4 Trends that are Affecting Business Planning and Investment in Websites Trend #2 – More Features, Less Hassle

By Mike Turner | May 31, 2019

Your customers expect your site to be a breeze.
Here’s how to deliver.

Designers and developers are always cramming new features into their sites as bandwidth gets cheaper and devices more powerful. Each feature is an improvement (at least in theory)— but a truckload of improvements can destroy your site’s user experience.

We get spoiled fast. As soon as a site delivers a brilliant improvement like Amazon’s 1-Click ordering, or Ann Taylor’s lightspeed product views, customers respond with genuine glee. Which lasts about five minutes. Then they’re like “What have you done for me lately?”

When an Ann Taylor shopper finds an item she likes, she can quickly learn how it fits and whether other customers were happy with it. Behind this information are some powerful databases and development to make it all function.

UX breakthroughs are stars for a day. Discount broker E-Trade made it so easy to buy stocks, a barnyard animal could do it (as long as it knew how to type). Ally made online banking borderline pleasant, which is some kind of miracle. Lining up a ride from Uber is about as easy as clicking the heels of your ruby slippers three times and saying “There’s no place like home.” The breezy experience these UX milestones introduced became utterly expected in no time.

Your B2B customer is also a B2C customer. They’re shopping on Amazon, and Amazon is setting their expectations. Does your site sell flanges? Well, your flange-ordering customers are expecting the same experience they got when they ordered scented candles from America’s favorite online megastore.

How to live up to higher expectations. We’d say “Just mix up a margarita and see what’s on Netflix” but that would be poor advice. You need to give your site the focused attention that will keep it attracting customers. You need to add improvements while maintaining ease-of-use. You should be adding fresh content often—or risk the ire of the Google gods. Those pesky WordPress updates? They’ve got to be done, even it’s kind of annoying.

Planning is boring. You know what’s not boring? Paying customers. When you include site maintenance and improvement in your business plans, you are pleasing your site visitors, which are your customers. And let’s face it—your customers are the boss. So buckle down and do this. As your mom said all those years ago, you’ll thank me later.

  • Commit to a strategic digital plan as part of your overall marketing efforts. Prioritize ongoing site improvements, SEO, and content marketing.
  • Make sure your site’s back end is regularly maintained and updated. (The back end is the code that nobody sees but which does the heavy lifting behind the scenes.) This work supports effortless UX and a strong shield against hackers.
  • Conduct monthly and quarterly analytics, based on specific goals and KPIs, to spot potential problems and capitalize on strengths.
  • Use heat mapping and other techniques to see what your site visitors are doing when they’re visiting you site. There’s a lot more to that process than the previous sentence covers, but we’ll save that for another post.
  • Ask your customers what they like about the site, and what they don’t like. Act on what you learn.

Want to learn more about website management for your site? Let’s talk.