Your customers want more. Whether it's services that save them time and make their job easier or increase their efficiency, customer expectations keep increasing. And today, from finding useful information to ordering products, customers look online to make those tasks easier. It's no surprise that your website impacts those interactions. And, it's why website development is so important to your business.But your audience wants more. They expect your website to deliver increasing value.
Five years ago it was ok if your site was nothing more than an online calling card.
And no mobile optimization?
Whether you like it or not, as consumers use online tools to simplify their life, they expect that same ease of operation from all companies. And you can blame Amazon.
In fact, consumer's love affair with Amazon and the evolution of the "Everything Store" influences what your audience expects from you. Here's how.
Website Development - The Impact Of Amazon
We've all enjoyed the experience. Easily finding a product online - the one we need in a hurry - and then simply clicking on the one step order button. Magically, in a day or two, the item is on our doorstep. This process, AKA the Amazon effect, spoiled millions of consumers and continues to do so. Over 90 million Amazon Prime members and countless others access Amazon's online properties each year. In fact, 30 million Prime members order each week!
The frequent usage conditions Amazon customers to expect more on every site they use, including yours.
And although the expectations they have for your business aren't the same as Amazon, it influences their behavior.
Whether you like it or not, it's inevitable that your website gets compared to effective ecommerce sites. And that makes an under performing website detrimental to your business. It impacts it today and will become worse in the future.
Although your audience doesn't expect you to carry thousands of products or deliver hundreds of them on the same day, they do expect your website to deliver:
- An intuitive design that makes navigation easy
- Good quality content
- Images and video in addition to written content
- A responsive - mobile friendly experience
- A quick loading website
Although these qualities aren't surprising, many organizations still fail to execute them effectively. Your website design, content, capabilities and more don't get better with age. They become outdated, reflect poorly on your company and reduce the odds you'll generate a positive brand experience, let alone selling opportunities, online.
If you haven't performed a website audit recently, schedule the time today.
The End Of Traditional Brick & Mortar Stores?
Good brick and mortar stores will always have their place.
A least that was the common opinion among retail experts until recently. Unfortunately, without a complementary ecommerce offering providing an omni channel experience, strong brick and mortar stores turned into dinosaurs. Now they are nearing extinction.
But since you aren't a retailer, who cares about an omni channel experience? It's because similar to the ease of shopping experience Amazon created, the desire to order in the way that is most convenient to the consumer, including online when possible, manifests into all businesses.
Do you sell stock products? Or, custom products built from standard formats or templates? If so, provide an online ordering tool.
Your customers and prospects value the convenience. And with numerous plug-ins available, you can add an online ordering capability to your website cost effectively.
But it's not just the ordering process. Are their other common functions your audience values that you can offer online? According to a study by Forrester, 72% of customers prefer to use self-service support to find answers to their questions.
For example, tools such as a shipping cost or material comparison calculator help a prospect easily obtain helpful information. And if you use samples to promote your capabilities, consider an online tool that allows a prospect to see specific samples or unique paper grades and then order a kit. These capabilities increase your connection with both customers and prospects.
Omni channel isn't exclusive to retail. Regardless of the business, consumers want a seamless experience to execute their business the way they want to. It's another reason why your website development process should include providing valuable services online.
Make It Personal
In business, there's nothing more magical than seeing a significant account opportunity close. But, the opportunity didn't materialize because you got lucky on an RFP. It was the:
- Understanding needs
- Positioning your solution
- Relationship building
- And more
When you personalize the experience, you strengthen your connection and improve the outcome. Effective organizations provide this experience in person and online.
Amazon elevated the personalized online experience. A powerful product recommendation engine evaluates past interactions to provide highly useful information to consumers using their site. But you don't need to spend millions on algorithms to personalize your experience.
Instead, consider the user experience in your website development process. For example, you target different markets and users. Develop a navigation that makes it simple for your audience to self select the information that fits their needs. And then deliver content that's relevant to those segments.
Use case studies that target a similar audience. Develop technical guides that address the varying needs of your unique end users. Provide web pages that speak to your prospects specific needs.
In addition, consider marketing automation. It allows you to collect data points and deliver communications that are personalized, relevant and timely.
Bottom line, when your customer experiences a solution that works for them on a different website, it won't be long before they expect that same solution from you.
The Next Step
So embrace the opportunity. Develop and execute a plan. Your website development should incorporate your business goals and elevate your customer experience. And when you execute it effectively, it will strengthen your relationship with customers and open doors to new prospects.
InterEdge Marketing provides web strategy, content marketing and lead generation services. Subscribe to the InterEdge Newsletter to get useful information to help you connect with your ideal customer and turn more prospects into buyers.