Graphic design is what guides your guests, clients or leads to a purchase decision when you and your team aren't there; Design plays a crucial role in how people perceive your business, and whether or not they buy from you. Here in Chicago, competition is stiff, and it's no secret that every successful business invests in professional graphic design. Here's why:
1. Graphic design directly motivates purchasing behavior.
As it turns out, consumers often do judge a book by its cover. In a 2010 survey 1 , 79% of those surveyed reported that covers play "a decisive role" in their decision to buy a book. In addition, 48% of those surveyed went on to say that the cover of a book plays "a major role" in their purchase decision. Furthermore, in a survey by the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 2, 92.6% of those surveyed said that product appearance is the #1 influencing factor in making a purchasing decision.
2. Professional design inspires trust in your customers.
In a world where anyone can start a web-based business, generating trust is more important than ever before. Savvy consumers are naturally (and rightly) wary of giving their money to businesses who don't look professional, on or offline. Kissmetrics 3 reports that 42% of shoppers base their opinions of a website on overall design alone, and 52% surveyed reported that they would not return to a website because of overall aesthetics. With numbers like this, if you don't have a graphic designer on staff, you may want to call in a professional.
3. Purposeful design gets people on your site, and keeps them there.
In order to sell, you need to get leads onto your site and keep them there when they visit, increasing the likelihood that they'll read your collateral and convert. In fact, clever placement of a social sharing widget helped Quicksprout 4 increase their social traffic by over 27%, and advertising legend David Ogilvy found 5 that smart placement of an image in relation to an article headline can prevent a potential 10% of your audience from dropping off before they've read the article. One study 6 showed that good typography even caused readers to underestimate the time they spent reading material.
4. Individually tailored design converts.
Graphic design is an exercise in motivating and guiding people through your collateral to a final destination. Designers are highly skilled to this end. For example, by simply placing a button in just the right place on the e-commerce site of a large retailer, Jared M. Spool 7, founder of User Interface Engineering, was able to increase purchases by 45%. In the first month, this simple design change generated an extra $15 million. In the first year, this meant a difference of $300,000,000. The response of Jared's retailer client? “Spool! You’re the man!” In a separate case, a marketing automation firm, Performable, was able to increase conversions by 21% 8 with a simple color tweak.
With such an impact, it's clear that professional graphic design is too important to skimp on; it's a crucial investment that all successful entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes make to add massive, tangible value to their business. Web design templates and collateral created in DIY design tools may look superficially pretty, but they aren't tailored directly to your business and target demographic, nor are they designed by an expert to guide your potential patrons to a desired result. In the best cases, collateral created this way won't perform. At worst it will harm your brand and negatively impact conversions. Professional graphic design is more affordable that you may think, and will pay for itself many times over throughout the life of your business. I hope this article has been useful in showing you just what an impact design can have on revenue.