Building Better Buttons

By Eva Alsis

Why focus on something as small as a button? This seemingly insignificant part of your ecommerce website can make all the difference in your business success (or, unfortunately, failure). A well-designed button will make customers want to move on to the next step. On the other hand, a poorly designed one may get lost in the page details or, worse, send customers scampering away. Here are a few elements that have been proven to create more clickable buttons.

  • Size. Size matters, and don’t let anyone tell you different! Bigger buttons produce better conversions and are less likely to get lost in the page details. However, be careful not to look like an advertising banner in either size or style. Most customers automatically tune out advertising, a phenomenon known as ‘banner blindness’, so avoid looking anything like it!
  • Contrast. We all like to stick with our theme, but a button should stand out in your pages. You want for people to find it fast and know exactly where it is at all times. Choose a shape and color that are high contrast. Keep in mind that one-tenth of the population is color-blind and cannot see a clear difference between red and green.
  • Position. Many customers will never scroll down a long page, so place buttons and other important information in a prime, above the fold position. It is even better if they are immediately next to the price or the call to action. You may want to include a second button at the top right of the page; studies have shown that many consumers automatically look there for a shopping cart button. By all means, avoid putting your buttons next to a link for ‘Cancel’ or something similar. You don’t want to even suggest cancelling, much less create a situation in which your customer might accidentally empty their cart and abort their order.
  • Font. Your font will either make your button more legible or work against you. In general, bold, sans serif fonts are easy to read and stand out well against almost any color background. However, placing text in all caps actually makes it less readable—not to mention harder on your visitors’ eyes.
  • Word choice. Your wording needs to be very direct about where customers will go once they click on the button. Words like ‘Submit’, ‘Discover’, and ‘Next’ are just not specific enough. Consider using phrases such as ‘Proceed to Checkout’ or other wording that tells customers exactly what to expect.
  • Priority. If you need to place more than one button on the same page, make the more important (that is, more lucrative) one larger and brighter. This will make it more enticing to customers, easier to read, and send a subconscious message that it is the main button.
  • Testing. What works for one ecommerce website may not necessarily work for another. Use split testing to determine the strategy that is best for your ecommerce business. You just might be surprised at what buttons are the most successful!