Since the dawn of the internet almost 30 years ago, consumers can interact with brands in ways previously impossible. And this ever-evolving paradigm shift continues to have a profound influence on consumer behavior.
Today, consumers do more product research online than ever – and a brand’s website is often their starting point. In fact, when Astound Commerce recently surveyed 1,000 online shoppers, they found 54% turn to brands over retailers for:
- More comprehensive product information
- Enhanced customer service
- Better prices
- More personalisation options
Furthermore, 37% said they “expect” a more engaging experience on a brand website than a retailer’s. So brands can’t afford a subpar online presence. Basic information is no longer enough. Consumers have very specific questions and a higher expectation for information. And, if the website can’t answer their question, who can?!
So, with that in mind, here are six features you should be using to get the most out of your brand website.
1. Live Chat
“Enhanced customer service” was a chief consumer expectation in the aforementioned survey. And while retailers selling your products may have live chat on their site, their teams are not as knowledgeable and passionate about your brand as your own. Here are just some of the benefits of chatbots:
- Chatbots never sleep, meaning consumers have access to 24-hour customer service
- Chatbots can deal with thousands of customers at once, so gone are long waits for busy consumers
- Chatbots are multilingual, so can communicate fluently with consumers from all over the world
For more on how chat bots are revolutionising the consumer experience, check out our previous blog here.
Great content keeps consumers coming back, as well as attract and retain customers. Here are some of the best types of content to feature on your brand website:
- Blog posts: Simple but effective. People love well-written blog posts. Between lead generation, brand awareness, SEO, and thought leadership – there are few marketing goals that don’t benefit from blogging. In fact, websites with a blog tend to have 434% more indexed pages!
- Video tutorials: Branded video can build brand loyalty, awareness, trust and credibility, and with that, drive sales. Consumers love a well-made film that tells an immersive story. But hard-sell video is a turn-off. Tip: Don’t upload video directly to your site. It increases the likelihood of errors. Instead, use a video hosting site like YouTube to embed videos on your site.
- Customer ratings and reviews: Enrich your product detail pages with as many Q&As, ratings, reviews and other user-generated content as possible. This social proof, AKA conversion influencers, is crucial to building that all-important consumer trust that most drives conversions.
- Product Imagery: Imagery is everything online, especially on your brand website. Consumers can’t experience your products physically like they can in a brick and mortar store, so you need to provide the next best thing through imagery. Show the product from multiple angles, as well as out of packaging and in use.
- Infographics: These are useful for distilling the likes of big concepts and survey results in to handy, bite-size, visually appealing content. Tip: Snippets taken from larger infographics make great social media shares to entice consumers to your website.
3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
You know your product better than anyone. This means you can anticipate the questions people will ask about it. So deliver them via a dedicated FAQ page. These have several benefits:
- They save the consumer time
- They prevent the need for customers to contact you
- They allow you to show some personality
- They build trust with your target audience
4. ‘Where to Buy’ Technology
Not every consumer who visits your website wants to buy your product directly from your site. Many will want to buy from their favourite retailer for all sorts of reasons (shipping costs, delivery options, payment options etc.). By utilising ‘Where to Buy’ on your brand website, you allow consumers to purchase your products on their preferred retailer websites quickly and easily.
5. About Us
The ‘About Us’ page is among the most visited pages of any website. And it’s often visited just as the consumer is considering becoming a customer. So use it to tell your brand story. Remember that today’s customers don’t just care about your products. They’re also interested in your vision, purpose, and what you stand for. So the ‘About Us’ page is your chance to charm them with all this information!
6. Email Marketing Opt-in Forms
A fresh subscriber to your email marketing list marks the beginning of a new relationship. It means you can contact your customer more than once and send them longer, targeted messages at all stages of their purchase journey. As such, an email marketing opt-in form is essential to your brand site.
No matter how killer your brand website, the fact is that many consumers will still choose to buy off their preferred retailer. To learn how to channel them directly to partner retailers, and in doing so see your conversion rates sky rocket, contact the ChannelSight team today.
Global Brand Partner Consultant