Having a great website is the first step to establishing a 24/7 sales presence – but if you want e-commerce to work for you, then you need to ensure that you’re also providing a fantastic digital customer experience.

Early adopters were able to build a basic website to act as an online sales channel – but with an estimated 600 or so websites being created every minute of every day, businesses are now facing heavy competition and high saturation levels. To stand out in this crowded marketplace, low prices and special offers just don’t cut it anymore – you need to think about the entire customer journey and what kind of experience your website is offering.

So what can you do to differentiate and how do you provide an experience that will drive sales and raise your brand profile?

Make mobile integral to your design

Recent research indicates that consumers still see a mobile-friendly website as ‘going the extra mile’, but while that may have been true several years ago, the truth is, that there’s just no excuse not to have one now. Any developer or designer will encourage their clients to invest in a mobile platform – but for businesses outside of the industry, it’s still not considered to be an essential. However, with more and more consumers choosing to engage and purchase through their phones and tablets, it is essential that brands wake up to creating an integrated digital strategy, with mobile as a key indicator for online success.

The fact is that whether a returning or potential customer visits your website through a PC or mobile platform, the experience should be equally smooth, speedy and enjoyable – who wants to spend ages scrolling or hunting for information, when it’s actually incredibly easy to create a site that works beautifully regardless of the access point? Also, who wants to visit a site on their PC one day, only to revisit via their mobile the next and find that the design is all messed up and impossible to navigate?

A great customer experience in action

We’re great believers in producing mobile-ready websites as standard, not as an add-on or afterthought. A great example of a website that provides a positive customer experience is a recent project that we completed for our clients at Bee Health Propolis. Take a moment to click through to the website from your browser. Now visit the same site from your mobile.

The site looks different depending on which platform you use, but you’ll notice that the navigation and structure is clear, easy to use and fits perfectly on your chosen screen. Both sites work quickly (vital if you don’t want prospects to hit the back button and try a competitor’s site instead) and there are clear call to action buttons to help convert visitors into paying customers. Products are easy to find and there are expandable fields to allow individual visitors to view the information they want, without over-saturating the site and making it look too ‘busy’ – with mobile screens being so small in comparison to a laptop or desktop, it needs to be easy on the eye.

Of course there are lots of different factors that make for an excellent digital customer experience – far too many to cover in just one blog post – but one thing is crystal clear, having a website that works well on any platform is the key to conversions and customer satisfaction.