by David Hess
Allow me to cut to the chase. You know you need a new website and do not need me to explain why. Your business stakeholders, your IT team, and that nagging voice in your head remind you on a daily basis that your site lacks speed, functionality, and no longer drives the conversion you should expect. What I am here to ensure is that you are listening to the most important voice of all. The voice of your customer.
In process of building a new website, you’ll inevitably need to engage with salespeople. Whether that salesperson represents a platform (IBM, Oracle, Magento, Sitecore, Insite Software, Znode) or a Systems Integrator like Perficient, you’ll want to make sure they are not simply asking you for technical requirements. They should be focusing on your business drivers and, most importantly, the needs of your customer. The good news is that the platforms that I mentioned above are extremely robust and feature-rich. This means that your conversations should focus on how to best serve your customers through a relevant, engaging, and hassle-free experience.
Here is a short list of areas to consider:
- Mobile optimization: Are your customers regularly accessing your site from mobile devices (a review of your site analytics can easily reveal this). If so, an experience that is optimized for phones (small glass) and tablets (large glass) is critical.
- Can your customers quickly and easily locate products and then filter the results to narrow down their search? Depending on your products and services, there are both native and third party search tools that will ensure your customer can find what they need.
- Taking that thought a step further…if you have a product that people do not know how to buy, consider a product selection tool. One example is a printer, a product that people simply don’t buy on a regular basis. Three simple questions about where and how the printer will be used can lead to a recommendation of the three units best suited for the shopper.
- Do you demonstrate authority and trust on your site? Customers are far more likely to make a purchase when they see that you have positive reviews and resources to help them with their purchase.
- If you have products that can be customized or configured, a simple interface to walk the client through the process will go a long way toward growing sales. Consider how you will price the components and make sure your systems integrator understands how to deliver the order properly into the production/manufacturing workflow.
- Are you showcasing your most popular products? A good systems integrator will have a User Experience (UX) team that can serve as the voice of the customer. They will evaluate who your customers are, what they need, and how to best present your products or services to be relevant and meaningful.
An important point is that this short list applies to both business-to-consumer AND business-to-business sites. Regardless of whether you are selling beach equipment or production equipment, your customers are human and therefore want a personal experience. Listen to your customers!