When you have an online business there are two very distinct sides of the fence i.e. the buyer and the seller. As the seller of products/services you need to do as much as possible to attract new business and keep existing customers happy. When you have your head down every day working on ideas, adding content and products, sometimes it is worthwhile to take a step back and put yourself in the position of a potential customer.
So, when you have a moment take a step back, look at your website and be honest, would the design, content and look of your website prompt you to buy?
Is your navigation up to scratch?
The majority of people who land on your website will know what they are after, they will likely have found you through Google and they will want to complete their purchase as soon as possible. It is very important to take note of your more popular website landing pages because if you know where they start their journey on your website you can point them in the right direction to make that purchase or up sell as soon as possible. As a rule of thumb the majority of customers will accept two or three clicks to find the product/service they are after but after that you are playing with fire, don’t give customers the chance to “think” about anything for too long you don’t want them talking them selves out of buying.
The design and look of your website is obviously important but do not over complicate the situation, do not add in fancy sections which are purely for cosmetic purposes unless its a landing page designed to call to action, keep your site simple, to the point while giving the best buying experience you can.
Is your site welcoming?
Whatever page a potential customer lands upon you need to ensure they can see instantly what you have to offer. Once a customer has to start and look around a website to see the product/services on offer you are potentially losing the customer. They want instant satisfaction, to be able to recognise what you have to offer and ultimately they want to be steered in the right direction ASAP!
Images are extremely important because they make an instant impression and in some cases invite emotive reactions especially when compared to paragraph after paragraph of text. Finding the balance between text and images is the key to a successful online business, hitting the right key for customer and search engines is the tricky part.
Deals and offers
Everybody likes a deal, saving a few pounds here and there and walking away with a quality product/service at a rock bottom price. Introductory deals are something of a double-edged sword because they can attract new long-term customers but they can also annoy existing customers. In a perfect world you would offer existing customers the same deal as new customers but the sales pitch is slightly different. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep in touch with your existing customers on a regular basis and offer them regular deals to make them feel “loved”.
While there is no doubt that deals and offers do work well if structured correctly, if they are a constant on your website then customers can often become “deal blind”. In effect they will become so used to deals and offers on your website that they may not notice them or they will just wait until the next deal which they know is just around the corner.
It is certainly worthwhile putting yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and an existing customer on a regular basis. Are you offering what customers are looking for? Is the navigation of your site clear and concise? Do you have a balance between introductory offers and deals for long-term customers? If you’re honest, would you really buy from your own website?
In a perfect world after this exercise you would sit back, pat yourself on the back and thank your lucky stars you have a perfect website. However, in reality you will learn more from your website by repeating this process on a regular basis because you can adjust, change and improve the experience of your potential and existing customers going forward. Sitting back on your laurels may sound good but once you stop going forward you are effectively going backwards in the world of e-commerce.