Psychology of fonts: how is your choice of fonts influencing your e-commerce site visitors?

Branding is an umbrella term that encompasses some smaller tasks. Setting up a website is one of the more significant branding tasks that result in high recall value and generation of ROI. When we stop and think about it a little, we realize that we do not have an Olympian arsenal of tools that help us communicate online via our e-commerce sites. The number of tools at our disposal is limited, and we need to use them smartly to make our brands stand out in the crowd.

These tools include color, images, text content, layouts, and composition. These are the simpler tools that form the foundations of any website. However, there is another very basic tool that most people forget to credit while talking about great website design. Typography sets the mood of an online platform. Depending on the type font of an e-commerce site, you immediately decide whether you want to shop from there or not. The decision is largely subconscious, yet it is powerful enough to decide the outcome of the online interaction.

Why is typography important for your e-commerce site?

If your website layout and color are the faces of your brand, typography is its body language. Along with the color scheme, background image/videos, layouts and visual hierarchy, typography makes the first impression on your nouveau visitor. Your choice of type font during ecommerce development will decide if your new potential customer will bounce or buy. Irrespective of what you want the words on your website to say, your chosen typography will decide what they say. You can think of your current choice of type font as the voice of your website. Now, what does it say? Does it sing like Marilyn Monroe to the President or does it pull a Ray Liotta on your visitors?

What should be the ideal length of your website content?

A study by Weinreich and Nielsen showed that people never focus on the smaller introductory paragraphs of the content. They scroll down to the perceivable middle of the content and end up reading lesser than 20% of the total text on the website. This led to a significant discovery – most readers would read about 1000 words in average. It showed that the more elaborate a piece of content is the less likely people are to read it. This started the era of content pieces that ranged from 200 words and 1200 words. However, interestingly, as the word count decreases further, the tendency of people reading the entire content also decreases.

Food for thought: factors that influence readability

When you design an e-commerce site, your basic aim should be to overcome the challenges and target for the highest possible readability. Typeface choices can help you achieve the different goals in multiple ways. However, three factors are more important than the typeface itself –

  • The line spacing

  • Size of typeface

  • The age of the reader

The new stats from a Nielsen study support these factors –

  1. When the typeface is too small, readers find it difficult to follow the entire content of online reading. This is true for both desktop and mobile sites.

  2. About 75% of Americans above the age of 40 use corrective lenses. Therefore, it is imperative to pay attention to contrast, type size, and clarity.

  3. Line spacing of 1.5 saw the best positive reviews from readers of all age groups.

This brings us to the most interesting part of this article.

According to Tennet, “body copy calls for 16 px and anything other than that is a costly mistake”. This is a powerful line that tries to establish how important it is to find out the best performing text size for your website. All the studies existing this far have shown that a reader’s focus and interest piques when the body copy is exactly 16 pixels. This can be because the 16-pixel font has the appearance of the same size as any printed text. As the size of the typeface increases, the readers reading speed increases as well. This can lead to abrupt and erratic reading. People are more likely to miss essential data about your product, offers, and services as you opt for larger typefaces.

This finally brings us to the type of font faces. Have you ever wondered why website designers, e-commerce site owners, and even restaurateurs hate Comic Sans? Apparently, the only ones who still love comic sans are small business owners. It is true that when comic sans first came out, it carried a fun and frivolous personality. However, most businesses want their visitors and potential customers to take their brands seriously.

Over the years, people have come to accept the fact that typefaces elicit emotional and sensory responses. As a result, people turned towards familiar fonts like serif and sans serif, whenever in confusion. These are fuss-free, objective fonts that convey a feeling of pedigree and heritage. In fact, when you are out to establish a new brand, you cannot go wrong with Serif in the company logo, tagline, and brand copy. Sans Serif is the one for those, who want to create a more direct and clean logo.

Script fonts are fancier, friendlier and distinctly more "feminine." These are befitting for greeting cards, personalized emails and not recommended for logo work or branding. If you want your brand to have a more stoic and traditional facade, stick to serif fonts.

All font types, including serif and sans serif, have evolved with time. Several platforms will let you download of several Serif and Sans Serif fonts for website design purposes. Many of these fonts are ideal for e-commerce website design. While choosing any of the modern or more decorative fonts to remember to keep your choice formal. A serious website that aims to sell products needs to be trustworthy. Your font type should help your potential customers to read your site content and click the "buy" button without trepidation. All website designers and brand managers should take a peek at font psychology before choosing a font for their logo, header, and content. This will determine how well the target users receive your brand and products.  

Guest PostsLogan Lenz