Right before the busiest shipping and delivery time of the year, Amazon has strategically unveiled the latest update on “Prime Air” and its plan to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less via drones.
Next-level Customer Experience
This move by Amazon proves it will do everything possible to solidify their stranglehold on the online shopping experience. Amazon has shown their cards, but don’t worry about buying drones. Whether you sell products or provide services, concentrate on improving the customer experience your website provides in four critical areas.
First, is your brand’s message on point? Does it speak to customers in a way that connects with them, is useful to them, or compels them to buy? Is it clear and concise?
Smaller brands have a huge advantage when it comes to storytelling and connecting with customers. The bigger a company like Amazon becomes, the more difficult it is to keep the message from becoming fragmented and distracted. “Shareholder value” perpetuates a need for growth and expansion into new markets. Large companies are at risk of watering down their message and trying to be all things to all people.
Smaller brands can rally behind a story, cause, or focused purpose allowing them to position themselves in a specific way.
When it comes to your website, usability should be a top priority. This is the bedrock of a better online customer experience.
Is your website focused?
Check out the homepage for Yahoo! The page is cluttered with ads, celebrity gossip, and about a million other options to click on. What do I click on? Although they are a search engine, Yahoo’s approach is to suggest things you might be interested in. By casting a wide net, they surely have something that will catch your eye and draw you in.
Contrast this with Google. They are a search engine too, but their philosophy is much different. They believe you came to the site with a purpose: to find what you need. All they provide (for the most part) is a simple box to type in what you’re looking for.
The lesson here is to focus on the customer experience you want your customer to have. You control the options available to your customers.
Is your site contextual?
Do you know how and why people access your site?
For instance, if they are on a desktop, they might have time to read and peruse your online catalog in depth. They may want access to large, high-res photos. However, if customers are on their phone and on the go, they may just need to quickly find your hours and directions to your location.
Knowing how and why people are using your site can help you create a “contextual” customer experience. Free tools such as Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics can provide insights, as do more expensive options including sophisticated eye-tracking usability testing.
What’s the most important metric when it comes to your website? It’s not visitors and it’s not pageviews. It’s your conversion rate.
Is your website quick?
We’re not talking about how fast your site loads, we’re talking about satisfying the “gotta have it now” mentality. Can your visitors get what they need quickly? Is your contact information easily found? How many clicks does it take to get to your product spec sheets?
Amazon does a great job of simplifying and speeding up the customer experience. For example, one-click ordering for buying products directly from the product page and Prime Air delivering your items in 30 minutes.
How does your site do that? How can you remove unnecessary red tape, unnecessary clicks, and unnecessary required fields?
All this work is for nothing without proper search engine optimization.
Is your site optimized for local search? 43% of searches on Google are for local services and products. Having your site optimized for local search allows people to know where they can get your product locally – then drive there and get it. Support the impulse purchase!
Customer Experience Improvements are Everywhere
All is not lost and drones aren’t necessary to further your business, but do study your customers’ experiences. Start from the time someone goes online to find what you sell, to the end of the cycle when they purchase or visit your location. Hedge against your competitor’s gimmicks and build a website that is customer-centric.
Photo Credit: www.forbes.com