Calls To Action: Basic Tips For Ecommerce Store Owners

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By Miva | June 6, 2012



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Recently, a friend of mine invited me to take a look at the website for the business that they work for. The site, while not an ecommerce site per se, does give customers the option to make appointments and order services online. As such, there are multiple calls to action on the site. That’s the good news.

The bad news? Aside from the fact that the background of the site is black and the call to action (CTA) buttons are glaringly bone white, the buttons themselves don’t really inspire much action.

How can you, as an ecommerce storeowner avoid this same problem and improve the messages that your call to action buttons are actually sending?  Just as importantly, how can you clearly communicate these messages to a wide range of site visitors?

Keep Them Simple

A call to action should be exactly that: a call to action, something that inspires site visitors to do something. Whether that something is buying your product now, contacting your company for more information, downloading a free white paper, or starting a free trial, your CTA message needs to be short and to the point.  Action verbs and phrases like “Download” and “Buy now” and “Learn More” go a lot further than lengthy statements like “Click Here To Learn More About Our Products.”

Make Them Stand Out

Remember when I said that the first thing that I noticed about the call to action buttons on my friend’s company’s site is that they were glaringly bone white against a black background? When it comes to cohesive web design, appearances definitely count.  Complimentary colors and keeping the color scheme of your CTA buttons true to (or at least not horribly clashing with) the overall color scheme of your website are basic design principles that sadly, many sites out there seem to ignore.

Give Them Room To Breathe

Make sure that there is enough negative space (i.e. uncluttered, empty space) around your CTA.  The more your message stands out, the more likely your site visitors will be to click on it, and vice-versa.  The right amount of blank space between the content and graphics on your site and your CTA messages will also help your ecommerce site look polished and more professional.

Don’t Overuse Them

While calls to action are powerful and essential ecommerce web design elements, like most good things, they should be used in moderation. Overwhelming your customers with multiple CTAs on the same page is the best way to make sure that they click away from your site as soon as possible.

Have any great CTA tips or ecommerce web design tips in general to share with the Miva Merchant community? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below.

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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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