What are people looking for when they visit your business to consumer (B2C) website? A significant part of your success relies on interpreting customer expectations and exceeding them.
You’ve likely heard to scale back the features on your site, but you also want to engage users and offer enough information to drive them into your sales funnel. Finding the perfect mix is challenging.
According to Statista, retail e-commerce will reach $6.388 billion by 2024. Charts show a steady rise in numbers over the next three years. There are more than ample opportunities for companies wanting to grow their online sales.
Although there are dozens of features you could add to your site, it’s best to focus on the features users truly need and desire. Here are our top six for engaging visitors and creating a loyal customer base.
1. Contact Information
Customers tell researchers time and again that they want to know how to contact you and prefer multiple channels of communication. Not only should you include a toll-free number, but an email and possibly live chat features.
Consumers want to know if something goes wrong they can get in touch and quickly resolve the issue. They are also used to seeing the contact button on the upper right portion of the website, so make sure you stick with a place familiar to users.
Sparkle in Pink adds their contact information directly in their header. You can see multiple ways to contact them the second you land on their homepage.
2. Share Your Story
You might wonder if an About Us page is truly an important part of your B2C website design. The history of your company shows users a pattern and what you stand for. They can see if you support the causes they care about.
Although it might seem like a waste of space, storytelling connects you to the customer. People love a good tale, so share yours. Highlight your challenges and triumphs.
People love a good tool to help them make a decision. Think about the features that might allow your customers to make a decision about whether or not to buy your product or service.
If you understand your target audience’s pain points, it’s much easier to come up with tools to solve their problems.
RefiJet offers an auto refinance calculator. You can punch in how much your balance is and your current loan details to see how much you might save. They understand their audience comes to their site looking for a way to save money on car payments, so they present the tool offering insight into the solution.
Consumers are much more likely to believe what their peers say about your products than what you say. Adding reviews to your website shows the advantages of buying from you. They get details such as how something fits or the quality from people they trust.
You can also use testimonials to show how you’ve helped other customers. Testimonials might highlight your fast shipping speed, your excellent customer service or the reason those people buy from you again and again.
While reviews should always be the customer’s honest impression, it’s fine to ask your regular customers if they’ll share a review on a social media site or your own webpage. You can incorporate reviews from Google and Facebook onto your page.
Approach a few regular customers about becoming brand ambassadors. Send them the newest releases and ask them to share their experience on social media. By pulling in micro influencers, you expand your reach and create word-of-mouth buzz.
Shopping online presents unique challenges users don’t have in a brick-and-mortar store. Offering filtering allows your buyers to narrow their search and find only the items pertaining to their needs.
They can shop by size, color, features and many other options. There are numerous ways to offer filtering, often starting with categories within the navigational hierarchy. At some point, they should be able to toggle options on and off to make the results even more personalized.
Kirkland’s creates categories in their nav bar such as furniture. When you click on any category, you’re presented with additional options. If you choose “accent chairs,” you can further narrow the options by material, color, price, ratings and more.
6. Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
What is the UVP of your business that makes you stand out from all the competition? Take time to figure out what other brands in your industry claim as their biggest benefit. What do you do that’s different?
Your UVP should be something that benefits the customer. Some examples include excellent customer service, fast delivery and 100% satisfaction guarantees. Think about your UVP through the lens of what your clients see and you’ll find something they care about.
Adding More Resources
The six resources above helps your customers feel they are part of your business. They can get to know you through your story, feel secure if you offer live chat and even see what the benefit is to shopping with you.
However, there are many other tools you can add that enhance the customer experience. Survey your audience about what they’d like to see. Add new features from time to time and conduct split testing to see how well they’re received. Creating an excellent B2C website is an ongoing process that takes time.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.