How to Keep Consumers Glued to Your Website
Consumers generally go to a website with an agenda. That agenda could be to comparison shop, research, make a purchase, among other things. However, it's quite common for consumers to get frustrated with certain website issues and seek what they want elsewhere. A new whitepaper from Peppers & Rogers Group and iPerceptions titled Ten Tips for Making Websites Stickier offers new insights and 10 ways to help you keep consumers glued to your website.
Lack of information, poor navigation, processing errors and an inability to quickly load pages are the most common factors in why visitors abandon websites. However, "in some cases, people are going to abandon no matter what, either because they’re not ready to move to the next logical task on a website or they haven’t finished conducting product or pricing research,” said Lane Cochrane, vice president of insight at iPerceptions, in the whitepaper.
This makes it all the more important to understand why consumers abandon your site. With that information, you can adjust your site and make the necessary changes to provide a greater customer experience. To help understand why visitors are checking out, provide some type of forum for them to voice their opinions. Giving consumers the ability to engage you will help them feel connected to your brand and will increase their loyalty. What's more, by using an open forum to collect this information, you have the ability to manage certain issues regarding your site before they become a bigger problem.
Try the following to combat site abandonment:
1. Identify and respond to visitors’ needs. When developing your site and its functionality, find out what visitors expect, need and want.
2. Make navigation as simple as possible. Make your website so simple that even your grandmother can use it.
3. Create an engaging experience. Provide a comments box, and include pictures and content that will assist consumers in feeling connected to your brand.
4. Evaluate human behavioral patterns. Look at your visitors’ behaviors — i.e., examine how people navigate your site. Do they tend to read from left to right? Do their eyes gravitate to graphics positioned in the top left-hand corner of the page?
5. Solicit and act on visitor feedback. Use surveys, give visitors the ability to rate your site and leverage social media feedback to help you better understand what information consumers want the most.
6. Create personalized, responsive online experiences. Consumers want a personal experience. This is true in other channels, so why should your site be any different? Identify previous visitors and provide them with the same type of information they initially sought.
7. Avoid drastic website changes. While change can be a good thing, people tend to be leery at first. Avoid any major overhaul that will cause confusion.
8. Infuse ongoing testing and continuous improvement. Consumer behavior and the competitive landscape of online retail are constantly changing. Keep your site up-to-date by testing to ensure all types of visitors are comfortable using your site and its services.
9. Promote social media connection points. Promote your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media outlets on your e-commerce site. The more touchpoints the better.
10. Regularly refresh content/promotions. Consumers aren't attracted to stale websites, so try and find the right balance between letting information reach consumers and updating your site's content.