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How the Power of Design Helped This Ecommerce Brand 3X Their Conversions


In my five years owning a design studio, I’ve had a lot of customers come to me and say, “We don’t really need design. We just need a website that works.” They see design as a luxury. But I know design isn’t just a nice to have extra. It’s an essential marketing tool that can increase your conversions and improve your bottom line.

And not by just a little. By up to three times. I know because we’ve gotten results like this for our clients using the power of design alone.

Your customers are already judging you based on design.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the following pairs of images:

Which of these shampoos is more expensive?

Which coffee is strongest?

Which cookies are healthiest?

Did you have any trouble answering these questions? I bet not. Now take a closer look at the logos and copy. Notice anything? You may have missed it at first glance, but they’re exactly the same. The difference between these products isn’t the usual things my clients obsess about, the copy and the logo. The difference is in the design, the visual look and feel of the product overall.

Within just a matter of seconds, we form clear, firm opinions of brands based on the color scheme, fonts, and style they use to represent themselves, collectively known as their brand identity. In fact, recent research shows we judge products in just 33 milliseconds. That’s the blink of an eye. Another study out of Stanford found that 46 percent of people rank the visual look of a website as their most important criterion for judging the credibility of a company.

That means your customers are already judging your products based on design, whether you’re paying much attention to your products’ visuals or not. By taking the power of design to shape people’s beliefs and behavior seriously, you can drive more conversions and more sales.

Design alone can triple your sales.

Here’s a real life example. Alana and Jared Mitchell, co-founders of a line of hand-crafted beauty products, reached out to Gif Design Studios last year. Alana is an aesthetician with nearly 20 years experience in the industry, a large following, and an excellent reputation as an expert in her space. She had deep expertise, great products, and name recognition, but all that just wasn’t converting into sales in the way the co-founders hoped.

After doing a deep dive into their brand, my team had a good idea what was holding them back. The company’s target audience was busy, health conscious moms shopping online for a small luxury, but their white and pink packaging and girly fonts made the products look like they were for a much younger audience. They also did nothing to convey the artisanal care Alana had put into each formula. As a result many visitors to their website were bouncing away quickly without making a purchase. 

Once we understood the values they wanted to communicate with their brand, we made major changes to better align their visuals with the audience they hoped to attract.



In line with color psychology principles we added dark blue to convey Alana’s expertise (this color’s subconscious association with trustworthiness is why you often see it in the logos of banks and hospitals). We added a bit of gold to convey luxury, complementing it with some feminine pastels. Finally, we created a brushstroke effect and adapted Alana’s signature for the logo in order to convey the brands’s artisanal ethos.

Like many in ecommerce, Jared, who runs the business side of the company, was obsessed with metrics. He didn’t want to roll out this new design without hard data, so he conducted an A/B test where half the visitors to the website saw the new look and half the old visuals. What difference does design make? See for yourself:

Just revamping the visuals while changing nothing about their products and copy caused their conversion rate to jump from four to 16 percent. They were making an average of $3 per visitor before the redesign and $14 after. That’s a 275 percent increase in sales from the same number of visitors.

Imagine quadrupling the amount of money you’re making on your existing traffic. Imagine doing it without having to change a single thing about your product or how you position it. Imagine doing it without adding an extra penny to your monthly advertising or SEO spend.

That’s the power of design.

Clearly, it’s not just a nice to have extra. It’s a key marketing tool to attract the right customers for your product and convince them to buy. And if you’re not investing in design, you’re almost certainly leaving sales on the table.