The KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid – has been around since the sixties, but research shows it’s just as relevant in today’s digital world. After all, what customer wants to have to navigate a complex series of forms buttons and pop-ups to complete a purchase? In fact, research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that companies who simplify the decision making process for customer on the path to purchase were 86% more likely to see a sale.

Make it easier for customers to get to know you

Simplicity should extend to the place where your customers are most likely to learn about you – your website. Research conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group shows that only 16% of website visitors read an entire page word by word as compared to 79% who scan it (newsletters garner even less attention than websites).

 

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You don’t have very long to capture someone’s attention. What do you want your users to focus on?

 

So how can you improve your website content? Here are four visual cues that will make your website easier for visitors to browse and understand:

  • Use highlighted keywords (hypertext links, typeface variations and colors)
  • Use subheadings
  • Write short paragraphs
  • Create bulleted lists

Make it easier for customers to buy from you

Simplicity isn’t about limiting choices, it’s about presenting the right choices to the right customer. Building personal and tailored online experiences allows you to eliminate confusing distractions that might lead away from a sale. According to Patrick Spenner of CEB, a best practice insight and technology company,  there are three important ways you can build simplicity into the user’s path to purchase:

  1. Aid navigation: Use data and analytics to adjust a user’s experience on your site based on how he or she has arrived there.
  2. Build trust: Offer product advice from trusted individuals and show proof of why the advice-giver is trustworthy.
  3. Make it easier to weigh options: Generate product recommendations based on past purchase history and user-provided information.

Make it easier for your customers to find what they're looking for.

Make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for.

The benefits of simplicity

Making things simple does require work on the part of a brand or a company, but it’s worth the effort when you consider the distinct benefits that simplified customer-facing assets often bring. Smart simplicity can:

  • Reduce customer service costs
  • Make it easier for cutomers to find what they’re looking for
  • Lessen abandoned shopping carts
  • Increase customer loyalty

So, if you’ve always thought that complexity equals sophistication in the mind of the consumer, maybe it’s time to think again.