How ‘Persuasive’ Is Your E-Commerce Website?

e-commerce website

For e-commerce to succeed, businesses need know how to attract customers that ultimately become buyers to their websites. Whether a Web site is e-commerce, Informational, or transactional, it must motivate people to make decisions online that lead to better sales record, goodwill and loyalty. This involves creating customer engagement and commitment in a way that clearly impacts business results and measurable goals.

The next wave in Web site design is persuasive design, designing for persuasion, emotion, and trust. While usability is still a fundamental requirement for effective Web site design, it is no longer enough to design sites that are simply easy to navigate and understand so users can complete transactions.” – By Eric Schaffer

In 1997, Shaw et al predicted that one of the most critical aspects that will influence the success of electronic commerce will be the effectiveness of the interface interacting with customers. In 1999, James Daly, Editor-in-Chief of Business 2.0, re-echoing Shaw’s assertion, says “design is the channel for bringing a new spirit into an on-line shop…creative, customer-centric, humanizing design will ultimately distinguish the winners from the losers”.

How would e-commerce sites make this browser- to-buyer transition happen successfully? In this article, we shall observe five key elements to consider if you want to make your online store as persuasive as it can be.


We all are familiar with the special effect product price has on our decision making process. The place of price is very essential to customer motivation in e-commerce. According to findings by Winn and Beck from the research on the impact of persuasive power on online buying and selling, respondents made positive comments about the placement and clarity of the prices of a product, which demonstrates that price presentation carries persuasive power. So, clearly and boldly display your products prices in a way that will inevitably attract the attention of your visitors, especially if you have one of the most competitive prices in the industry.


The extent to which customers are able to view products images clearly and comprehensively will largely determine their choice of whether to make a purchase or not. According to Winn and Beck, respondents liked the enlarged image option that allowed them to study the pictures of products in more detail, and would even prefer other ways of examining the products (e.g. 3D, options to rotate, etc).


A Detail but precise description of products is an essential customer-centric strategy for creating and eliciting product-confidence and desire in customers. Winn and Beck noted that the large number of comments on products information display is suggestive of the strong persuasive power that could be associated with products information design. You may go a step further to include videos, however the downside to that is slow audio or video buffering, which may result in dissatisfaction by customers.

Sense of Community, Security and Privacy

Appeal based on the credibility and character of an ecommerce site can be achieved through an e-commerce web design element that establishes a sense of community, privacy and security components. Customers will always prefer e-commerce sites that allows for a flawless transaction process which assured them of the security of the site. Design solutions that promote a sense of security, privacy and belonging will always trigger confidence, trust and loyalty.


The amount of fun you bring to your site will go a long way to keep visitors on your site for an extended period of time. One very good way to bring fun to your site is to provide your visitors with news and information that can be fascinating, amusing and useful at the same time. These can include blogs and articles on celebrity gists that are industry or product-specific, tips for maximizing product/service benefits, constitutional, political and policy related developments that affects particular product(s) or service(s) that your merchandise on your site etc. The essence is to build confidence and establish a bond that inspires loyalty and trust.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, we must note that once a customer has entered our Web site, we must immediately create a sense of trust and ease ftgor there will be no transaction. The goal of implementing the outlined ‘persuasive’ strategies (and many others that we will be glad if you shared with us here) is to create enough attractions on the site that will ultimately result in higher purchases both in the short and long term. By leveraging the art of persuasion in designing of our e-commerce sites, we can systematically influence customers’ online behavior in our favour.



Designing To Sell Online: Persuasive Power in Action

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