Last updated on August 27th, 2019
Everyone is talking about website optimization, but not everyone realizes just how powerful it is. Just take The Weather Channel for example… they wanted to convert more visitors into subscribers so after researching, decided to do this through optimizing their existing website to be more user friendly. They decluttered their site to have just a single action and were able to increase their conversion rate by 225%!
When it comes to having a successful online store, website optimization is key. When a website is poorly outlined or difficult to navigate, you could potentially lose customers. Committing to making customer experience a priority is important in the online retail industry. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can plan for and deliver great customer experience on your webstore.
Easy Site Navigation
The flow of your site should be simple to follow and your site visitors should be able to navigate easily. Online retailers spend a lot of time on marketing strategies to attract visitors to their site, but no matter how awesome your message is to get them on your site, keeping them there is another story. So it is important to be sure your site is simple, attractive and straight forward so you can actually convert the visitors you are driving back to your sites.
But more is definitely not better when it comes to content on a webpage. Take a look at this overly cluttered website below:
Stressful isn’t it? Now this is an extreme example, but you may not realize that your site, while not this chaotic, could be just as great of a distraction to new visitors.
What we don’t like:
- Too many images
- No defined theme or colors
- To many links
- No organized flow
- Unclear messaging and unrelated advertisements
Now take a look at Nordstrom’s homepage below:
It is much cleaner and doesn’t overwhelm visitors.
What we like:
- Simple colors
- Crisp, non-obstructive design
- Defined links at the top of the page make the site easy to navigate
- Clearly and boldly advertises free shipping and returns
- Includes a search bar for even easier site navigation
A bad experience on your site can keep customers from coming back again. Analyzing potential issues and preventing them is best practice for providing top customer experience. You want to nip any problems in the bud before they result in frustrated customers. Some possible issues to be mindful of are:
Broken links– Use a tool like Moz to determine if you have any links on your page that are 404ing.
Advertising products that are no longer available– Make sure your site is updated and products that are sold-out are taken down. Unless you offer an ‘alert me when it’s back in stock’ option, this is misleading to customers.
Transaction failures– Review payment transactions on a regular basis to ensure no bad gateway responses.
Figure out where problems are on your site by analyzing customer support requests and figuring out at what point customers are abandoning your site.
An unfulfilling customer support experience can leave a bad impression forever. Did you know that Americans tell 9 people about a good experience, but tell 16 about a poor experience? Not offering top tier customer service for your webstore could result in a loss of existing customers, as well as potential customers.
It is important that your customer service team is easy to get in touch with- whether that be by email, live chat, or phone. Also, a quick response time is always appreciated by site visitors.
Not only can your customer service team help with general questions about technical support, shipping, returns, and so on, but they can also help grow your revenue through cross-selling and up-selling. Think of this team as your customers’ very own personal shopper by giving them the ability to make product recommendations.
How you optimize may depend highly on your market and what they need, like, dislike and want. Look at what actions your customers take on your site, then structure layout and content to cater to their needs. Not sure where to start? Try a tool like Optimizly to test, in real time, which layout options and design elements convert the most buyers.
H0w have you optimized your site?