Is there such a thing as an industry specific design?

Is there such a thing as an industry specific design?

From time to time, customers will ask us about one of the base designs in our layouts collection and whether it would be suitable to a particular industry, or what base layout would best suit a particular industry that they are in.

The good news is that the answer is the same for both questions: any of the layouts can work equally well for all industries, and what works best depends not on the layout but on your brand.

Basics of branding

Many people think of brands as a combination of colours and a logo, and possibly packaging, but that is a very limited way of thinking of brands. Brands have value and can be what makes the difference in a highly competitive industry.

Brands consist of everything that represents the look and feel of a product or service. It includes everything from the logo, to the work culture, to the colours, to the fonts, to the style of images, to the way that the business represents itself to customers (the words used in marketing material) to the shop front to the order emails to the follow up to the returns policy and customer service team to the follow up for repeat purchases. It is a collective package and not just one thing.

Brands are important because as a general rule, human psychology favours the familiar. This means that a brand that is appealing, reliable and memorable to a potential customer is more likely to be chosen than one that is unknown – even if the underlying product has a totally different feature and benefit set.

What makes a good brand?

There are many factors that make a good brand in the online world, but they include:

  • Trust – can the website and website operator’s be trusted to deliver what they say they will? Are they secure? Is the product of good quality? Can you believe what it says on their website and in their other sales material? This is one area where a professional website and integrated look is crucial.
  • Memorability – there are many examples of fantastic advertisements that are never remembered by customers, fantastic products that are never remembered on the shelves, award winning marketing campaigns that are never associated with their products. This is because a linkage is not correctly made between the product and the marketing. A great brand is one that is easy to remember in many situations – it’s one of the reasons why brands like Facebook, Google and are so successful – they’re very memorable.
  • Loyalty – a great brand is one that builds loyalty – encouraging repeat purchases and not just one off sales. It’s much easier to sell to a repeat buyer who knows what they’re buying in your shop than a new customer who is wary of the quality of your products, your delivery times, your returns policies and your history.
  • Innovation – the most successful innovators lead the way in a turbulent environment where customers are apathetic and demanding. Customers today are like the medieval crowds that gathered in squares to throw eggs at stand up comics who were not funny, or criminals put in the stocks for taunting. It takes a lot to impress them, and they’d rather taunt than buy. They want everything for nothing. One way is to innovate and give them something that they hadn’t thought they might want rather than copying what other people are doing. An innovative brand is a trendsetter, and people love trendsetters
  • Feedback – no successful business is one way – if you don’t listen to what your customers want, how can you make them loyal to you. In a social media connected world this is even more important than ever and is the reason why businesses that employ things like crowd sourcing do so well.
  • Your story – brands are more than just a set of properties, they are a feeling about your business. Great brands tell a story: how you got into the business, what you stand for, what you will/won’t do in the future can help shape the type of website that you want. 

What does this mean for shopping cart website layouts?

This means that the overall look and feel of your website is what you are aiming for, rather than a particular design for a particular business type. You want your site to reflect what makes your business tick.

So choose any of the layouts, and aim to get the look that you want through graphics and colour personalisation. Do you want cartoon graphics in a party site, or serious people photos? Desktop photography of objects or pictures of affluent people having fun? Animals or Shapes? Black and white or colour? What colours? What typestyles appeal to your business? Dark or light?

Deciding on your brand and choosing the graphics customisation of your site to suit that brand is the approach you need to take rather than trying to fit a layout to a particular industry. There is no such thing as an industry specific layout.

Ozcart Ecommerce

Ozcart has been in business since 2006 and is an online, hosted shopping cart that you can use for your current or new online store. We offer so many features for the same low price. In fact, we are addicted to adding new ones to ensure that we remain one of the best choices for a shopping cart.

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