One important aspect to building online customer loyalty, which is often overlooked when focusing on specific marketing strategies or programs, is a website’s usability. There’s a definite correlation between website usability and customer satisfaction, especially for e-commerce sites.
If you are able to make the shopping experience on your website enjoyable by making it easy for people to find important information and the products they are looking for, they will want to return again and again. This type of satisfaction and ease of use will not only ensure repeat customers for your website, but will also generate positive word of mouth.
Usability is often measured by:
- Effectiveness: can site visitors achieve their objectives?
- Efficiency: how easily can users achieve their objectives?
- Satisfaction: was it an enjoyable overall experience?
Some usability factors that can influence user experience include:
- Page load time
- Overall look and feel of your site
- Navigation and information architecture
- Informative content
- Search and advanced search options
While price will always play a part in overall brand loyalty and where people decide to shop, it is by no means the only driver of loyalty. In order to generate customer loyalty online, you have to offer customers a positive overall experience. This extends beyond just your website and includes customer service and quick order fulfillment (the longer it takes for a customer to get a purchase, the less likely they are to make another one).
If you are able to attract visitors to your website, quickly provide them with what they are looking for and give them a positive overall experience, you should have no problem with retaining customers and building loyalty.