5 reasons to improve your website customer experience during a downturn
We’ve been trying not to talk too much about the ‘credit crunch’ on our blog because quite frankly we’re sick of hearing about it in the headlines every day. But, if it’s something our clients are worried about, we felt we should provide some ideas on what to do during these uncertain times.
So we’ve created a list of reasons why you should improve your website customer experience:
1) Rising fuel costs and household bills could mean more people turn online to save money
Instead of driving to the store to shop around, customers are more likely to research and purchase online in an attempt to save costs. Research suggests that retailers are seeing an increase in online sales at a time when there is a widespread decline in the high street, making the web a good channel to focus upon during a time when customers are more frugal.
Low cost customer research can yield small changes to a website which can have a big difference in improving customer experience.
2) Lower numbers of customers with money to spend means finding better ways to improve conversion
With a predicted economic downturn all over the headlines, consumers are likely to restrict their spending and become more considered when making purchase decisions.
Through usability testing you can understand your customers’ newly formed needs and provide an online experience to meet their expectations. This will give you the advatange over yout competitors during this period.
3) Getting your website in order now means you can have confidence in your site if your budget is reduced
If you have budget now, but you feel it could be sparse in the near future, it’s a wise investment to ensure the site is delivering what your customers need, and what your board demands.
Understanding the barriers to online conversion now, and knowing how to remove these barriers, will allow you to make strategic changes to stabilise the customer experience.
4) During periods of restricted budget it is even more important to get your prioritisation right
When budgets are tight, prioritisation becomes a critical decision making tool. All too often, website owners make prioritisation decisions based on business goals and available resource. It is critical to understand your customers’ goals and ensure that you include customer priorities in your thinking.
Having a site which focuses only upon your business goals in our experience is the best way to provide a poor customer experience because you can easily lose sight of customer needs.
5) When times are tough, people seek experiences which make them feel good
During an economic downturn, marketers have noticed an increase in lipstick sales. The term ‘lipstick factor’ refers to phenomenon where women turn away from the more expensive shoes and clothes towards the less expensive items that make them feel better about themselves. During troubled times people have a greater need to feel better about themselves, so making customers feel good by providing small ‘pick me ups’ during their experience with your site is a way to thrive during the ‘credit crunch’.
Is your website catering to current customer needs?
About Damian Rees
Damian has worked as a usability and user experience consultant for over 13 years. He has worked in senior roles within companies like the BBC and National Air Traffic Services where he has researched and designed for users in a variety of different contexts including web applications, voice recognition, and air traffic control interfaces. Follow Damian on twitter @damianrees