I recently had a lovely chat with the Lord.  We talked about the beauty of home and how a home represents those who live there.  When David offered to build a home for the Lord and his son Solomon constructed it, God was pleased.  He gave very specific instruction on what His sanctuary would look like and each room, every image seen in that temple was meant to allow us to visit Christ in His earthly home- His throne room.

Did you ever wonder why everything was covered in gold or why the cerebrum / angels were as tall as they were with wall-to-wall wing spans?  My gosh, what awaits us in Heaven if our names are in the guest book now.  Is yours?

A website is an online home for your brand.  Just like when I look at the temple and learn something new about God, I should look at your website and know something about your brand.  As I mentioned before, your brand is your reputation at every point of contact with your prospective buyers.

Pink Stiletto Cosmetics asked me to redesign their shopping cart site to look and feel like the brand that owner, Crystal Carmen and I had been crafting.  Her request was for people to visit the website and visually understand that the products were high quality, glamorous and good for the skin.

Where to start?  Well, if you are working with a shopping cart template, choose one that gives you the most freedom to adapt the layout.  Modern women increasingly care about health considerations when buying products.  A current website demonstrates that Pink Stiletto is progressive and in the now.

TIP 1: Modernize the layout of your cart

The site was altered to be responsive and fluid- these are web terms that mean, the site will adapt to devices of varying screen sizes and certain images will be widescreen.  Widescreen imagery also adds a bit of drama which goes hand in hand with glamor.  If you haven’t already done so, take a look at your website today and make sure that it responds well on tablets, phones, and desktop computers.

A DESIGNS by Rashada portfolio piece of Pink Stiletto Cosmetic's custom mobile cart.

A DESIGNS by Rashada portfolio piece of Pink Stiletto Cosmetic’s custom mobile cart.

TIP 2: Say it visually whenever possible

We reinforced many of Pink Stiletto’s clear objectives, not just in the textual content, but also through text in pictures.  We used photos on the front page to state the importance of glamor and organic ingredients in the products.  When it comes to web, may people are skimmers and not readers, so the important product points needed to be clear at a glance.  Are their any important points that you can make about your brand visually?

TIP 3: Unify and personalize
Lastly, when adapting a site with a shopping cart, be aware that tons of people may have the same exact look and layout.  Yet, this is your brand.  To customize your site, use your own product shots rather than stock shots whenever possible.  Keep the lighting even across all of the pictures and make sure that you images are clear.  You may also opt to do something unique with your background.

A DESIGNS by Rashada portfolio piece of Pink Stiletto Cosmetic's custom web banner.

A DESIGNS by Rashada portfolio piece of Pink Stiletto Cosmetic’s custom web banner.

Crystal had most of her photos taken from different model shoots and she had product shots taken with packaging and some without.  Crystal is an MUA so it was important that any face used was done with her makeup.  We incorporated photos that showed off the versatility of her products on several different women.  Interested in some of these luscious products?  I use them myself!  Check out her site: http://pinkstilettocosmetics.com/

You may also benefit from having professionals come in to help customize your site.  Many of these tips you can implement yourself, but I will warn you that customizing this particular site involved coding and professional graphic editing skills.  Should you have the time to learn, there are lots of helpful resources online to teach you how.  Google the name of your shopping cart along with “tutorial”.  If you don’t have the time, this is where a designer with programming skills can help ;)

Take a moment to review your website and see if it’s a good “home” for your business.  Spring cleaning is upon us now, and the web is no different.  Leave me a comment with one thing that you can change on your site today to help it better represent your brand.  Looking for a more ever lasting home than just what’s out there on the web?  I encourage you to check out Tony Evan’s latest audio on Knowing God.

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