Want customers? Make it easy for them to shop.
Tonight I experienced a classic case of websites chasing customers away. I was the customer. Here’s what happened…
My husband drives a 2000 Ford F-250 – a nice truck and looks almost new still. But an electronic part has gone haywire so I decided to see if I could find a replacement. It’s a little display screen that sits above the windshield and tells the temperature, how many more miles to go before the gas tank runs out, the direction you’re headed, etc.
I don’t know what it’s called, and it doesn’t have a name stamped on it. Just a bunch of numbers.
So I went on line. First I tried the “Official Ford Parts” website. Forget that. In order to look around I was required to register. I don’t want to register – I want to look around. Next, I could see that they weren’t going to help me unless I knew the VIN number from the truck. No way am I going outside in the snow to look for a VIN number.
So, I tried another website. To search on that site, I needed the name of the part. I left there.
On another one they asked for part numbers, but none of the numbers printed on this little plastic box came up as found. The only ones I didn’t try were the ones that said “patent number.”
So, tomorrow I’ll get on the phone and call a Ford Dealership and hope someone there knows what I’m talking about.
You can already see the moral of this story. Three different websites lost my business – because they didn’t make it easy.
What could they have done instead? Well, first of all, when I got to the Ford site they could have let me shop without registering. That’s like asking someone to pay a cover charge to eat in your restaurant. An invitation to leave.
On the other sites, it would have been nice to be able to go straight to the F-250 parts page instead of stumbling through 3 or 4 other pages first.
Then, they could have listed categories of parts that might have given me a clue of where to look. You know – engine parts, transmission, exhaust, electronics. What could this part be called? Display, perhaps?
Look at your website. Are you making it easy for customers to find what they want? Do your tabs make sense, or do you have to know a secret formula to get around? Do you make it easy for people to contact you if they have a question?
Pretend you want to buy something you sell, and go to your site to look for it. Better yet, ask a friend to do it, because you already know just how to get where you’re going.
If it isn’t easy to do, start re-arranging!