The online experience: an opportunity to excel, fraught with challenges
For brands that have put in the time, money and effort to attract new consumers to their website, few things are worse than watching traffic arrive, then fail to convert into a sale. To maximize success, it’s imperative that the investment you make getting consumers to your website pays off. And one of the best ways to do just that is by delivering the best user experience possible — making it just plain easy for visiting consumers to buy from you!
While the DTC shopping experience is typically different than a standard retail shopping experience in a number of ways, one big thing is consistent across both channels: Consumers want an easy shopping experience — period! And e-commerce presents some unique challenges, including:
- Online customers typically want to “get to know” a brand and products at a deeper level before they make a purchase decision — which can be harder to accomplish online than in person. Further, consumers expect an experience beyond “the basics” — such as relevant video content, how to’s, authentic customer testimonials and experience based landing pages — that are typical of larger e-commerce sites.
- E-commerce website visitors are quick to evaluate not only a product catalog, but also the brand’s policies, value proposition and trustworthiness. A lack of clarity toward any of these concerns can result in premature abandonment.
- Many prospective customers also want “social proof” of a brand’s trustworthiness, so they often seek out a brand’s most popular offerings as a place to begin browsing.
5 steps to creating a more user-friendly website
Looking to overcome the above-mentioned challenges and deliver a more user-friendly experience on your outdoor brand’s e-commerce website? Consider incorporating these TBA Outdoors-approved tactics and UX design tips designed to make your website easier to navigate and use — and ultimately to boost visitor conversions:
1. Let data drive your decisions
Use data to understand your customers and inform your e-commerce shopping strategy, as well as to develop new products and/or services that meet your customers’ needs. To accomplish this, perform a deep dive in the following:
- Google Analytics: By delivering insights on the demographics of your brand’s website traffic, this invaluable (and free) tool can help you better understand your audience by segment and by channel.
- Customer research: Performing surveys and user testing can help your brand gain insights directly from the people who matter most — your customers.
2. Aim for authenticity … and an easy experience
Make sure you are creating and providing authentic content — filled with genuine topics and insights that, ideally, highlight your brand lifestyle and the proper use of your products — along with a seamless and easy user experience that meets your customers’ desires.
3. Ensure a smooth and satisfying customer journey
Your brand should strive to create a customer journey that manages to maintain users’ excitement throughout, from the media that brought them to your site all the way through the completed transaction. A great way to start is by carefully analyzing and assessing the complete customer journey from start to finish — and identifying and eliminating any pain points that consumers may experience along the way.
Next, develop a plan to improve your customers’ e-commerce shopping experience on an ongoing basis, continually identifying any existing issues and addressing them as needed. Further, design and implement campaign-specific website landing pages to create a logical path along the customer journey from media to purchase. To help address the aforementioned consumer desire for social proof regarding your brand’s offerings, consider featuring a diverse sampling of your products directly on your homepage, putting a particular spotlight on best sellers.
4. Eliminate any existing hurdles to purchase
Of course, the ultimate goal of all of your efforts is to convert the consumers who visit your website. To ensure that no on-site hang-ups are obstructing any potential consumers’ path to finalizing their purchases, it’s important that your brand optimize the path to purchase on your website and make buying easy — especially in mission-critical areas such as in the shopping cart and at checkout.
5. Incentivize customer engagement and loyalty
When customers shop and support your brand on a regular basis, find ways to reward their loyalty — such as with returning-customer discounts and loyalty programs. Further, find ways to encourage consumers to engage with and share your brand’s social posts, which can help you build a larger social following for your brand. Each of these can help you build brand loyalty with your customers, and hopefully even someday brand advocacy.
How TBAO can support your brand’s success
By doing all of the above-mentioned things, you can increase your outdoor brand’s ROI, ROAS, revenue and profits, all while keeping your customers coming back and loyal to your brand. And if you need expert guidance along the way — TBA Outdoors can help!
Among the assistance the data-driven experts at TBA Outdoors can offer your brand:
- Customer research — Our team can help your brand determine the top shared characteristics of its current customers, so you can then target lookalike audiences and grow your customer base.
- Customer profile analysis — TBA Outdoors can provide an analysis of your customer base that includes a demographic and economic overview of your customers.
- Data capture — Our Analytics team can help ensure that all of your customer data is captured correctly.
- Data analysis — We can analyze the data and develop marketing strategies that will help your brand meet its business goals.
- Content development — The TBA Outdoors Content team can help you generate topics of interest to your customers and potential customers, then generate compelling and interest-grabbing content related to those topics.
- Creative — Our master storytellers and designers — the most awarded in the Carolinas over the past decade — can produce an array of creative assets to help your brand accomplish its marketing goals.
- Website development — We can help your brand improve its entire online shopping experience and path to purchase with services such as:
- E-commerce platform selection (Certified Agency)
- Theme design and development
- Landing page strategy
- Media planning strategy
- Email marketing
- CRO (conversion rate optimization)
- SEO strategy and implementation
Looking to boost the e-commerce experience on your outdoor brand’s website, and ultimately increase your online sales? At TBA Outdoors, we’re here to help you make the online purchase journey easier for your customers — and to help you get the most out of your brand’s DTC channels. To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today — and take the next step toward hitting your brand’s full potential!