In the wild world of e-commerce, first impressions are everything. Put another way, the graphics you use on your website and product listings can either attract customers or turn them away.
From product photos to logos and promotional images, the quality and design of your graphics play a crucial role in creating a positive brand image and ultimately, driving sales. With this in mind, we’ll explore how the quality and design of the graphics you use can make or break your e-commerce business.
What is Graphic Design?
You might think of graphic design as just computerized images created by a digital artist. Or perhaps you just assume it’s the act of using mass developed clip art to create promotional pieces. Both answers are on the right track, but there’s a lot more to it.
Graphic design is the art and practice of creating visual content to communicate messages. It involves combining text, images, and other elements to produce effective visual communication and solve problems through visual expression.
Graphic designers use specialized tools and techniques to create high-quality designs for various mediums such as:
- Logos and other branding features
- Social media graphics
- Websites (blog posts, landing pages, sales pages, product listings, etc.)
- Print materials (brochures, flyers, direct mail pieces, etc.)
- Even packaging materials such as the boxes you ship your goods in
The goal of graphic design is to make information appealing, easily accessible, and memorable to the target audience. The better and more strategic your graphic designs are, the higher the impact those materials will have.
The Value of Graphic Design in E-Commerce
According to Understanding eCommerce, professional graphic design goes beyond visual appeal – it can increase the reliability of your website as well as your store’s trustworthiness.
8 Ways Graphic Design Impacts E-Commerce Business
Graphic design provides immense value for e-commerce businesses and organizations. It helps to:
- Build a strong brand identity:
- By creating a consistent visual language through graphics, a company can establish a recognizable brand and stand out from the competition.
- Communicate effectively:
- Graphics can help simplify complex information, making it more accessible and memorable to the target audience.
- Attract and retain customers:
- Attractive and well-designed graphics can help build trust, establish credibility, and improve the customer experience.
- Improve effectiveness for marketing campaigns:
- Whether you’re buying ads or trying to reach people organically, your graphic design can directly impact the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
- Enhance value perception:
- Professional looking graphic design instantly makes your company look more valuable than one with poor graphics. Think about how you feel when you walk into a Neiman Marcus vs. a JcPenney – perception is everything to a buyer.
- Cultivate stronger brand recognition:
- Not only will your brand be more consistent, it will be easier to recognize when it’s your e-commerce website over that of a competitor.
- Give your brand a leg up on the competition:
- Speaking of competitors, if you hope to stand out in a crowded marketplace, your graphic design is one key you shouldn’t dismiss.
- Increase sales and ROI:
- Good graphic design can enhance the appeal and perceived value of products, driving sales and boosting return on investment.
Pro Tip: Don’t skimp on your graphic design if increasing profit is a goal.
In short, graphic design is an investment that can greatly benefit a business by enhancing its image, communication, and profitability.
Did you know that 94% of consumers will leave a website that has poor graphic design? Furthermore, 70% of consumers will form an impression of a brand solely based on packaging.
If your e-commerce brand has been losing business to competitors, your graphic design could be the cause.
Graphic Design in E-Commerce FAQ’s
In this section, we will answer some of the most common questions related to how a well-designed visual identity can help drive online sales and improve the overall customer experience. From the importance of brand consistency to the role of graphics in product presentation, graphic design plays a significant role in any e-commerce business.
What is the importance of graphic design to an e-commerce business?
Professional graphic design is crucial for e-commerce businesses because it creates a strong visual identity and enhances marketing efforts. More importantly than either of those things however, is the fact that solid graphic design increases your sales and ROI for any ads you may purchase!
As Shopify explains, “Attractive and unique website design has always played a key role in a successful online sales and marketing strategy.”
What are 3 benefits of graphic design for businesses?
While there are several benefits an e-commerce business will enjoy thanks to graphic design, the top three are:
- Improved Communication: Think of graphic design as telling a story, but with pictures. One Hour Professor reported the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times, faster than words. Put another way, things we can’t clearly articulate with words alone, are much easier to understand when we have visuals. For example, instead of telling you to eat healthier, I might show you a picture of a salad and some fruit. The photo better explains my meaning just like solid graphic design explains your brand’s message.
- Increased Brand Awareness: When you think of McDonald’s, what comes to mind? Probably the golden arches. Or what about Nike? Probably that “swoosh” symbol, right? Your logo and graphics tell the world “Hey! This is my e-commerce company!” And, the more people see it, the more they recognize it as yours.
- Boosted Sales and ROI: Attractive and well-designed graphics can increase the perceived value of products and services, leading to increased sales and a better return on investment. According to One Hour Professor, content such as a blog post with at least a single image will be shared by two times the number of people compared to content that doesn’t have any visuals. They also reported that graphic design can determine your brand’s credibility – the more credible you are equals more sales.
What is the value of graphic design?
At the risk of sounding like a broken record at this point, graphic design enhances your e-commerce business’s visual appeal and brand identity. It’s what attracts customers, increases brand recognition, and makes buyers more likely to be loyal to you.
Should You DIY or Hire Out Your Graphic Design?
With products like Canva, Stencil, and PicMonkey, it’s easy to understand the urge to try your own hand at your company’s graphic design efforts. And, in truth, considering most e-commerce business owners are looking to save a buck, it makes DIY options even more appealing.
However, while it may seem tempting to save money by doing your graphic design yourself, you might want to consider hiring it out anyway. There are several reasons why, but we’ll sum it up to a few quick points:
- Professionalism and Quality: Someone that has trained in graphic design will be able to give you a higher quality product that the cookie cutter software available will. And, they will know what colors work together and which fonts will look best on your designs to boot.
- Time-Saving: You could sit there in your chair staring at designs for hours, and agonize for weeks about the typography and even how much white space to use. Or, you could hire a graphic designer that can get it done quickly while you focus on the things only you can do – like curating products for your business, building relationships, and managing the day to day operations.
- Objectivity: A graphic designer can bring a fresh perspective and objective point of view to your brand. They are not emotionally attached to your business and can provide an outside perspective on how your brand is being perceived. Why is this important? Simply put, your graphic designer can create designs that better convey the message you’re hoping to deliver, and that will be more appealing to your target audience.
- Brand Consistency: As Mailchimp states, brand consistency means ensuring that the way you present your company—and what it stands for—remains the same across all your marketing channels, unifying the image and message your customers and potential customers see. This is important for building the know, like, and trust factor of your business. Unfortunately, when we DIY, we might forget to make sure that fonts match, use the same colors, and create the same aesthetic across all designs. A graphic designer on the other hand, can ensure that your branding is consistent from your website to your emails, brochures to your packaging.
Original graphics yield better engagement, which in turn means more sales.
If you need another reason to hire out your graphic design instead of DIY options, this might help sway your decisions. Finances Online found that “original graphics (40%) performed best and delivered the most engagement.” You’re not going to get original graphics on a template based website like Canva though!
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to spend a bunch of money upfront. You could always start small with your branding, and level up as your profit levels increase.
You might be surprised at the actual costs to get started with outsourcing your graphic design needs. The time and energy you will save on design tasks outside your expertise will also help you to refocus your efforts on running and growing your business.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Hopefully by now we’ve made it clear just how important graphic design is for your e-commerce business. The companies that put energy into their graphic design enjoy more sales, increased customer loyalty, better brand recognition and so much more.
We’ve also shared why you shouldn’t try to go it alone in creating the visual elements for your brand. You could spend lots of time and energy trying to do it yourself, but it could yield less than stellar results.
So where do you go from here? We’d like to invite you to consider Markacy’s graphic design and creative services. Our team has helped companies just like yours move their brand to the next level. Click here to view our portfolio, and see what we’ve done for other brands.