8+2 UX tips from new corona times e-shops
The current situation caught many off-line retailers off-guard. In reaction to the quarantine, more than 300 new e-shops are being launched every week with a single goal – to at least partially substitute the lost revenue to these retailers. However, most of them are built with a series of basic mistakes despite the fact that these mistakes are easy to fix and if you manage to solve them, your turnover could grow exponentially higher.
Whether you already took the first online steps or you’re yet to start planning your online sales, I put together 8+2 UX principles. These are absolutely fundamental in order for your online business to be successful, but still I am missing them in many newly emerging solutions.
Don’t lose your emotion and personality – The more the customer journey is about just technical clicking, the smaller are you chances to build a connection and familiarity with your customers. Keep as much as you can from the personal interactions – talk like humans, not Google Translator; forget stock photos but instead use real ones; but most importantly write your full story in the About me/us section of your website.
Work on your credibility – Always show real people and names. By making your customers feel like they are talking to a real person you take away their fear of being deceived. Online purchases and money transfers are stressful for most of us. So use “calmers”, emphasise goods and money returning guarantees and make it easy to contact you. If you can, boost your credibility by working with better known authorities. And show off your relevant awards and certificates.
Make phone, chat and ideally video chat visible – Universal email is not enough. Especially old people often need to talk to someone and ask questions before finishing their online purchase. Younger people on the other hand appreciate a quick online chat or messenger. Possibility to see the product via video chat and talk to a real person lowers fear, particularly with more expensive purchases. The more communication channels you can reasonably manage, the easier it is for customers to reach you and buy the product from you.
Ask your customers – This recommendation is linked to the previous principle. Take advantage of the connections you make with your customers and ask them (especially the unhappy ones) what you can improve, what they miss, what they would like to see. Take notes and try to turn these insights into new sales channels or products you otherwise wouldn’t think of. Similarly, you can use them to test and verify new ideas. If you manage to capture your customers attention and they want to buy it, you hit the jackpot and can move your idea to the next stage. If more customers reject, then there is probably something wrong with it.
Let yourself make mistakes – “Speed of learning is the new unfair advantage,” sentence I have heard multiple times over our three day training with Ash Maurya, founder and creator of Lean Stack and Lean Canvas methodology. Don’t get paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes. Let yourself and your colleagues make them and use it to move forward even faster. Learn on the go and learn fast. Thanks to feedback you can also immediately distinguish what mistakes are worth fixing and which are not. At the same time be fair and open to those affected by your mistakes. Apologize and show that you are working on them and definitely do not take them lightly.
Let regulars know you’re are open – Give your most important clients a call, send email (with consent), put a flyer on your doors, or write a short post on your online media channels. Simply let your loyal customer know that you are here for them again. Try to google your business, check your online presence and fix for example your opening hours or website wherever possible – Google Maps, Facebook, Firmy.cz and others.
Go where your customers are – We all have an online space where we relax, discuss or develop our hobbies, look for answers or socialize. Try to see the world through your customers eyes and find places where they are. See how they interact, what they do and then simply mingle into the discussion. If possible and relevant, try to offer (just by the way) your services. Try to be as helpful as possible. If you really mean it, customers will appreciate it.
Cultivate word of mouth marketing – One of the internet’s biggest advantages is to quickly share information with virtually anyone. Take advantage of it and encourage happy customers to share their experience and recommend you to their friends. If you cannot build a word of mouth and thus secure repeated purchases then no advertisement can help you grow your business.
Two more tips on top of those 8 principles.
Focus on the big picture – Don’t try to have everything perfect from the beginning. You would waste a lot of precious time. At the same time, don’t focus all your energy on just one part of the process. You always need to have at least a basic plan of a holistic solution in these areas:
At the beginning, focus your energy on the first two. But still keep in mind how to approach the other two once customer enter that phase. Gradually open up bottlenecks, automate and scale up.
Make yourself a hot drink – What you need to do first is relax. Make yourself your favorite coffee or tea, take a walk or just take a few minutes and just look out of the window. Tension hampers creative thinking and mental flexibility. And you will need a lot of those. Take 15 minutes to calm down and then give it your full focus and energy. By reading this, you are already a step ahead of your competition. Keep going. I believe in you.