Recently I’ve been asked to review several websites run by small retailers. Both with coloured backgrounds, one turquoise, one a soft purple. In both cases I have advised that they should get rid of the colour and go with something neutral. There are three reasons for this, ignore the first if you like.
1. I personally don’t like them. Ever.
2. Some people may not like the colour you have chosen. It may be your favourite colour, irrelevant – you want the greatest number of people possible to like your website and if you even put a small percentage of them off you will be losing orders.
3. And most importantly, it makes text harder to read, and pictures less distinct.
Have I managed to convince you yet?
I say it so many times but with the web and e-commerce there is no reason whatsoever to try and re-invent the wheel at the basic web design stage. Use the tried, tested and trusted templates and don’t try to be clever. It’s just not necessary.
Having attended the hugely interesting IMRG Fashion and Luxury Retail event yesterday it is quite fascinating the innovations being incorporated by the larger online retailers, specifically in the arena of mobile e-commerce, which is expected to grow by 83% this year, pictorially; in terms of zoom and spin; and the use of rich media. But all of this on a base of instantly apparent website structure.
We will try and track web pages in the same way whatever your design and the tiniest variation trying to force us away from the norm will reduce conversion. End of story. So please lose the coloured backgrounds. No retailer can afford to turn customers away and in the potentially hugely profitable area of e-commerce why would you do something that even might achieve just that?