This pandemic has changed everything. It has changed the way we shop, interact, learn, and work. We have been forced to evolve and find new ways to quickly replace old practices that just don’t serve us anymore.
On the bright side, the internet had been so highly developed that it was positioned to aid us across multiple transitions.
Processes were already in place to aid classrooms and stores transitioning online, employees could more easily move to work remotely, and restaurants could focus on delivery options.
So with everything going online with some urgency, how do we make sure our websites are updated and optimized? The following lists nine of the many website design lessons that were learned during the pandemic:
1. Make Your Website Easy To Navigate
Have you ever visited a website where you have no idea where anything is? You’re just lost when you get there and have trouble even finding the product listing because everything is so disorganized?
So instead of trying to figure it out, you probably moved on to a different website.
Imagine that this is the state of your website. You’re losing more viewers than you’re gaining just because your website isn’t set up to give your customers an enjoyable viewing experience.
Your website has become just as important as a physical store. Everything has to be well-merchandised; attractively organized and labeled so people can easily find their way around your site.
Here are a few things to consider to make sure that your viewers easily find what they’re looking for on your site:
- Fonts should be readable
- Have a search bar
- Have a clear division of categories
- Make sure that your navigation titles are accurate
Making it easier for users to find what they need on your website is a great way of taking care of them. If you make it a nice experience for them, chances are they’re going to come back again.
Why would they look for another company if it’s already so easy to get what they need on your website?
2. Make Your Content Easy To Share
People are used to being outside and interacting with those that are important to them. With the pandemic though, we’ve often been left to the isolation of our own homes. Humans are social creatures so, of course, we tend to find ways to connect.
According to statistics, 29.7% of social media users in the US are spending two hours more per day on social media.
This presents a perfect opportunity for you to get your awesome content out there. Put in the time, effort, and resources to make sure that viewers get the best content possible. And with this goal in mind, publish this content on your website or in your blogs.
It would be a shame if your viewers can’t get access to your content, right?
It’s imperative that your website makes it easy for users to share content. Sharing options should follow your article to encourage viewers to share the content that they’ve enjoyed.
This increases the potential for word-of-mouth marketing and lots of free advertising. All because you’ve made it easy for them to share your content!
3. Social Proof Is Powerful
According to statistics, 92% of consumers have reported that they trust non-paid recommendations more than any other kind of advertising.
Which, of course, makes sense. It’s easier to trust the comments of hundreds of people who weren’t paid for their testimonials.
Quite often, people doubt that those famous icons who endorse products have actually even tried the product!
Now, with this in mind, giving people the option to rate and review your products or services can be a powerful tool.
You’re able to showcase the trust that you have earned from those who have tried out your product/service. This is the social proof that tells your potential customers that what you’re offering is worth buying.
4. Keep Information Updated
A lot has changed during the pandemic. We’re talking about store locations, store hours, protocols, etc.
It’s helpful if you present these changes to your customers before they even ask about them.
Make sure to inform them about active store locations. Some of your branches or stores may be temporarily closed during the pandemic.
To save your customers the trip, tell them beforehand. It would also be helpful to give them directions to alternative branches near their location.
Inform your customers about your new store hours since curfews may be implemented in your area. Save your customers time and effort and give them as much information as possible upfront. Anticipate their questions.
You have a chance to show empathy for your customers during these trying times. Tell them about how you’re taking care of your employees. Let them know that you’re conscientious in your efforts to support the community.
It would also be helpful to manage expectations when you update your production status. Your customers will understand if you aren’t able to restock your line as regularly as usual–just keep them apprised of product status.
Finally, inform them about your delivery situation. What couriers are available? Where can you accommodate delivery? Provide as much information as possible.
5. Set Up FAQs Specializing In Pandemic Adjustments
You’ll likely receive lots of questions about the adjustments you’ve made. This is a good thing: if questions are coming in from your customers; they’re hanging in there with you despite the pandemic.
This is why including a tab that answers their common questions is essential. Your visitors will appreciate finding the answers to their questions, and this will help you manage the demands placed on your business when receiving so many inquiries. You’ll save your customers time and frustration by providing this excellent form of customer service.
The frequently-asked-questions tab should include the most common questions that you’re currently receiving. This section should also focus on questions about your adjustments during the pandemic and supplement your usual FAQs.
Make sure that you separate these questions by category so it’s easier for users to find what they need.
6. Have More Than One Payment Method
Online shopping has been around for quite a while now, but the pandemic has elevated online shopping beyond expectations, taking the market by storm.
We now practice social distancing, with many of us required to stay at home in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Many of us feel stuck in our homes and are bored out of our minds. According to statistics, the amount of online shopping during the pandemic has increased exponentially, and it’s likely that these changes are here to stay.
So it has become obvious that online shopping will be a feature of the future. That’s why businesses are pressured to rapidly adapt to this changing market in order to stay viable.
Consequently, businesses need to be as accommodating as possible and offer multiple modes of payment, be it by credit card, debit card, virtual money, or cash on delivery.
Some of your customers prefer paperless payment to reduce contact. Maybe some of them don’t have credit or debit cards so they prefer cash on delivery. Whatever the case, you’re ready and able to cater to their needs.
Offering different modes of payments not only makes it easier for customers to pay but also supports your brand. If your customers find it convenient and of value, chances are good that they’ll order again.
7. Have Multiple Options For Delivery
Despite the need for social distancing, we still have basic needs. We still need food, toiletries, medicine, and other resources. That’s why convenient delivery options go hand in hand with online shopping.
Have you ever been so hyped about an item or service to the point that you just had to have it now? So you proceed to the payment step and then discover that there are only limited delivery options.
You further discover that none of these options are convenient for you. What’s worse is that you discover that they actually are not able to deliver in your area under any circumstances.
Having your customers experience this issue on your website is a huge problem. It’s instantly a lost sale for your business simply because you’re lacking flexible delivery options. What if they tell their friends about your amazing product/service but you can’t be of service to them?
This is why offering more ways to bring the product or service to your consumers is important. It’s all about convenience and speed. And if people can find alternatives to what you offer, and it can be delivered faster and easier, chances are you’ll lose to them.
8. Have Multiple Ways To Contact You With Concerns And Inquiries
We’ve mentioned above how convenience is the name of the game in this new competition. People want things quickly and easily. This can also be said for how quickly and easily your customers want to be able to contact you with their concerns, questions, or comments.
According to statistics, excellent customer service has been ranked number one in factors that impact a customer’s brand loyalty.
Customer service is especially important if millennials are your target market. Statistics show that 74% of millennials report that brands who respond to customers’ social media inquiries are perceived better. It was also found that 31% of millennials report that they reach out to a company via Twitter, while 63% of millennials begin their customer interactions online.
It’s obvious that offering more ways for customers to contact you is important. The more options people have, the easier it’ll be for them to reach you. Offering them this convenience increases your value to them and their loyalty to your brand.
Being heard and feeling that their concerns have been addressed is an amazing feeling for a customer. It’s important that your customers feel this way.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In simple terms, this is the process of improving the visibility of your website.
When you search for something online, chances are that you find what you need on the first page. Of course, you want your website on the first page too so more people will see it.
To achieve this, you’ll need to make sure that your content is optimized for this goal. Search engines like Google have an algorithm that they follow. This determines which sites are most helpful to the queries of users.
Here are some factors to be considered in optimizing your website for better visibility:
- Title tag
- Image alt text
Making sure that these factors are in your favor increases your website visibility. Otherwise, with millions of people doing billions of searches per day, it’s tough to be seen.
If you’re not sure how to start optimizing your website, then a professional web design company is a great option. They can give your site an attractive design and offer invaluable optimization techniques.
No one could have predicted that this pandemic was going to happen last year. Everyone has struggled through it, one way or another.
The only way that we’re going to get through this is if we all work together. The design guidelines discussed above have been around for a while. The difference is that right now, they’re more important than ever.
These website design lessons have helped us learn to work with the community for safer transactions. They also enable us to communicate better with the people around us.
In the process of helping each other, we’re learning that we help ourselves.