Is your website converting visits into sales? (or turning customers away)
In today’s digital age, your company website is your No. 1 selling tool. When a consumer visits your website, they have arrived there because they are looking for products and services just like yours.
‘Great’ you’re thinking. This consumer has a need, they’ve thought about it long and hard, maybe even spoken to friends and family. Now, they’ve Googled that need and your site has been clicked from thousands of companies who offer similar products or services. This is your time to shine, your moment to show off how great you are at what you do, to showcase what you offer, to sell yourself to potential new customers, to push visitors through the sales process until they cry “Where do I sign!?”
…but let’s be honest, how many of you can say that your website is doing this effectively?
Lately we’ve been harping on about the mysterious beast that is ‘the customer journey’. Simply put, this is the process new customers go through from the point where they identify a need, to the point they purchase whatever fulfils that need. If you’re serious about optimising business success and reaching more potential customers, then you need to understand the path your customers take in order to recognise how they behave and how you can make it as easy as possible to ‘buy’.
So this month we’re looking at how well your website delivers that seamless customer journey and how can it outperform your competitors.
To understand more about how customers are interacting with your website, you need to go back to basics and ask yourself a few questions
- What is the purpose of my website?
- When a visitor arrives at my site what are they looking for?
- What do I want the visitor to do once they’ve entered the website?
- What calls to action are in place to prompt a purchase or to enquire about my services?
If you’re a plumber in Grimsby, you may want people to pick up the phone? If you run a restaurant in the centre of Lincoln you may prefer people to book a table online? If you’re a Lincolnshire retailer you might expect a visitor to buy through your ecommerce site so you can reach a wider customer base than your high street location allows. Once you have established the ultimate goal of the website, it’s easy to work backwards to ensure your site delivers a smooth, rich journey that meets its objective.
68% of users leave a website because of poorly designed UX
The user experience (UX) is exactly that – the experience your consumers have when they visit your website.
Do they enter into an attractive website that perfectly communicates your brand image? Do they navigate with the greatest of ease before effortlessly finding what they are looking for? Do they without hesitation or hiccups, reach the end goal; pick up the phone, make a booking, complete a purchase?
Do potential new customers stumble upon a poorly constructed website to battle with an uninviting or cluttered design? Do they randomly click their way through a nightmare game of snakes and ladders, then give up because they could find it easily from a competitor’s website?
The design and architecture of your website is crucial to ensure that visitors don’t get turned off. In an age where markets are saturated with businesses selling the same products to the same target audience, the consumer wields the ultimate power with a mouse click. So they won’t think twice about going elsewhere if you’re not giving them what they want and how they want it. UX is everything.
Did you know 90% of people research a product or service online before purchasing in store?
Wouldn’t it be great if every potential customer who entered your site knew what they wanted and were ready to buy, wallet in hand, credit card at the ready? Sadly this is not the case. People visit company websites for a number of reasons;
- on a quest for product information
- to read reviews of other customer experiences
- to shop around for the best deal
- to browse for ideas before deciding what to buy
But how do you cater to all these customer types? Furthermore, how do you help move them from where they are to where they’re ready to purchase? Does your website allow customers to follow their own path to purchase with features that facilitate every kind of customer journey such as:
- product specifications
- customer reviews
- price comparisons
- online purchase
You’d better hope so, because the moment a visitor leaves your site, chances are you’ve lost them for good – and to a competitor who understands and embraces their online behaviour.
On average, website visitors are 51% more likely to do business with an online retailer if it has a mobile site
If you’re serious about creating a strong online presence, you cannot ignore your mobile audience. With over 87% of the world’s population now owning a mobile phone, these devices are changing the way we search, browse and purchase products online.
On the road, at your desk or from the sofa, mobile devices have made accessing the web quicker and easier than ever. Latest statistics show that 9/10 mobile searches result in an action meaning the conversion rate for this audience is high, however, if your site does not cater for the mobile user, chances are they’ll go somewhere they’re made to feel more welcome.
If you have a website already, mobile users are probably already trying to access it, but unless you’re optimised for mobile, these super keen potential customers are likely to be putting up with slow download speeds, tirelessly pinching in and out of screens to read text, clicking on small icons and links that are impossible to click.
For a mobile user, this is deemed unacceptable with 61% of customers admitting they are likely to go to a competitor site after visiting a mobile unfriendly site. Adopting a responsive design allows your site to adapt to the behaviour of your users, providing larger, more legible text, faster upload speeds and larger icons and components to make it easier to click and navigate around your site without compromising on design and impact – ensuring every touch point in your customer journey exceeds expectation.
44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online
Remember a poor experience on your website is a reflection of your brand. In this digital era where your online presence is likely to be the first point of call for your potential customers, it is crucial to not only make your first impression count, but to ensure that the rest of their time on your website is enjoyable and most importantly can help convert visitors into loyal customers.