Helen Ross 02 August 2017 3 min read

5 tips to happier customers

1. Take them where they want to go

This one is a no-brainer and personal pet peeve that’s missed more often than you’d think. If you’re advertising a product, make sure that your ad links directly to that advertised product. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing an ad for a knife block (for example) that you really like the look of, then clicking on the ad only to find yourself wandering aimlessly in the ‘Kitchen Utensils’ category, wading through 80+ products.

When it happens to me, not only do I need to do the legwork to find that product again, but it feels like I’ve been deceived. And let’s be honest… I probably won’t do the legwork, I’ll just leave.


2. Tell them what they want to know

This comes back to something I’ve said multiple times before, and will probably say many times more. Tell your users what they want to know, not what you want to tell them. You may care that your WizzBang5000 has a whistle, but if it’s not an integral reason someone is going to purchase that product, then you’re just feature stuffing. As a consumer, it’s incredibly annoying to sift through a thousand dot points to find the bit you actually care about. As a marketer, you should be concerned by seeing this on your site - it’s proven to have a negative impact.


Don’t take my word for it, check out what Kissmetrics has to say. Don’t like them? How about Harvard Business Review. Or we can just go straight to the source and look at the original research paper on feature fatigue over here. Now, the original article is talking about the development of the product in the first place, but it has a lot of overlap with how this presents in terms of end user frustration. So it’s worth considering as part of the conversation.


2a. Tell them in a way they understand

This is just off-topic enough to need its own point. Anyone can write a list of features. Making a list of useful features is another thing entirely. Don’t tell your users that your new knives (I really want new knives ok?!) are made of Adamantium. Tell your users that your new knives never need to be sharpened. Tell them the solution. Sell a solution, not a product (it’s almost like I’ve said that before).


3. Let them decide what they want

I spoke about Product Compare a few weeks back. It’s a widget that lets your customers compare similar products without needing to swap between multiple tabs. Now let me reinforce that with a shout out to Nielsen Norman Group for their usability studies in the ecommerce space: see their article highlighting the importance of product comparison (and other info on the product detail page). I’d definitely recommend spending 5 minutes to read through this one.


4. Show them what they’re buying

Any of you who have spoken to me about what you can do to improve your websites have likely heard me talk about imagery. If you haven’t, give it time - it’s one of my favourite pain points to poke at. I know there is overhead in sourcing or creating good product imagery but it is absolutely vital if you want to create a good user experience.


You wouldn’t buy a house without walking through it first, right? Well, product imagery is your user’s version of a house inspection. Don’t expect your users to buy what they can’t see.


5. Don’t force them to register if they don’t have to

This one is for the B2C types. The Nielsen Norman Group were lovely enough to lay out the reasons providing users with Guest Checkout is so crucial over here. To give you the Cliffs Notes: users hate being forced to register so much that they will abandon their purchase if they’re driven down a registration path.


In other words:

User + No Guest Checkout = Higher chance of this guy:


Young man standing with a brown cardboard box on his head with sad face.jpeg


User + WITH Guest Checkout = Greater chance of these peeps:

Couple of cardbord characters with smiley faces - isolated over a white background.jpeg


And with that highly scientific calculation, we’re done for the day. So, your thoughts? Are there any changes you’ll be making? Points you disagree with? Drop me a line.


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