Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

How to create an effective website that pays off!

By Jette Doherty, Senior Client Advisor, Global Reviews

Below are some best practice guidelines and principles for engaging and convincing the customer to purchase with you.

Online is about service!

Only by servicing the potential customer satisfactorily will they consider you and ultimately purchase from you.

The key reason current and potential customers visits your website is to do something. When customers arrive at your website they know what they want to do. The job of the website is to support, help and serve that need – whether that is finding information about you or understanding your products and services. The customer is there to complete a task, so the focus should be to make sure the customer can complete that task as quickly and easily as possible.

Basically the customer is looking to understand how you can help them service their current need and how you can do in a manner more effective, engaging and satisfactory than your peers.

The journey the user takes with you looks something along the lines of this:Jette article 700

Below are some guidelines on what to consider within each of these stages of the journey when building a best practice website.

ENGAGE ME

Do I like this company and do I have confidence in them – do they engage me?

You have about 10 seconds to make yourself interesting, in those 10 seconds you need to:

  • Establish Trust and Confidence in YOUR brand
  • Provide Why Choose Us points to glance
  • Accommodate returning visitors
  • Support with engaging design

Industry awards, how long you have been in the industry,  how you differ and what you customers say about you, your USP and how you differ are extremely important communications at this point in time – anything that at a quick glance conveys that you are reputable and worth further exploration needs to be established within these first 10 seconds. Establish Value. 

WHAT DO YOU OFFER?

Can I easily find the products/service this company offer?

You need to make it easy to find products and options

  • Provide clear starting points and a clear pathway to products and information
  • Provide clear product labelling  – simple language that describes exactly what it is (avoid language that reflects the organisation).

Providing clean non-confusing, non-competing paths to the information the customer needs, in the order and logic that makes sense for the customer. If the customer is shown multiple competing ways to get to the same or similar content, it more often hinders rather than helps the journey. When labelling the navigational pathways, ensure to use clear descriptive language that makes sense to the user.

The other elements to stay clear of early in the customer journey are calls-to-actions. Not only is it irrelevant, but often it also obstructs and pushes away the customer if met with this too early in the process. Provide clear paths.

CAN I MATCH YOUR OFFERINGS TO MY NEEDS?

Can I understand your offerings, their differences and match them to my needs?

You need to make it easy to understand what you offer:

  • Product descriptions – written for the web – (follow the inverted pyramid methodology and use customer centric language)
  • Wizard
  • Comparison table & External comparison
  • Calculators

It is about the customer and their need, it is not about you. You should talk less about your capabilities and what you have achieved, instead you should explain how you, and only you can help solve the problem or match the need the customer has. There are specific ways to ensure that content is written and displayed well online to engage customer (inverted pyramid). There are also several tools to assist this process (as per above). Fulfil customer need.

DO I REALLY WANT TO PURCHASE WITH YOU?

Do I want to purchase with this company?

You need to ‘keep standing out’

  • Reinforce ‘why purchase with us’
  • Provide ability to contact the company
  • Ask for action

You are now very close to winning the sale. You have engaged the customer. The customer has easily and successfully found product and service options and matched them to their needs.  You now just need to emphasis that they need to purchase with you and ask for action (i.e. buy now). Underpin your value.

The customer will pay more for a better experience

To sum up, in a world where products and pricing is competitive and hard to differentiate, to succeed online you must excel at service – elements such as streamlined service and a positive seamless experience is a must to win the customer’s purchase.

Next step is to make purchasing simple and straightforward through a streamlined, best practice  ‘buy now’ process online, more about that in another piece.

For more information on how Global Reviews can assist you improve the effectiveness of your website contact us today.

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