What feels like decades ago, my girlfriend (business partner) and I started our first business: an online, boutique, E-commerce store.
I went all in; the 9am-3pm at my job, and then the 3pm-3am. Sometimes 5am. Occasionally the 7am. I picked away at every imaginable detail, frequently making the “dawn double shot” of espresso.
Maybe a bit late to the party, as many had already established modernized, outside-the-box, and considerably trendy brands and companies.
We dove in and did it all. She’s the admin natured brain, handling the paperwork, licenses, documentation, and generally large-scale motions. I held up the creative side.
This was in fact a WordPress site, and I went all in; the 9am-3pm at my job, and then the 3pm-3am. Sometimes 5am. Occasionally the 7am. I picked away at every imaginable detail, frequently making the “dawn double shot” of espresso.
We hired a graphic designer who did some extremely intricate work, which my business partner and I were ecstatic about.
We strategized the launch. We built up the brand, the following, and the social media with abstract design – even on those platforms. We really had it going, and I still reflect and think back to how ruthless we were, in terms of perfecting our craft, which was our business. This was a women’s boutique store, and I was hyped to go above and beyond, especially on the SEO, information displayed on every page, and throughout every fiber of framework. I loved writing the item descriptions; they each sounded like their own romantic comedy, but pertaining to how this snakeskin minidress would help you fall in love and live your best life.
It was well done; we hired another employee for strategy, and then one more employee for tax and legal purposes. We did it, or so we felt.
Fast forward: 6 months
We funded the site steadily with outreach, advertising, engagement, and of course: heart and soul.
There was a sad percentage of ROI, a painfully disappointing amount of user retention, and worst of all - competing brands in the same market started to level up digitally. Sites started to have incredible design; I remember the first time I was scrolling down, into “unfolding” animation. Next was the 3D rollercoaster-feeling entering a home page. Some of my favorites were the text that would swap, or elements that would wiggle or jump when you rolled the mouse over them. Simple things just turned brilliant.
That was it – simple things just turned brilliant.
I don’t even want to touch upon where that business of mine ended up, but let’s just say I learned a lot about watching what was going on around me. Websites started to come alive; I use this metaphoric kind of phrase because it’s a perfect reference. These interfaces and structures aren’t rigid anymore. They’re not colored boxes with text, some images, and a bit of depth to it. They’re living, breathing digital portals. I’m not suggesting that your local bodega, or corner store needs to have a multilayered, hyper-developed website – but if your target market can feel comforted and entertained by a simple visit to your site… then that’s in direct relation with the level of emotional attachment to your brand.
Statista recorded the most “annoying” user website elements being lack of message at 46%, and poor design/navigation at 37%.
Salesforce is a highly respected and valued company/platform. They were the ones that said: “49% [of people] would give companies more data, for a seamless user experience.” That one came as a surprise to me, given the ongoing battle for data security and user privacy.
Forbes magazine states: “79% of marketers say that adding interactive website elements boosts repeat visitors and improves messaging.” That’s an important one, since Statista recorded the most “annoying” user website elements being lack of message at 46%, and poor design/navigation at 37%.
Please, just one more. SEO Smart Marketing Solutions wrote: “37% of B2B clients say poor design/navigation is one of the factors that makes them leave the site, and 66% are more easily retained with beautifully designed content".
I’m not telling you that you must rip the roots out of your website right now and start fresh, but there’s a reflection that could be beneficial to all business owners. Every week companies are refreshing their image, modernizing their look, and advancing digitally.
How are you going to keep up with the competition? How are you going to have your evolving company objectives, but grounded and sturdy infrastructure be exemplified by your website design and digital identity?
Being able to understand the user journey, elements, concepting, strategy, abstract thinking, and the cohesion across it all, is what allows me to scratch the surface of why it’s important to invest in a website.
I could sit here and type away for longer than this coffee will last, about how my experience with my own business in contrast with the “behind the scenes” as part of Dunclyde, is night and day. Being able to understand the user journey, elements, concepting, strategy, abstract thinking, and the cohesion across it all, is what allows me to scratch the surface of why it’s important to invest in a website.
Again, it is your digital identity.