Online Customer Expectations

Do website users really know what they want?

Well actually this depends on quite a few factors. However what we do know is that there is a pressing demand from the general web browser (that is, a person not a program) to get things done quickly and to get it done right. So does quick=speedy page loading? No. Speed means access to information. Get the customer through your shop door and to the shelf or rail with the product they want ASAP! This is of course obvious but how many websites do you know that do this?

Lack of Information Vs Information Overload

Getting the balance just right is the most difficult task but offers the most reward. The e-commerce site I’m currently managing has quite a sizable number of pages (4 digits). So is this enough? Well relatively speaking the customer speaks the loudest. Analysis has shown that whilst we have as much as 10 to 15 times the information contained in our brochures, customer are still not satisfied. Afterall, it is the customer that knows what they want, not us! Or do we? Analysing traffic through your website can seem like walking through a maze.

The Little Big Brother Approach

Whilst web analytics can tell you the what and when, how do you work out the why? You can either ask them directly, in focus groups and lab tests – let’s be honest, how many participants can we really capture in full-flight – or you can install some clever software that will actually allow you to play-back customer journeys through your website! Clever? Well not as clever as being able to set ‘triggers’ to record certain journeys. Saves a fair amount of time working out why exactly your attrition levels are so high. You thought the page was so simple that it must be the users that are doing something wrong. Well set a trigger to alert you when someone hits this page and play back the sessions. You might just be surprised.

Customer Expectations

Customers are more and more expecting to spend less time searching and more time consuming information online. Go ask Google. That’s why it is key to reduce any ‘low-hanging fruit’ issues with your site as possible and concentrate on a strategy to streamline your customer journey for the mid-term. Information is key, but make it relevant, easy to find and don’t make your customers think too much!

Depesh Mandalia


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