View part 1: here.
THE STRENGTH OF TRUST
Amazon is a company which has become one of the most frequented household names in online marketing. There’s thousands of decisions that the company has made, but one action in particular drove them to success: the pursued trust with their customer base.
Amazon stands as one of the most reputable places to shop in marketing, regardless of being online. There’s plenty of competitors who have thousands of products, and even more who existed long before Amazon was much more than a bookstore, so we know that selection wasn’t the reason that Amazon became a prime example of online business. Customers can go to Amazon and know that they’re going to receive the product, often at a highly competitive price, at a fast rate, and most importantly, with Amazon backing guarantees on the products they sell. As a consumer, you know that you can consistently receive quality service from Amazon itself, even if a third party vendor is performing lackluster on the site, thus eliminating the unease which frequently surfaces when dealing with alternative stores without established names.
Approach your customer’s experience as if it was you shopping at the store. What red flags would turn you away? What services would cause you to be loyal to a company? How would you like the employees to treat you? Don’t focus on nickel-and-diming your way through deals with them, as the repercussions are stronger now than ever with online ratings. The general rule of thumb for reviews is that most people who feel strongly enough to review did so out of a lackluster interaction with the business they’re reviewing. Treat taking the hit for a return as a literal “return investment”, where a now happy customer feels secure purchasing from you, or at the minimum won’t leave a disgruntled review. The more a customer feels like they’re receiving the services they desire, the more likely they are to drive good reviews and referrals towards your company.
ELIMINATING USER FRICTION
Imagine this scenario: You friend takes you to a restaurant which you have never been to before. You pick up the menu, knowing at least that you want a sandwich, and open to the first page to view the table of contents. Proceeding to turn the pages, you begin to notice that not everything matched the table of contents. There were pages with dishes belonging in other categories, spelling errors, lunch specials spread intermittently throughout, and some pages missing entirely. You then ask the waitress about their sandwiches, who then proceeds to describe four sandwiches and eight burritos to you, half of which aren’t even listed in the menu. Ordering food has turned into an ordeal you have to fight for a resolution to, leaving you disgruntled and never wanting to return.
This scenario is the restaurant equivalent of what happens to customers viewing your website if it has a sub-par user experience. The menu and waitress, which are the equivalent of the navigation and search bars, weren’t able to perform their jobs properly because their employer didn’t do their job. Likewise, you as the owner of a website need it to be able to get customers from the menu to the point of sale as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Your website should be taking customers a couple minutes at max to find a product, and even less time to learn the navigation. Some will, of course, spend extra time sifting through your entire catalog to see if you offer additional interesting products, but the majority of web users simply want to achieve their objective as quickly as possible. Examine your website's current layout, and what it has which may cause extended or more difficult stays artificially. Try to look for unwanted qualities such as hidden pages, too much categorizing, or a lack of a working search function.