For those who weren’t aware, the recent scenes of squabbling, scrambling and distinctly un-British behaviour in the shops you might have seen on TV were the result of something called ‘Black Friday’ a phenomenon we now appear to have contracted like a virus from the US.
Following this massive physical shopping binge – we will have the online equivalent upon us soon with ‘Cyber Monday’ when all sorts of online shopping records will be broken, millions and millions of pounds will change hands, yet there will also be frayed tempers, bad language and frustration here as well – something you wouldn’t have thought would happen when buying things online.
The majority of this will occur when we encounter a website which, in a effort to be cutting edge, has animated introductions, logos everywhere you look and state of the art graphics you can only really see if you have the latest device or iThing … but navigating round the site is a bit of a ‘mission’, and most worryingly of all for a sales site – gives you little idea how you actually buy something.
I’m sure we’ve all sat in front of some of these sites going round in ever decreasing circles, wondering if it’s actually worth it at all, and how this can actually be less fuss and bother than getting in the car and just going to the shops yourself.
The trick here, clearly, as with so many things online – and especially when you’re trying to sell something – is to keep the buying process simple.
Just because technologically we can do some fantastic things online, it doesn’t mean we have to. Look at Amazon – despite all the things their detractors may say, it’s not hard to buy things from Amazon, which is why people do – in their millions.
Compare that with a site where you have to tiptoe through four pages of flashy graphics to eventually find an ‘add to cart’ button, then having to undergo a tortuous registration process so you can receive six emails over the next week reminding you not to ‘miss out’ on the item you wanted, but couldn’t work out how to buy, or was (and still is) out of stock.
When you think about your own sites – they key thoughts should be ‘what do I want the visitor to do? – and how do I make that the easiest thing for them to do?’. This should be your first consideration – it should define how your site looks, how you navigate round it, everything.
The journey between your customer deciding to buy, and getting the email saying ‘thank you for your purchase’ should be simple, obvious, straight-forward and involve as few clicks as possible … and will beat a more complicated but prettier looking process very single time.
Until Next Time,
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down