Even in this deeply interconnected era, nearly half of all small businesses still don’t have a website. If you’ve already got a plan for your site, you’ll be ahead of half of your competitors. You just need to make sure that your cannabis web design is solid and professional, winning the trust of and customers around the globe. Follow these 7 steps to ensure that your web design doesn’t fall into any of the common pitfalls small businesses suffer.
1. Don’t Sleep on Mobile
Web designers need to take mobile design seriously if they want to reach cannabis users of all stripes. If your cannabis business isn’t designing your site to be “mobile first” you’re going to miss out on a lot of business. With mobile internet browsing definitively surpassing desktop browsing, if you want to be where users are, you need to start with mobile devices. It’s much easier to adopt a mobile-first website for desktop than the other way around. If you’ve already got your site up and running, you’ll need to create a parallel site that loads when users find you via their mobile devices. No one wants to try to stretch and scale their browsers just so they can see if they want to be your customer. They’ll likely browse away to another cannabis website that anticipated their mobile device.
Designing for mobile also means that you can build an audience with a clientele that’s on the go and looking to do business quickly. While some people will visit your site for information, most will want to get what they need and get back to business. Make it easy for them with a site that looks great on mobile.
2. Corny Fonts Aren’t Cute
While you might want to use a smokey or fun font for your website, it’s not a good idea. Clever fonts aren’t always easy to read. They take more time to look at and to decode the messages that you’re trying to share with your audience. Since you’re trying to do business with people, you need to show them that you take their time seriously. Making them stare at a difficult font for an extended period of time isn’t professional. As more cannabis businesses go modern and techy, going with a loopy font could look like a throwback. The last thing you want is to look like you’re behind the times. Do yourself a favor and choose a strong font that gives the air of seriousness.
You can never be too professional when you’re in sales–even in cannabis sales. Playing it campy could be risky and cause people to wonder how seriously they should take you. Once they start doubting how serious you are, they’ll bounce away from your site.
3. Use Great Images
Rather than tell your customers what great items you have to offer them, you need to show them. The best way to do that is with strong images. If you upload amateur images taken with your phone, you might be doing yourself more harm than good. On the other hand, professional stock photos might not be much better. Using a bunch of stock photos might get people thinking that you’re an illegitimate business. The number one way that businesses selling suspicious products are able to convince people to send them money is through stock photos.
Hire a professional photographer to get images of your products and services. Have real users or your colleagues in your photos. Use real people, real locations, and real products whenever possible. On every photograph, add a small watermark. That way, you can trademark your images and ensure that no one steals them for their own site. When you upload your images, resize them to a reasonable degree. Uploading a bunch of 12MB images to your site will drag download times, making your site crawl over a mobile connection.
4. Keep Menus Simple
When you’re designing your site, get rid of clutter. You need your site to help your customers get what they need from you, not to make everything more complicated. The first place to start is by simplifying your menus. Abide by the three click rule when you’re setting up your site. If you make your menus extensive and complicated, you’ll turn off your users. Loading complicated menus on a mobile device is troublesome and difficult.
Menus that try to offer everything don’t make it easy to get to know a company. If you have one flagship product, offer that on the front page of your site. Otherwise, categorize your products generally and make it easy to browse. People would rather spend their time browsing than trying to navigate difficult menus.
5. Cannabis Is Professional Now
Remember that cannabis is a real business now. It’s headed toward the $50 billion dollar mark and showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what end of the market you’re on, you’re no longer going to be marketing just to a niche, fringey clientele. Business professionals are using CBD oil and people all across the tech industry are micro-dosing. What was once relegated to the strangest fringes of society are now starting to find their way into the mainstream. That means your business has to be able to rub elbows with the mainstream.
Most of your clientele won’t necessarily know the revolutionary history of cannabis, the criminal justice issues, or environmental benefits surrounding it. They’ll be casual users who want to have a good time and relax using your products. If these issues are important to you, find a tasteful way to fold them into your conversations with customers. For the most part, keep things focused on giving good customer service, appearing professional, and closing sales with your patrons. Your website should offer a streamlined and professional experience. Sales should be simple and transactions should offer a receipt and confirmation followed by follow-up emails to give shipping and tracking information. Make sure that all of your transactions are secure as well.
6. Make Contact Easy
Your customers want to be able to get in contact with you when they feel like it. If you make it hard to get in touch with you, they’ll be suspect and wonder what it is you’re hiding. Instead, put your contact info in a sticky header or footer that follows visitors as they browse. If you put a call to action right at the top of your page, you can allow your clients to get in touch with you with the click of a button. When you open yourself up to feedback, you tell your customers that you value what they have to say. When they leave comments on your site or even on social media, make sure that you respond.
Make your contact information easy to find. One of the worst design mistakes you can make is to keep your contact information hidden. Not only will this damage your clients’ ability to trust you, but they’ll find your site unfriendly to users. Don’t be afraid to list your contact information too many times. When people are browsing, they’ll hardly notice it. But when they need it, they’ll want to see it everywhere.
7. Integrate e-Commerce
Your e-commerce experience needs to be integrated into your site. One of the worst design decisions you can make is to have your e-commerce outsourced. It won’t match your overall design scheme and could function in a way that isn’t compatible with the work your site designer did at all. Instead, find a designer who knows how to design your e-commerce site as well as your site. Make sure that it’s neatly integrated into your site. It should use the same font, color scheme, and overall layout. While this might be time-consuming for your designer, it’s much more preferable to a clunky e-commerce site that doesn’t match your normal site. This will cause your audience to second guess your ability to provide quality products.
If your e-commerce seems secondary to your site, clients could have a tough time trusting that your products are legit. Instead, use the same designer for both. Keep the layout identical and merely drop your product pages into your normal template.
Cannabis Web Design Requires Innovation
With so many cannabis web design templates looking the same, it’s important to make sure that you stand out while still looking high-end and professional. Web designers can help you to look unique while also showing off how good your products are. The best web design can strike this balance for you. If you’re curious about what else you could be doing to capture the customers you’re looking for, contact us for more tips.