More than half of the human population actively uses the internet. Over 74 percent of them buy products and services online, too. Just as you strive to provide great customer service in your office and your phone lines, you should also offer it on your website as well. This is because your site is your online storefront. For some of your customers, it’s the first thing they see and interact with.
If your website is clunky, slow, unresponsive, or just straight up not working, you’ll leave a bad first impression on your potential customers. They won’t waste their time trying to reload your site. They’ll just leave and move to your competitors’ website. It’s that easy to lose customers online.
One of the best ways to attract and retain clients on the internet is to improve their experience on your website. But how can you actually do that?
Make Seamless Navigation a Top Priority
When it comes to e-commerce, everything has to be optimized and fast. If your customers have to go through a dozen menus and pages to get to the information or product listing they want, they’ll just end up getting impatient and leave your site.
Take your brick and mortar store, for example. If you’re running a hardware depot, you want the essentials, like crescent wrenches, to be closest to the entrance so that they’re easy to find and the customer can check them out immediately. The same goes with specials, you want them front and center.
You can apply this to your website by shortening your customers’ journey from your homepage to the page they’re looking for. If you primarily offer e-commerce on your website, display your bestsellers on the homepage. If you have a lot of product categories and subcategories, organize them beforehand before publishing them. Use color to distinguish your menu elements and your body so that customers know exactly where to click when they want to efficiently navigate through your site.
When they get the products and information they want, when they want — they won’t hesitate to come back to your site.
Speed Up Your Site
Over 40 percent of consumers will leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load, according to Google’s latest data. Moreover, 79 percent of online customers who are not happy with a website’s performance are less likely to return to the page again. If you want customers to come back to your site, you need it to be fast. Your SEO service provider may also have site speed as one of their priorities, since it improves your site’s search engine rankings.
Here are ways to speed up your website:
- Use a CDN — It may take a while for an international customer to load up your website if the servers it uses are all in the U.S. A content distribution network (CDN) company can deliver your site’s files in milliseconds to global customers through its multiple servers scattered across the world.
- Reduce image sizes — High-quality graphics and images often come at a price: high file sizes. And the heavier they get, the slower they are to load online. You can reduce the size of your image files through sites like TinyJPG and TinyPNG with little degradation in image quality.
Mobile First, Always
Smartphones are the most-used devices for online shopping, according to a recent survey by AdColony. The report, featured on Marketing Dive, found that 56 per cent of consumers plan on using their smartphones to buy products and services. This is twice the percentage of people who plan on using desktops and laptops for their online shopping.
If your site may look great on a computer, but it may become a cluttered and zoomed-in mess on a phone. If this is the case, ask your web developer to make your website responsive. A responsive site’s elements can adapt to any screen size, so that it looks clean and functional, whether it’s on a large LED TV or a pocket-sized smartphone.
Your website is your business’s online storefront. As such, it should provide the same great customer experience you provide in your physical business location. Improve your site’s navigation, speed and responsiveness. More customers will flock to your site and stay there longer.