While there is a lot of overlap in succeeding in retail – whether online or in a physical store – there are unique needs when connecting customers online.
And, because your website is the equivalent of your store (as well as your business card and first impression), it’s more than just important to be intelligent with small business website design – it’s critical.
By working with a professional web design company, you can be sure that you meet customer demands online, giving them what they need in order to trust you and your business.
When websites do their job, they develop trust, loyalty and a personal connection that leads to sustainable – and more importantly, scalable – success.
But, how do you know what your online customers really need? It all starts with responsive web design services.
Why Do Today’s Customers Need Responsive Web Design?
First and foremost, responsive websites are necessary because it’s impossible to predict where your visitors will be viewing your pages.
Before smartphones, you could be confident that your website would be viewed on a computer – that, after all, was the only option. Now, however, all of the devices being used make it impossible to rely on a website that can only be viewed properly from a desktop.
With more and more people turning to mobile devices for searches, it’s critical that your website can respond, which means it can adapt to each and every device fluidly. Research shows that having a responsive website dramatically impacts the customer experience, which makes perfect sense.
Take a moment to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and you’ll understand: You wouldn’t waste your time on a website you can’t use – you’d just pull up another one.
If your website isn’t responsive in today’s world, you can be sure that your website’s bounce rate is high.
And it doesn’t just end there.
If your website isn’t responsive, then you’re not able to rank as well online. No matter how much Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you invest in, you’ll never maximize your results with a non-responsive website. Never.
5 Other Features Your Customers Need from Your Website Design
In addition to being responsive, your website design also needs to include other intelligent, customer-friendly features. And, while every business and industry requires something a little different, there are universal demands every online customer wants.
When working with a website design company, it’s important that they understand how to incorporate these features.
But, equally important, you need to understand why they’re so necessary.
- Your Contact Information : When customers land on your website, especially when they’re on their mobile devices, one of the first things they want to find is your business’ contact information. Whether they actually want to call you right away or not isn’t the point – although sometimes it is that simple! But there’s another reason why your contact info should be prominent in your website design – it builds trust. By seeing that it’s easy to get in touch with you, you let your potential customers know that, if they do have a question or problem, they know exactly where to go. And, if you can make your contact info clickable and actionable, that’s even better.
- Easy Navigation : Keeping the customer experience in mind when designing a website is essential for improving overall performance. If your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for (and fast), then they’ll leave. Every website should be built with an understanding of the customer journey. Where do you want your visitors to go first? What do you want them to see? What should they be clicking on? If your website is already up and you’re looking for insight, you can look at the analytics to get a better understanding of what’s going on – because sometimes this is vastly different from what you expect. By looking at which pages are being landed on first, and then where your visitors go next, you can optimize the journey to make sure your visitors are doing what you want while also getting what they need.
- Clear Offers & Calls to Action (CTAs) : Part of the navigation on your website includes your offers – what you’re actually giving or selling your customers. If these offers are buried, or if they don’t have a clear and bold CTA, then you can be sure that you’re missing out on conversions. The best website designs understand the importance of page layout, putting your offers and their unique copy front and center so that it’s impossible for your visitors to miss them.
- Testimonials & Social Proof : In a physical store, your social proof comes from seeing other people shopping or purchasing. Online, you don’t have this advantage. In order to make people feel comfortable and confident about their purchase (or whichever action you’re wanting them to take), your website design needs to include testimonials and social proof throughout your pages. Overlooking this feature, or hiding them on a page that doesn’t get much traffic, will hurt how well your website does.
- No Surprises – Clear Pricing : The more transparent your website is, the better it will do. This means it’s critical that your prices are visible. If you make people hunt for the cost of your products or services, you’ll lose their trust and their business. Another thing you should avoid in website design? Telling your customers one thing (“This product is free!”) and then adding a shipping or service fee. To really gain the trust of your customers, your website needs to put all of the pertinent information upfront.
At the end of the day, online customers should be treated with the same respect as you would treat customers who come into your store. But, because you’re not physically “in” your website 24/7, the design needs to convey what you can’t.
If you’re looking to develop a website that really meets online customer demands, our team at FreshySites can help!
Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you navigate the ins and outs of building and designing a responsive website for your business. Call us now!