Website User Experience (UX)
It amazes me how often businesses go out of their way to obstruct customers. I see it regularly online and in the real world and it seems to me such an obvious way of losing sales – and yet it’s seemingly everywhere.
Back in the eighties it was common to visit your local retailer rather than a big department store or multinational warehouse for most common household purchases.
I remember my local hardware store. The owner would stand on the wooden steps of his single doorway, arms folded and brow furrowed.
It was as if he was moonlighting as a nightclub bouncer and he couldn’t shake the habit. Every day he would stand there until eventually he went broke.
Obviously there are many reasons a business might close its doors but it seemed to me this place could have at least helped itself by opening up the double doors, displaying some of its product just outside its shop and welcoming its customers from within the business. Instead, there was always a feeling of being unwelcome, of being rushed. I used to feel like I should just buy what I needed and get the heck out of there as quickly as I could. Browsing was out of the question!
The psychology of blocking the entrance to your retail business sets the potential customer up with a negative mindset before they’ve even entered the store.
Customers need an easy entrance, a pleasant shopping experience and a simple and easy transaction.
Now take that picture and apply it to your business website.
Does your website have a big hairy bloke standing at the entrance? Does it take too much to understand your point or get to your offering? Is it easy to navigate and browse and is the transaction process quick and easy?
These are questions you should ask yourself regardless of whether you have a retail or online store (or both).
I’m always dismayed when I purchase online and I’m asked to jump through various hoops before I can even get to the transaction phase.
I believe you should always offer your customers the option of transacting online as a “guest” rather than asking them to register first. To my way of thinking it’s simply bad business to ask people to signup for a newsletter, register this and enter that before the transaction phase. Better to get the transaction done (which will capture most of the information you’ll require) and then ask users to join your mailing list, register for promotions etc. by giving them pre-selected check boxes in the completion page.
When it comes to your retail or online store, you should ensure your product or service is first and foremost and your promotions are clear and prominent. For websites make sure your promotions are never more than a single click away from the entry page and ensure you eliminate any doubt about what it is you’re offering right from the get-go.
When it comes to designing a functional, clean and easy User Experience (UX) keep it simple. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and reduce big hair blokes on your doorstep!
Thanks for reading
Xflow Marketing & Consulting – Perth