We’re all looking for the answer to making more sales through our websites. This article doesn’t deal with how to get people to your site, but it will help you understand some of the factors that are needed to gain new customers, and to get your current customers to buy multiple times.
The four key satisfaction factors your website must have:
- High quality content
- Easy navigation
- Fast downloads
- Updated content
1. High quality content
High quality content is easier to produce if you do some scenario planning. Create several customer types (persona development), for those several customer types consider where they are in the purchase funnel (researching, comparing, considering, ready to buy etc). Are they likely to want to buy a single product or multiple products in one go.
Each one of these customers is going to need different content. Someone new to a product may want to watch a quick informative video, M&S have videos for some women’s clothing which helps the customer to see how the garment will look in real life. Some people prefer to download a guide if they need technical information. Some one ready to purchase just wants to click one button to buy the product, Amazon does this well with their one click option when buying ebooks. Whereas, Mango, a girls fashion site, does well at showing and selling multiple products.
If you are the only person in your business you already know the information your potential customers (prospects) are asking you for, if you have a sales and/or customer service team they should know what prospects & customers want. You may have company brochures or leaflets that have valuable information in them that you can use on your website. Once you know what your prospect and current customers need it is easier to produce content specifically for them, in a way they want to see it.
Your website is often the first point of contact a prospect will have with you. Creating a bit of sizzle and engaging your prospects will keep them coming back for more.
Once you’ve identified what your customer needs, you’ll know what task they are trying to achieve on your website. Make it as easy as possible for them to complete their task, be that purchasing, contacting you or downloading a document.
People will click multiple times and dig deep when they are trying to find information, but it still has to be presented in a logical manner. When they are ready to purchase they will not appreciate anything getting in their way.
3. Fast downloads
Because people feel they have less time for themselves they won’t like a website that works at a snails pace. Don’t just check the speed of your website, but check anything that needs to be opened or played. If you find they are slow then it’s time to make improvements.
Keep your content fresh and new. Check out your old content and see if it can be updated or whether it needs to be retired. Content includes text, pictures, photos, and videos.
Peoples expectations change, technology changes and a site that looks like it came out of the 90’s isn’t going to cut it today. The design of your website should be updated every couple of years, or better still it should be constantly evolving as you find better ways of giving your customers what they need.
The design of your website is not about what you like, it is about what works well for your type of customer. If your primary goal is to sell t-shirts and nobody is buying them, then something is either wrong with your product or your website.
Increasing the success of your website
Then comes the challenge of customer conversions (from prospect or visitor to customer).
The probability of a websites success increases with a strong call to action; ‘See’, ‘Try’ and ‘Buy’. Showing prices, making the whole website experience simple and easy to use, giving the visitor enough information that reduces their anxiety about buying from someone they don’t know. And finally, implementing a contact strategy and having relevant pages on your website that deal with each customer type.
If you feel your website doesn’t work for you, a new design alone will not sort out the problem. Identifying your goals, your customer needs then look at your current site and work out where it is going wrong, then and only then should you make plans to start updating your website.