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Why (Good) Websites Matter Now More Than Ever

Madie Szrom
Jun 18th, 2020 Marketing, Trends

Online shopping has been growing rapidly for years, long before Covid-19 took away the option to physically go into retailers. In 2018, 1.8 billion people worldwide bought something online, and that amounted to nearly three trillion dollars—but, you still had the option of spending hours feeding your cravings for new shoes, plants, that special coffee you like, bath towels, pots and pans, or whatever else made it into your cart. 

Now, in the Coronavirus era, that option is about as safe as going TV shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Instead, online shopping has become one of the only safe and reliable ways to get goods, and even now, with stores beginning to reopen, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change. According to an article in Adweek, when polled, thousands of people said they felt unsafe heading back into stores to shop, so much so that on a scale of one to 10, their comfort levels were in the negative. 

Despite whatever the states and cities decide, it appears many people have made the decision to remain loyal to social distancing for the foreseeable future, and hopefully for the greater good, and that means online shopping will continue to swell. What this means for businesses is your website needs to look good, function well, and provide users with the best digital experience possible. 

Make it comfortable 

The reason so many people continue to go to brick and mortar stores is because they are given an experience worth going back for. Your website needs to do the same thing, and there is an abundance of ways to make this happen. 

  • Bots. Using bots is a great way to ensure your customers are getting questions answered quickly, keeping them active on your site while saving you time, energy, and money paying for customer service reps to answer common, day-to-day questions. 
  • Live chats. Bots are great for simple questions, however, if your products or services are a bit more complex, having a live chat function on your website is an effective way to maintain customer satisfaction, build trust by providing reliable responses in real-time, and give customers a more enjoyable experience than a call center. 
  • Shopping apps. If you’re selling products, apps like Shop Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and Weebly are all ways to enable your ecommerce to be quick and easy, eliminating the need to reenter information while remaining secure. 

Make it pretty 

In the land of websites, image is everything. From your color palette to your designs to your imagery, the way things look to the way things flow makes a massive difference. Don’t believe me? Think your business is doing well without? Here’s a few stats to change your mind: 

A well designed, intentional website can grow your reach, build customer trust and expectations, and keep you ahead of your competitors. Especially now, while we’re all stuck at home most of the time, giving customers a beautiful digital experience to replace the beautiful physical ones they’re missing shows you care about them as much as your business. 

Make it work 

Attempting to navigate an ill performing website is as irritating as trying to remove a hangnail. If users are trying to find where to contact you, but it’s not clear, they will bail. If they want to learn more about what you do, but the CTA button goes to an outdated page—or worse, nowhere, they will bail. If your site jumps around and follows no clear path, they will bail. And not only that, they will go elsewhere. 

To keep your customers and get new ones, your site needs to function fluidly and with purpose, moving easily from page to page, offering helpful headlines, guidance, and giving people a platform to trust. For starters, check the following: 

  • Links. They all need to get your users to the promised land. 
  • Structure. Does the flow and order of your site make sense? Make sure it’s constructed to be the most helpful for users. 
  • Content flow. What you say needs to be cohesive and sensical. Imagine being in a conversation with five people and trying to listen to them all speak at once. That’s what it feels like when website content doesn’t march to a rhythm or reason. 
  • Contact information. If your email, phone, or address are out of date, sending customers into 404-page-not-found territory or to the dreaded beeps of invalid numbers, will get you dropped. Fast. 

The continuous growth of online purchasing, and the surge it’s seen due to Covid-19, means your site has more opportunity than ever to be stumbled upon. When you ensure it looks, feels, sounds, and operates as perfectly as the philharmonic, your growth is limitless. 

Not sure the best way to take your website from “meh” to “WHOA!?” Reach out! We’re here to help you discover the digital potential of your business.

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