Website customer experience and social buzz in a viral world

May marketing madness online strategy week, post #11

The internet is the ultimate digital diary for both the satisfied AND disappointed customer. Whether it is through social networks such as Twitter or Facebook, or on blogs and site reviews, etc, World Wide Web users like to rave or vent about their website customer experiences. Businesses today can't afford selling a bad product or providing a bad service, as word simply "gets around". They need to go above and beyond.

Exceeding Expectations

Did you know that 64% of shoppers read reviews always or most of the time before making a purchase? A good customer experience usually gets positive responses and comments. Zappos is one success story of an online store that decided to give customers outstanding (unheard of at the time!) service, including 2-way Free shipping, 365 day return policy AND 24/7 call center. They put their emphasis on pleasing, not pricing, on service, not sales.

Although their advertising costs were minimal, Zappos succeeded in growing from $1.6M gross revenue in 2000 to $370M in 2005. In 2009, Amazon bought Zappos for $1.2 billion. Most of its growth is as a result of the Word-Of-Mouth effect. It proved that it's not just about giving a good website customer experience; it's about giving an outstanding one, one that will generate the big buzz you're looking for.

As this was achieved before the current Twitter and Facebook Viral Era, just imagine what is possible for businesses today!

The Big Apple and Website Customer Experience

Apple is another big buzz success story. It has invested a lot of its resources into its customer experience and it shows. Apple's products and services are designed in a very minimal and simplistic way that facilitates easy visitor interaction with their services. One of those interactions is their website. When viewing any product page / landing page, the simplicity is obvious.

-No description in small letters above the fold.
-No flashing banners.
-No long, nerve-wracking explanations.

Simple is the keyword here.

Taking Action

Many small site owners probably think 'How can I compare myself to Apple? Or to Zappos? I don't have their audience nor resources'. But designing a simple and easy to use site does not require as many resources as it seems.

Instead of worrying about what tools and services your competitors are able to afford, focus on the resources that are available to you. There are free or low cost website customer experience analytics solutions out there that allow you to successfully monitor and understand your visitors' interactions on your site so you know what customer pleasing design to implement.

Successful buzz worthy business is achieved through pushing boundaries and exceeding expectations. If you invest in your customers, rather than in your sales, the conversions will come.

This post is one out of Clicktale's month long May Marketing Madness series. Each of our daily posts will highlight and explain today's best practices, useful tips and smart tools to measure and improve your online business performance. This week's theme is online strategy. Make sure to stay tuned in for more!

Talk to us to explore how customer experience analytics can improve your business