The FTV Principle: Web Design That Increases Consumer Buying

Boost your ecommerce web design by using the FTV principle

Ecommerce web design is essential to any online store. Before you start designing or making changes to the look of your site, check out the FTV Principle, explained by today’s guest author, John Lawson.

So you have your store set up or you want to set one up… It sounds pretty easy, right? Just put some products out there, offer good prices and you’re all set. It may come as a surprise, however, that there are plenty of things to consider when you are in the process of building your store and brand. In fact, many successful merchants have yet to consider some insights that are will increase their success in the ecommerce world.

In terms of web design, the most relevant factors that customers need are important. I call this the “FTV Principle.”

FTV stands for: Functionality, Trust, and Visibility. Let me take a second and break each of these down for you.


Functionality – What does functionality mean, really?

It means your website must be as easy as possible for shoppers to enter their information (email, credit card info, shipping/billing address, etc.). Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Avoid “CAPTCHA” codes and verification processes that are just confusing. It has been proven by Forrester Research that up to 10% of online shoppers leave their carts because the “CAPTCHA” code was simply unreadable.
  • When it comes to carts there is one more thing to think about. Try to add an automatic cart saving feature, who knows? It may save a sale!
  • Keep in mind that your customer is probably not a spelling bee champion. Thus, when working on your product pages, think of keywords they could potentially misspell. Attempt to lead them to what they’re looking for.
  • And last but not least: loading time. Nobody wants to be wait 30 seconds for a page to load. Be concise, avoid overusing animation and be sure to beta-test your site’s loading time. Experts say that you have around three seconds to lose a client’s attention – use those seconds wisely.


Trust – Use trust components and customer generated comments to build credibility.

  • Use options/plug-ins that allow for feedback and comments.
  • User generated content is a good way to know what your viewers/clients think of your web store. This type of content will also help you gain some new customers.
  • Allowing comments demonstrates that there is somebody on the other side of the screen paying attention to what happens.
  • Put a link to your store’s policies in a visible location and make them as detailed and easy to read as possible. Even though most people won’t read these policies unless they have a problem, it certainly builds trust and helps attract more sales.


Visability – It is important to keep a clean, user-friendly design.

  • Cluttering up your site by adding unnecessary items will distract your visitors from the message you’re trying to convey.
  • Give your design a professional look and most importantly, make the information visible.

o    What are your store’s main items?

o    What do you wish to sell quicker?

o    Are you having a promotion?

o    Offering free shipping?

o    Make it visible!


During the design or re-design of your store, consult the FTV Principle. Thinking of these simple principles will increase customer engagement and, ultimately, your store sales. Take some time and make these a part of your web store experience and you will see the bump and “feel the love” in your pocketbook.

John Lawson bio
About the Author:

John Lawson
is an industry analyst and consultant, having spoken to audiences worldwide on the subject matter of ecommerce, SCommerce and online marketing. John is the CEO of 3rd Power Outlet and the founder of the award-winning blog,

2 Responses to “The FTV Principle: Web Design That Increases Consumer Buying”

  1. Ecommerce Design

    eCommerce web design is our leading service, providing businesses nationwide
    with a professional web based image, online business, and shopping cart solution.

  2. Zachary

    Volusion gets better and better, can’t wait to start m own online business :-/ i have no money :-*(


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