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Let’s face it, most business owners are pretty au fait with traditional forms of marketing but pretty perplexed by online marketing. So the way forward for the SEO industry and the wider field of Internet Marketing is to educate business owners about the possibilities of online promotion. What better place to start than e-commerce?
Firstly let’s examine how user experience relates to the process of buying products online. Let’s begin by looking at two different e-commerce website user personas:
Please excuse the wording on the last one! There are obvious permutations but you get the idea! So the impulse buyer performs a search for “blue widgets” and finds your website. You sell blue widgets. Your website is pretty average in terms of usability but the user perseveres and orders a blue widget from your website on the first visit. Now don’t you wish that all e-commerce visitors were impulse buyers.
Next is the browser. Never really going to make a purchase. But he might do if you can drag them in with a little fear of loss sales treatment like a genuine “ENDS TODAY 80% OFF” sale. The end result here is usually click away.
The third visitor type, purchase in a week, is the one who you want to be particularly attentive towards because you want them to come back to YOUR website and purchase from YOU next week! This is where first impressions really do count. If your “ok” navigation would overlooked by your impulse buyer then the third visitor type may remember and become increasingly frustrated by that broken link or that page that they clicked on that failed to deliver on its promise. Psychology dictates that the more you think about a problem the bigger it becomes. So always user test your e-commerce website. This helps to decrease the chance of losing visitors.
Now good navigation is very important but it is only one way of improving the user experience. E-commerce websites need to be high on credibility. Showing that you’re real with a real company and a real geographical location is the first step to improving your online presence’s credibility. E-commerce shoppers like to see familiar website elements, these make them feel right at home and make that purchase. Making your website simple and easy to use can be greatly aided by allowing your users to interact with your website by leaving comments about purchases. How long did delivery take? Did the product arrive in good condition? Were there any problems? Now this is the first stage, this helps diffuse any negative connotations that a potential buyer may have when shopping online. Buyers who are new to online shopping may have heard horror stories about being ripped off online by fly-by-night e-commerce store owners. It is your job to prove that you aren’t one of them. In terms of Psychology, safety in numbers applies here. If others have bought safety and had successful purchases them why trouble yourself by going into town, parking up, getting a ticket, queing up?
So you’ve setup your e-commerce site and it’s nice and simple. Short item descriptions but if less really is more and improving the user experience means having concise text as opposed to lots of text that no-one will really need, then where do you actually get to inform customers about your products. Well, some e-commerce owners provide links to manufacturers websites and hope these visitors come back to them to make the purchase. Social bookmarking and web browser bookmarking can help improve revisit rate but this is never guaranteed. User testing shows that a significant majority of users will return to their initial preferred portal to search, (i.e. their favourite search engine), immediately after following a link to the manufacturers website. Lots of users have been seen to use the Back Button but we still want to get get the sales from those who return to the search engine right?
The solution: articles within websites which can also be included in popular article marketing databases. This not only helps to inform users about your products and services without them having to ever leave your website but the article marketing element of this also helps to draw in more targeted traffic and goes towards the SEO effort too. Bonus!
Happy Article Marketing!