More and more of your customers are going to be digital natives. Like many Millennials, these are customers who have grown up in a completely wired world. To them, your website is your entire online identity. This is how they learn about you, engage with you, and ultimately buy from you (whether you’re offering a shopping cart on your website or driving product sales into the showroom). If you want to recruit and convert these customers, you need to improve user experience online with a web design that helps you stand out. Here are our five best tips to help you enhance your website user experience!
#1. Design to Improve User Experience
What is user experience design? A website is only as good as a user thinks it is. That boils down to their experience. So, the question: how can you provide an exceptional user experience for your customers?
Mobile first design and mobile responsiveness
It’s official: more people now surf the internet through their smartphones and tablets than they do through their desktop or laptop computers. That means your web design must reflect the shift in consumer shopping habits.
It’s important that you embrace a mobile-first design and mobile responsiveness. What this means is that your website will automatically adjust size in order to fit the screen. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. If you have to take extra steps to browse a website on a mobile or tablet device, your time on that site will be shorter and more frustrating than a competitor who is responsive.
What’s more, if your website hasn’t taken steps to be mobile-ready, Google will make very certain that it’s harder for customers to even find your website. Search engine optimization, the phrase we know and love, starts with the website framework. Many retailers ask us what they can do to optimize their website and this is step one.
Reorganize Your Content
Part of creating an exceptional user experience is actually following the old Hollywood rule. Specifically, the rule that says “give the people what they want!”
Whatever your most engaging content is, it needs to be at the top of your site. In short, it needs to be highly visible and highly accessible. Some retailers use visual campaign spaces or a slideshow, front and center of the website to capture a customer’s attention with visuals. This campaign space is a great place to put new collections, time-sensitive promotions, and other eye-catching graphics that pique the shopper’s interest in a product.
This creates a good “buy in” from your audience. If they like your site at first glance, they’ll stick around much longer.
#2. Engaging Content
Customers don’t just want any content; they want to be thrilled, excited and engaged. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to take your customer engagement to the next level.
Tell your company’s story
Believe it or not, one easy way to improve user experience online is showing shoppers who you are. Customers want to understand who they are doing business with. And that means you need to tell your story!
Make sure your site offers your company’s history as well as a breakdown of your mission and values. When customers believe in you and your work, you’ll have better engagement as well as loyalty
Embrace Website Personalization
Customers want a more personalized experience when they shop your website. For retailers, creating an in-store experience online is a daily challenge. However, the proof is in the product sales. Personalization can increase online engagement by 30% on average. The more engaged your customers, the more likely the purchase.
40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize across channels. And there is 18 times more revenue generated with personalized digital content which means a bigger return on investment.
Website personalization can include abandonment and behavioral triggers around your website to keep a shopper engaged. Before they leave to shop a product from your competitor, a personalized popup notification about that product tied to a promotion can save the sale. Think of great website personalization as your 5th salesperson—just, online.
#3. Customer Service Options
When selling products (especially if they are custom or complex), make it very easy for customers to contact you. Pop quiz: if something goes wrong for your customers, how can they reach you?
Most businesses only offer a phone number or an e-mail address. Neither of these is a great option for the customer: the phone will make them imagine lengthy wait times and having to leave a voicemail, while the e-mail will feel like sending a message in a bottle.
Instead, think “instant.” Like we said before, consider adding a chat feature to your website so customers can instantly reach out to a real person. Or create social media accounts for your business (really, you should have these already) and allow customers to reach you by message or DM. Trust us: this will take your customer service experience for customers through the roof, and it costs hardly anything to implement.
#4. Outstanding Blog and Social Content
Everyone talks about providing great content. But what do your customers actually work?
First, they don’t want just another advertisement. Don’t spend your articles or social media posts just talking about your business.
Instead, try to offer value. This might include inspirational stories (which “inspires” customers to share via social media), or instructional videos. You could also post online contests for the most creative uses of your products.
Ultimately, the idea is to make your website fun and engaging. Only then will your customers truly love and respect your content!
#5. Hire a Professional
So, you’re serious about redesigning your website to improve user experience? Then it’s time to get serious about hiring a professional.
Great web design is like any other artistic creation. If you want something great, you need to hire someone great! Web designers will have the education and experience necessary to give you a website that visually stands out. At the same time, they know enough about the underlying web architecture to ensure that your site runs just as beautifully as it looks to other people!
We can’t really overstate this. At the end of the day, your business is only as good as your website. Sure, you may have one of the greatest businesses in the world, and you may sell products that are absolutely top-notch. But if your marketing is a bust, then no one will even be aware of your company, much less buy from you.
With a great website (and some clever SEO marketing), you’re well on your way to being discovered by thousands of new customers each and every year.
One reason that some business owners hesitate to hire a professional is that they worry about the cost. However, there’s a nice and easy way to sidestep some of those concerns. What usually makes a project too expensive is that too many contractors are involved. When you have different people for website design, marketing strategy, and social media management, the costs add up.
Instead, save time and money and get a superior product by hiring professionals who can take care of every step of design and marketing!
No matter your technical or marketing problem, MicroD is the solution. With over twenty-five years of experience, we are experts in both web design and online marketing. If you’re ready to transform your business and improve website experience, give us a call!