10 Site Basics to Increase Customer Loyalty

Just about every web design and web development professional is familiar with the work done by world renowned web usability expert Jakob Nielsen.  For those who are unfamiliar: he has invented several usability methods, published a number of books and countless articles on his research findings; in addition to holding 79 US patents, many of which outline ways of making the web easier to use.  While doing some research of my own, I came across a republished article of his titled 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities, which offers 10 suggestions to help increase online sales and customer loyalty.

The article explains each tactic in further detail, but here is a brief overview of each suggestion.

1. Email Newsletters: Keep customers informed and in touch with your company even when they aren’t ready to buy; you’ll be remembered when they are in the market for your products and services.

2. Informative Product Pages: should have everything a site visitor needs to make a purchasing decision; very important considering the user has already indicated interest in the offering by attempting to learn more about it.

3. High- Quality Photography: Great photos can help overcome the biggest downside of shopping online as people can’t touch or inspect your products in person.

4. Product Differentiation and Comparisons: Make it easy for users to tell the difference between similar products; this will help clarify the buying decision for users and limit the number of people who decide to postpone their purchase.

5. Support for Reordering: By simply making it easier for people to reorder, you will be encouraging them to spend more; especially in B2B situations where clients may order a set amount of supplies each month.

6. Simplified Text: Follow guidelines for online content

7. Catering to Seniors: The fastest growing segment of Internet users.  They often have time on their hands and money to spend, but are often ignored when it comes to online guidelines and accessibility.

8. Gift-Giving Support: Gift certificates are an easy way to make sales and introduce your site to new customers.

9. Search: See my previous blog on Search Capabilities Increasing Loyalty and Conversion Rates

10. User Testing: There are no marketing tactics or sales that can overcome a site that doesn’t function properly.

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