Is your site user experience making or breaking your store? Make your customers happy
The user experience on an eCommerce website has many parallels to the experience you would want to have at a restaurant. When you think about restaurants, there are good ones, bad ones, and the really great ones that you can’t help but want to go back over and over again (you know, that one place you would eat at every day if you could.) When shopping online, the same is true about eCommerce sites. How can you make sure your online store is one of the great ones?
Starters: Because first impressions count
First, let’s start with the bad. Take note of what to avoid if you want your eCommerce site to be really great:
1. Don’t make your customers wait. Nobody likes to wait in line at a restaurant and no one wants to wait days, hours, or weeks for you to respond back to live chat or support messages. If you offer live chat, email or phone support make sure your response times are fast—don’t make them wait or you may lose that potential customer! Make sure you keep inventory up to date and shipping times short, prepare for supply chain issues or any shortages of high demand products and best sellers.
2. Don’t make your customers feel dumb. Is it difficult to navigate through the site? Are the descriptions unclear? If you want to succeed, your site needs to be user-friendly—have clear and thorough product descriptions, transparent pricing, and an easy way for them to reach out with any questions they might have.
3. Don’t give your customers indigestion. In other words, don’t bombard them with too many choices or visuals. It can be hard to pick from the menu (looking at you Cheesecake Factory) but having only a few items listed can be just as frustrating. Present items that relate to each other in a way your customer can actually understand and navigate.
4. Don’t overcharge your customers. Make sure the quality of your product and the value it provides are in sync—premium brands have premium prices because the quality of the product is high. Research your competitors and remember, it’s okay to charge more if your product justifies the price (no one wants to compete on price alone!)
5. Don’t leave your customers hungry. In other words, make sure to be open for business. If your website is down and a customer tries to visit, they may not be back. Check your site
periodically to make sure pages are working properly, there aren’t any broken links, or 404s. There are several sites and tools that can do this for you—implementing one on your site can save you the time and headache if things on your site go down and you don’t notice for a few days.
Main course: Food for thought
Now that we have gone over things to avoid, let’s talk about what you should be doing:
1. Make sure your site is fast. Just like at a restaurant, people don’t want to wait in line. Make sure your site loads quickly and customers can find what they are looking for easily.
2. Welcome your customers. When customers come to your site, make sure they feel welcomed. Use friendly language and create a warm atmosphere.
3. Make sure your food is fresh. In other words, keep your inventory up to date and offer new items regularly.
4. Give your customers recommendations. Implement a product recommendation engine on your storefront that suggests the right products to the consumer. Just like in a restaurant get to know your customers and share the best desserts or cocktails to go with their favorite meal.
5. Create a menu that makes sense. Group items together in a way that makes it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.
6. Keep your prices consistent. If you are constantly changing your prices, it will be hard for customers to know what to expect.
7. Be available. If your website is down, customers might not come back. Make sure you’re always open for business and available to respond to any support messages that come in! Implement a chatbot or software that can help you handle, manage, and even respond to customer support inquiries as they come in!
Dessert: The cherry on top
So, remember, treat your customers how you want to be treated. If you want them to come back, make sure their experience is great. Don’t bombard them with too many choices, charge them unreasonable prices or make the website difficult to navigate. Treat your customers right and make it a great experience for them—they’ll keep coming back for more!