Is Your Website Built For Your Customer? Or is it built for you? Dang. Tough question, but the right answer is essential if you want your site to qualify for what we at TIV Branding like to call “hard-working websites.”
More often than you would think, clients are focused on the logistics of getting a website built and the infrastructure in place to support the site, especially when you’re talking about commerce. Instead, they should be thinking about what their customers actually want. It sounds obvious, but it happens all the time. And as such, I have a list of questions that should be considered to uncover whether you’re thinking from the outside in like you should be or if you need to adjust your approach.
What Does Your Customer Want?
Yes. Super broad. But the nuance in this expansive question is that you’re not asking “What do we want our customer to have?” Who cares? If your customer is as stubborn as I am, they don’t want you to tell them what they want. They know what you want and you’re only going to be successful if you think about it in that order and give it to them.
So if you flip the thinking you’ll likely uncover some assumptions you have made that are more about you and your company than the customer and their needs.
How Does Your Customer Want It?
Purchase and ship is just one way people use websites these days. People shop online to make sure you have what they want before going to the store for purchase. People buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS). Whatever people do, you need consider how your customer wants what you’ve got.
Thinking about how your customer wants it may help you make decisions like keeping products visible even when they’re out of stock. Or vice versa, turning out of stock products off. Are you prompting them to keep checking back in hopes that it’s back in stock? Or are you just disappointing them over and over again?
What Does Your Customer Need to Know?
The tendency is to lead with the purchase. That’s what you want people to do, right? Buy some stuff! But unless you have a wildly unique product to sell, you may need to do a bit more romancing along the path to purchase. What’s unique about you? If you’re selling something that they can get tomorrow from Amazon then why would they rather support your store? Don’t make the path to purchase unnecessarily long or difficult, but don’t assume folks don’t want to take a small detour along the way to help them feel good about the purchase.
Versions of these three simple questions have worked well for me through the years. Website user experience, like branding and like campaigns, will only be effective if you walk a mile in your customers’ shoes.
Brandt Hoekenga is the Founder and Creative Director for TIV Branding
TIV Branding is a boutique branding firm in Sonoma County, California. We specialize in building brands by using traditional, social and digital channels in unison. If you would like to discuss a project or find out more about how we do what we do, please email us at info@TIVbranding.com.