Building an Effective Online Store

June 18, 2013


I wasn’t sure what category to put this blog post in, because it isn’t really about PHP code or even about code in general, but there are a few things to learn from my recent update to the website:

  1. If adding something to a page/site DOES NOT have any measurable impact, remove it.
  2. Remember that people tend to skim pages, so keep that in mind when structuring your UI.
  3. Seemingly small things can have a big impact on user behaviour and sales.

Remove the unnecessary:

I am always experimenting with different variations to the layouts of our pages – adding/removing buttons, adding a video, replacing link text to image buttons etc … The thing you should always strive for is simplicity – remove what is not needed. Buttons, videos and images that don’t do anything are actually distracting the user.

We recently added a video in our header, introducing the video store to anyone who cared to clicked on the video … very few did. In fact, only about 6% of bothered. Conclusion: waste of space. And so we removed the video.

Check out the old killervideostore header- with video in place:


.. Just click on the above thumbnail to see what it was like.

Now compare it to the new killervideostore header.

People Skim Pages:

When people come to a website, they skim the pages quickly … unless you catch their attention with something. So you need to remove clutter from the page to increase the chances that people will find what they are looking for.

Little Things can be Big Distractions!

I can’t overstate how important it is, that you make changes to your websites very cautiously … especially when you have something that is working.

Over and over again, I’ve been amazed at how even seemingly simple things, can have a huge impact on user behaviour. For example, we once turned our store pages from a light green to a dark green … and watched sales immediately drop 50%! We then reversed back to our old lighter green and sales jumped right back up.

I hope you found this useful.

Stefan Mischook

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