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14 June 2017

Logistics Company Web Design: Tips and Tricks

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Agente Content Team
Logistics Company Web Design: Tips and Tricks

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Logistics Company Web Design: Tips and Tricks

There has always been a lot of competition between logistics companies. Today they devote close attention to establishing a strong online presence. By launching their own websites players get an excellent chance to gain a competitive advantage by disclosing relevant information about their business and advertising their services. In short, companies use their websites as a powerful marketing tool.

But what's the magic formula for creating a successful website? There are some essential things that should be taken into account when it comes to designing a website for a logistics company. 

Logistics website designers can answer this tricky question. Read this article to get an idea of what such a website should look like.

Types of Logistics Company Websites

Let's take a quick glimpse at the most common types of logistics company websites. You may recognize some of them.

Corporate Websites

They are run by firms that want to inform potential and current clients about their mission, services, fleet, news, and more.

 Source: kapitanlogistics.com

Freight Marketplaces

These online platforms usually do not have their own fleet and act as an intermediary between shippers and carriers. They receive the income from matching capacity with demand in real-time, i.e.  the websites bring together carries/forwarders and shippers. 

Source: freightos.com

Freight Forwarders

These websites offer an extensive range of services to their visitors: transportation, warehousing, packaging, distribution, etc. They take on the role of the agent that arranges the movement of freight from one location to another. 

Source: flexport.com

To sum up, the business model chosen by the provider (not its fleet) usually determines features and functionalities of the website.

Useful Tips For Designers Who Start Logistics Website Design Project

Providers of web development services should gain a full understanding of their client’s business model. E.g., a sophisticated model is likely to transform into a multi-page website, while a one-page website may be enough for a startup.

Here are some pieces of advice for designers who are going to work on any of the above-mentioned types of websites.

 

Corporate Websites

Essential Features

  • Providers of logistics website design services should not forget that all the businesses prefer being put in the best light, as the first impression often plays a vital role. That’s why the main goal of corporate websites is to gain user confidence. 
  • This can be achieved by including detailed information about company's services, awards and certificates, advantages that clients will gain, and more. Leave some space for customer testimonials, as human beings tend to rely on other people’s opinions. 
  • It's a clever idea to deliver content in a concise manner. If there are no unnecessary details, people will not get bored very quickly and they will be more likely to visit the website again. 
  • Highlight cases to point out how the company undertakes complex tasks, solves difficult problems, etc. to fulfill the order in a timely manner. 
  • The website should not just tell visitors a story, they should see it. Show faces of real people who works for the company (like we did) and the company’s fleet. 

Source: behance.net

  • Think of including statistics to demonstrate valuable experience in the form of graphs and figures. The number of completed projects, clients that were served, and other accomplishments can be displayed.

Functional Features

  • Great logistics websites boast noteworthy features that make them different from others. For instance, they have online systems letting customers track their shipment.

  • They also have online calculators that make it possible to find out the estimated cost and time of the delivery.

Source: dtdc.in

  • Let the company speak with customers: use "Contact Us" forms throughout the website and/or links to the "Contact Us" page, and online chat software, thus prompting clients to send requests.
  • Mobile web browsing is now leading the race for the customer base. So, it is crucial that website pages look the same on mobile and desktop browsers. Designers can opt for the responsive design for logistics websites, as this approach addresses the needs of users by allowing them to access the same web page from any device. 

 

Freight Marketplaces

Important Features

  • Such a website must clearly indicate pros of using it: disclose the number of orders which were made and carriers/forwarders that are available there. 
  • Employ a review system: let customers tell each other how good service providers are by leaving feedback or submitting reviews. 

Source: tryfleet.com

  • Grant carriers and freight forwarders a chance create detailed profiles containing details about their services, fleet and staff photos, interesting cases, prices, etc.
  • The website should be a source of relevant data: advise the customer to start blogging. Disclosing latest company news to people is not enough. Sharing legal information, market news, and unique research findings with visitors will help the company establish credibility, get subscribers, and build a good reputation.

Functional Advice

  • Choose a simple UI design and content architecture to eliminate confusion and create the positive user experience. 
  • You may offer visitors an opportunity to compare different freight quotes in real-time and choose different payment options (e.g., online/wire). Let users communicate with each other by taking the advantage of the direct message functionality.
  • Note that many visitors will utilize mobile devices to access the platform, and a mobile version of the website is a must. Double-check that electronic data interchange (EDI) works smoothly, as different APIs will be used.
  • Cargo tracking is one more significant feature that the platform must have. 

 

Freight Forwarders

General Features

  • Broadly speaking, these websites are more like a combination of freight marketplaces and corporate websites. They demonstrate users that their owners deserve attention. 
  • Illustrate the advantages by adding positive customer reviews, accurate information on services offered by the company, employee photos, and more. Pay careful attention to how services and the logistics network are described. Case studies and fleet photos will help the company to earn trust. 
  • Try not to be noisy: do not produce too much content (unless it is a blog post) and use images and graphs where it is appropriate. 

Functional Tips

  • Minimize complexity in the user interface. Visitors do not like being disoriented. They want simplicity and the ease of use. 
  • Let them choose between options by displaying estimated costs and time of shipment. The freight tracking functionality and different payment options should also be added. 
  • Provide a means of integrating your site with different business intelligence systems, TMS, ERP systems, etc. to outshine competitors and make the platform an essential business tool. 
  • The website owner may decide to develop a mobile app, too. But some visitors will not install it and continue using mobile browsers to access the website. So, the website must be mobile friendly. 

 

Logistics Company Web Design: Other Important Features

Have you already understood how to create the best logistics website design solution? Check these tips to get more inspiration:

1. Keep in mind page loading time

People feel frustrated if they have to wait too long. Page loading time is extremely important: each second counts, as there is a risk that the visitor may abandon the web page. So, make sure that all the pages load quickly or show a custom page loading effects (e.g., animation) to entertain users. 

2. Have absolute visual consistency

It is common knowledge that visual consistency must not be neglected. All the elements should live in the perfect harmony with each other. Use the color theory to select colors for future web pages, and draw icons that visually describe their functions and purpose. Do not forget about contrast. Choose an eye-catching background image to top it off.  You may pick the image that illustrates services offered by the customer.

3. Keep in mind tech unsavvy users

According to a recent study, many adults are not tech-savvy, and some of these users are part of the logistics service provider's target audience. That’s why the hamburger menu is not always the right choice. Some people may fail to use it, as they are not familiar with this tool. Besides, such menus are hard to notice. 

4. Have consistent main navigation

Consistency is one more rule: the menu should stay the same throughout all the pages. Place the company logo in the top left corner to let visitors go back to the home page by clicking on it.

5. Make search box visible

Visitors should have the opportunity to use the search box at any time. All the site’s pages should have this element unless you are going to create a very small site. 

6. Employ CTA buttons

CTA buttons can be employed, too. Feel free to make them interactive. Animations and microinteractions can be utilized elsewhere to draw visitors’ attention. But be cautious and do not overuse them. 

7. Ensure good scrolling experience

People like scrolling more that clicking. Keep in your mind the two rules of ensuring good scrolling experience:

  1. Make a scrollbar visible.
  2. Pages should not be too long.

8. Make links distinguishable

Links should be distinguishable to encourage users to open them.

9. Add social share and follow buttons

Can people leave without social networks? 1.94 billion monthly active users of Facebook and 313 million monthly active users of Twitter will definitely say "No". It is wise to add social share and follow buttons to the all the pages or even let users log in to it with their social logins.

Conclusion

Websites have become online business cards for logistics companies. The role of UX and UI for such websites cannot be overestimated. Designers and developers should work closely together to develop a product that people will love. 

AGENTE designers apply their expertise to create great web and mobile solutions. Feel free to contact us to learn more about our services. 

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