For a business to consumer (B2C) website, your focus might be a bit different than a business to business (B2B) site. The needs and preferences of consumers can vary widely, depending on your industry.
So, just what do costumers want from your website? Here are seven ways you can intentionally reach consumers and give them what they most want.
One thing customers want from a website, even one set up for shopping, is content. In 2016, about 77 percent of B2C marketers said they would increase the content they produced, likely because it is still one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website.
The key is to figure out what type of information your target demographic wants. There are several ways to do this, such as polling, looking at what questions have been asked and considering a general persona of your typical user.
J. Crew is an apparel brand, but they’ve learned to reach customers through their content. Instead of just offering shopping, they provide in-depth articles about how to use their products and tips, such as ways to tie a scarf. These materials serve two purposes: they give readers information they want, and they feature the clothing the company sells.
Your website should be consistent. If the consumer finds the navigation bar across the top of the landing page, he or she then expects to see that bar in that same location for every page on your site. The overall design should remain as similar as possible throughout, as well. Even the tone of your website should be consistent. If you start off light-hearted and fun, don’t suddenly turn somber.
If you have a satisfaction guarantee of 90 days, don’t suddenly change it to 30 for other products or services. It’s vital to be consistent across the board, so the consumer knows what to expect. This also shows you’re trustworthy.
3. Learning the Process
Most consumers are interested in the process of how you make a product or deliver a service. This tells the consumer a lot about the quality of your product.
Include a page that explains your commitment to excellence and why you are better than the competition. What makes you stand out? What is unique? Of course, you don’t want to give all your secrets away, but there are many things you can highlight to give the consumer confidence in your company.
Giordano’s Pizza does an excellent job of building trust with their site visitors. On the landing page is an “Architecture” section that explains what goes into making their pizza and how the focus is on quality ingredients. They describe how they use the very best Wisconsin cheese, hand-picked tomatoes and then put it all together. Once you’ve watched the animation of them building a pizza, your mouth will be watering.
4. Search Function
Consumers appreciate a search function, especially repeat customers who are looking for a specific product or content. By providing a search function, they can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for.
In a survey, 76 percent of those responding stated one thing they want in a website is the ability to find what they’re looking for easily.
5. Relevant Products
No matter what type of item you are selling — whether it’s a physical product, downloadable e-books or a service — it must be relevant to your typical site visitor. Many factors come into play with an audience. You can reach a very targeted audience through Facebook lead ads, even narrowing down who the ads reach by location.
However, you can’t entirely control who visits your site. You must get to know your audience, study their preferences and target specials and information to their specific needs to ensure you’re drawing in the right crowd.
Groupon does this amazingly well. Not only do they use your location to show local offers, but they watch what items you look at and let you know via email when they go on sale. They also send notifications for packages they think you might like. This type of direct, personalized marketing is quite compelling.
6. Great Deals
Everyone loves a great deal, and B2C customers are no exception. Offering deals is an efficient way to drive new customers to your site.
Imagine being a consumer shopping for a gadget, when you see options from two different companies. Company A and Company B both charge the same price for the same product — however, Company B is offering free shipping on your first order. Which company would you choose?
Consumers are slammed with marketing messages. About 5.3 trillion ads appear online annually, meaning the average consumer sees ad after ad pretty much continuously online. After a while, the consumer begins to ignore those ads. The only way to grab the consumer’s attention is by speaking to emotions and telling a compelling story about your brand, your average customers or some other aspect of your business.
Think about some of the more prominent brand names you know and how they tell a story. For example, if you think of Charmin, you probably think about the Charmin bears and their story. If you think of Mr. Clean, you think about the character showing up in your kitchen and helping you muscle through your cleaning.
What is your brand’s story, and how can you share it with your readers?
Check out the Kellogg’s website. They talk about Tony the Tiger, their mascot, and his personal journey. You’ll get a timeline run down of Tony from conception to today. You can also view videos featuring Tony the Tiger. Now, anytime you think of Frosted Flakes, you’re going to think about Tony’s story.
Small Changes Lead to Big Results
When it comes to tweaking your business website to speak to consumers, even slight changes can have a significant impact. Start by changing just one or two things to see how your site visitors respond — remember, you can always change items back.
Be sure to do some split testing to track your results and continuously strive to deliver a user-friendly experience to your site visitors, and you’ll be well on your way to having a premium website.