If you’ve ever bought something online, you can probably relate to this scene. You find something on a website that you’d like to purchase, you click the button, and then the path to follow becomes unclear. Is the item in your cart? Where do you go next? What is this pop-up window telling me to do? Do I have to sign up for something? Why isn’t it accepting my login? Ultimately, you go to another website where you know it will be easy to buy and have a simple user experience.
Or, think about the hotel or conference center you may be considering. You find a great place, check out their website, and to your dismay, find that there is no way to check rates or availability online. But instead, you must pick up the dreaded phone to get more information. Who does that in 2019? Chances are, you’ll go elsewhere to quickly access what you need to know.
You’ve been there. I’ve been there. In fact, stories that friends and Kolbeco team members have shared with me over the years about their online horror stories prompted me to write this blog. And this situation isn’t limited to ecommerce sites. Ineffective user experience can harm any website, causing people to get frustrated and go elsewhere. If you have a website, you need to read this and ask yourself: “Is the situation above happening on my website?” Most likely, you are not even aware that it’s happening.
When it come to marketing your brand online, it is critical that the experience, ease of use and navigating information is the highest priority. Here are my three top tips to give your visitors that excellent experience as they interact with your brand online.
1. Ease of Navigation
This means that any information on your site can be found quickly and easily and in several ways. Relying strictly on the main menu of the site is a mistake. All information your visitor must have must be quickly identifiable and accessible. You can achieve this by adding it in the footer or a call-to-action, so it is not missed. This information may vary depending on your business and could include services offered, address, contact information & hours of operation.
2. Extended functionality
There are many things that websites can do for you, but you must make it easy for your visitors to do these things. Here are a few examples:
- Events – If promoting events are a part of your website strategy, make sure they are clearly listed, easy to find, and that the registration process is easy.
- Gift Cards – Again, the purchase process must be easy and seamless. When using third party services, test the process and ensure it is both desktop and mobile friendly. Keep your audience in mind and make any accommodations for accessibility or how your audience reaches you.
- Appointment Setting – Use an online appointment scheduling module to allow your clients and potential clients to schedule an appointment without having to wait on hold or be confined to your hours of operation.
- Room Reservations / Booking – Add the ability reserve or book rooms to your website. This allows visitors to book on their own time. Make sure your scheduling calendar is up-to-date and pricing information is accurate.
3. Online Shopping / eCommerce
If your site sells products, make sure they are easy to find and browse. Give visitors several ways to find your products, sort them, and easily save them. Make sure the checkout and account registration process are easy and without issues. If you offer products but do not sell online, you can always start with your most popular items and see what the response is, you may find that your sales get a boost when you make your products more accessible.
There are many ways to create a great user experience for visitors to your website and engage them in interaction with your brand. Make sure you are creating one that is memorable and creates repeatable visits.