Ecommerce Web Design Best Practices: Contact UsIn a recent blog post, Ecommerce Web Best Practices: Above the Fold, I looked at which information your ecommerce website should keep “above the fold,” or placed on the part of a web page that visitors can see without having to scroll downward. In that blog post, I told you that your company’s contact information is one of these important little tidbits–but I didn’t realize exactly how important it actually was until I stumbled on an article from Internet Retailer that gave me a shocking statistic:

72% of respondants said they will spend less than three minutes searching for contact information on a website before switching to another site.

Now, maybe you’re thinking that three minutes is plenty of time to find your “Contact Us” link. If so, I challenge you to consider how long you look for a company’s contact information as a consumer. Personally, I bet most of us are in the less than a minute range unless the product or service we are trying to buy can’t be purchased anywhere else. And if that’s the case, what does it say to your customer that they can’t find a way to communicate with you? The silent, but less than subtle message is “We don’t want to talk to you.” And the subtext to “We don’t want to talk to you” is “We don’t want your business.” Ouch.

Now consider the tail end of the statistic–what happens when a customer can’t find your contact information? They go somewhere else. In most cases, “somewhere else” equates a competitor. At any rate, you won’t be getting their business.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Make it easy to find your contact information. Super easy. Easy, as in your-five-year-old-nephew-could-point-to-your-company’s-phone-number easy. Place your contact number in an easy-to-see place “above the fold” on your page. Better yet, put your contact information above and below the fold: in your site’s top navigation bar and in the small print at the footer of each page. Don’t give your customer any reason to go looking for another place to do business.

For more suggestions on how to maximize the design of your ecommerce site, check out our Ecommerce Best Practices white paper, Sell More With Stunning Design–Increasing Ecommerce Conversions and Reducing Cart Abandonment.