Are you looking for rock-solid ways to keep engaging your customers and keep them buying from and returning to your website?
You know the internet is intrinsic to doing business now. You know that your five-year-old (or more) website is killing interest in your business offering. No longer is the online-storefront style working, nor is the old way of using your website to promote your brand and convey information.
Today, your site likely represents the first interaction your customer has with your brand.
Sam Marks, solutions design leader in Squiz’s London office, says that you can’t just present data and hope for the best. “You need to personalise the experience to create a compelling reason for prospects to come back.”
So, how do you use a customer-first website strategy and solid experience design to help drive growth?
Personalise the experience to encourage users to return
Sam believes that creating a personalised online experience isn’t optional – it’s critical for businesses that want to thrive.
“Five years ago, the most I could customise was my email address and avatar,” he says. “But today, I’m able to experience personalised shopping based on my interests, past buying behaviour, trends, and habits. I can also personalise these experiences for my family, not only to offer a better experience, but also to provide a far safer environment for my kids. The ability to customise increases user satisfaction and value. And if users are happy, it means that they’ll return to your site.”
Adopt the less-is-more approach to content to increase engagement
But how do businesses use this new, customer-centric focus to create a compelling website? Saying goodbye to content overload and focusing on relevant content are key, says Sam.
“We’ve all visited sites that have so much content on the page that it’s confusing, and we don’t know where to start,” he laughs. “On average, you have about 10 seconds to convince users that they’ve arrived at the right website for them. It’s the online equivalent of four waiters telling you what wine you should have with your steak! If they spend that time trying to digest the content, it means that they’ll leave more often than not before taking the time to really take in the site.”
For Sam, the most effective websites subscribe to the notion that “less is more”.
“Don’t try to do much when there is a simpler way of delivering information,” he says. “Technological advances mean that we can use interactive design and video content in ways that we’ve never been able to. Nicely designed content and white space are so much more attractive than a page that is crowded with images and copy.”
How to supercharge your experience design
Something as simple as being aware of how different user demographics engage with your website can reap serious rewards.
“Pay attention to how each and every one of your user demographics use your website,” Sam says. “Every type will have a different objective and a different journey to your site, and each will want a different experience. Getting these right will increase your website’s success.”
What’s more, businesses should be using analytics to their advantage and shouldn’t be scared of trying out new ideas.
“The rise of modular design means that we can design content that can be switched out if it doesn’t work,” he says. “We can also use analytical packages to monitor everything from how long users spend on a page to the customer journeys that are most successful. A/B testing is also a powerful tool that can let us see whether micro factors, such as a ‘buy now’ button in different colours, can impact purchasing decisions. You shouldn’t be afraid to try new things.”
Begin your website review today
So now that you know the basics of good experience design and the difference it can make to user engagement, it’s time to review your website.
Take an objective look at the quantity and quality of content. Review your analytics with demographics in mind, and make a list of the top five things you can start working on today.