discount valid for a limited time.
Another option is to use the scarcity rule to make something seem more enticing. One study used two cookie jars to prove people want what they think others prefer. With two cookie jars, the scientists left one with only a couple cookies left and placed 10 in the other jar. People almost always selected a cookie from the almost empty jar.
Show how many of a popular item are left to entice site visitors to order immediately. Add a timer to put on even more pressure and encourage them to buy now rather than later.
Grovemade features a highly intuitive shopping experience. Users can easily add an item to their cart and take it back out with single clicks. The system suggests items usually purchased together or sends you to the next step of checking out with some simple CTAs.
Test out any shopping cart system and go with the one that integrates with other systems, such as inventory management. However, make sure it is user friendly and mobile responsive at the same time.
Skullcandy uses a gorgeous color palette to pull customers into their design and make them want to purchase their items. Don’t underestimate the power of color to engage users and create specific emotions.
Why does a business choose a specific color palette? Hopefully it’s created to cater to the company’s target audience and reach them on a deeper level. CTA buttons should pop against the background but also grab the user and make them want to take action.
Look for ways to try various colors and pay attention to contrast between background and text.
Whether one designs B2C websites or owns a company and wants a do it yourself option, adding in the elements above creates more opportunities for success. Spend a bit of time checking to see if the business’ website matches the needs and expectations of users.
Find ways to entice them from the second they land on the page and keep them moving forward throughout their journey on the site. The better a brand understands its users, the more successful a website will be.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.