Recent events have fundamentally changed customers’ buying behaviors and the way they interact and engage with businesses. While some of these shifts have been lingering for years, many have been expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely stick around long after that.
The most significant transition in customer purchasing habits is the sudden rise in online transactions. Ordering groceries, medication, retail goods, and household items has never been this convenient. Online banking has seen a major surge, even in older generations. People are recognizing the benefits of making financial transactions via laptops, smart phones, and tablets without ever having to leave their homes.
In an ever-changing economy, being able to respond to radical shifts in customer behavior is critical. Many businesses have already begun their digital transformations to provide the best experience possible, and they’re meeting their customers exactly where they are – online. Businesses are revamping their websites to create tailor-made online user experiences that will have potential clients clicking and repeat buying.
Here are four things to keep in mind as you seek to improve the online user experience of your website.
Your website is your customer’s first impression of your brand.
Websites are extremely powerful marketing tools and the center of your business. In today’s digitally savvy world, it has unquestionably become the first point of contact a customer will make with your brand. Just as it takes a few seconds to form an impression of someone upon first meeting, the same philosophy applies to your website.
Your brand’s website serves two main purposes – one that benefits the business, and the other that assists the consumer.
First, it is the ideal platform used by a business to tell its story and communicate what it sells and does. Second, it is a place for potential customers to educate themselves on a product or service with the intent to buy.
Improving the online user experience
With more consumers making purchases via the internet, it becomes easier to distinguish forward-thinking companies from all the others. Digital offerings must now match the experiences we receive when we enter a brick-and-mortar store. Websites with confusing user interfaces that do not simplify the buyer’s journey will only lose them to competitors.
Innovative companies using e-commerce solutions that allow for greater insight into what your website visitors are interested in buying today and what they’ll want to buy tomorrow, will prevail. However, the data collected can only come from customers who click. Here are the top four factors that influence customers to click on your website and keep coming back.
Factors that influence user experience
The navigation and structure of a website forms the base for a great online user experience. Calls to action (CTAs) are of utmost importance and should be clear and easy to understand. Businesses must be mindful of their visitors’ goals when building a layout, so that it effortlessly gets them from point A to point B.
Customers shouldn’t have to struggle to figure out how to add or remove an item from their cart. And they shouldn’t have to ask for more information regarding a product that piques their interest. See how Airbnb guides their visitors in search for places to stay with clear messaging and composition.
There is no easier way to disengage a visitor than by being inconsistent. Design elements like fonts, colors, and imagery should work together harmoniously throughout and across each page. Vitruvi does this beautifully, by providing a user-friendly design that compels users to return on more than one occasion to purchase their stone diffusers and essential oils.
The best way to personalize a potential buyer’s journey is show them product recommendations. These can be based on the user’s individual browsing history or the buying habits of others with a similar profile. These recommendations are implemented on e-commerce platforms using machine-learning algorithms. Take a closer look at how Nike provides recommendations on “other items you might like” that help customers discover new products and increase sales for the business.
4. Feedback (giving customers a voice)
The only way to truly improve a product or service is to welcome constructive feedback directly from the people buying them — your customers. In fact, asking customers for their feedback is the number one driver for long-term success.
Adding feedback widgets to your website that encourage comments is essential. They provide information needed to make better decisions and shows customers their opinion matters.
Insight into customers
Knowing how to improve the online user experience means learning more about the people clicking on your website. The cornerstone of this valuable customer data is the technology behind it. Businesses are gaining an in-depth understanding of their website visitors’ browsing habits through analytical tools, ultimately improving customer satisfaction.
Businesses are turning browsers into buyers with intuitive tools like the point-of-sale system, utilized for critical customer insights. Technology companies like Lightspeed understand the importance of arranging the entire organization in such a way that delivers exceptional customer service. They’re helping businesses grow their customer base through e-commerce offerings designed to leverage the four factors that influence user experience – usability, consistency, personalization and feedback.