7 elements every website should have post lockdown [STATS]
According to recent research by Adobe, the Covid-19 crisis and subsequent global lockdown has accelerated online sales by four to six years.
“According to our data, it would’ve taken between 4 and 6 years to get to the levels that we saw in May if the growth continued at the same levels it was at for the past few years,” Vivek Pandya, Adobe’s Digital Insights Manager told Forbes magazine in June.
So, there’s no denying that whether you sell a product or a service, having an online presence has never been so important.
However, not all websites are made equal – especially post lockdown.
A number of studies and expert reports have suggested that there are a few elements that will set the most successful websites apart from the least successful ones in the coming months.
Here’s a roundup of these elements…
A layout that’s non-digital-native friendly: Lockdown has forced many non-digital natives online. Google has found that the number of 45 to 54 years olds doing online research about products and services has increased from 68 per cent in 2019 to 80 per cent in 2020.
The number of 55 plus year olds doing online research, meanwhile, has jumped from 62 per cent in 2019 to 81 per cent in 2020.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the design of your own or your clients’ websites is inclusive for this growing subset of users.
There are multiple ways you can make websites more user-friendly for more senior members of the population.
Little tips include avoiding font sizes that are smaller than 16 pixels, ensuring buttons aren’t too small as finger tapping ability declines with age, and putting some real though into the scaffolding of your website – consider the fact that some non-digital natives won’t be familiar with elements we take for granted such as the scrollbar and homepage menu.
Clear shipping information: Google recently found that convenience was one of the major factors driving online purchasing decisions during Covid. Therefore, it’s important that websites clearly showcase shipping options, shipping times, and the latest service/stock availability options.
Opening hours: Opening hours and hours of operation have changed dramatically across the board since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. So, it goes without saying that websites need to display these hours clearly.
In its report, ‘Buycology: restoring customer relationships in a post-Covid world’, the Association for Business Psychology says the following:
“Many weeks of retail closures, suspended services, product outages, purchase limits, long lines, fluctuating hours of operation, shifting social norms, and inconsistent shopping experiences have consumers not only feeling uncertain about shopping, but also confused, anxious, and frustrated. “Left unresolved, these feeling states can have a negative impact on purchase behaviour, reducing desire to shop, as well as shopping time, basket spend and willingness to return.
“Anxious customers will appreciate retailers that proactively address their concerns and provide updated information regarding hours.”
Efficacy details: In 2018, research company Nielsen did some research into ‘premiumization’ and the product benefits consumers were most likely to pay a premium for. They found that 49 per cent of consumers were highly willing to pay a little more for a product if it came with high quality assurances and proof of performance.
Post-lockdown, Nielsen’s expert researchers are predicting that efficacy information will become even more important to purchase decisions in the future.
From a web design point of view, this means that it’s important to showcase customer reviews or testimonials on websites and to make sure service or product content contains any stats you might have on quality and performance.
Health and safety information: If a company has introduced new health or safety practices during the Covid-19 crisis, it’s important that this information is clearly displayed on its website.
A study by McKinsey found that consumers have really started caring about healthy and hygienic packaging and how companies treat their employees during lockdown.
McKinsey said: “Across countries, survey respondents say that when deciding where to shop, they look for retailers with visible safety measures such as enhanced cleaning and physical barriers. In addition, they buy more from companies and brands that have healthy and hygienic packaging and demonstrate care and concern for employees.”
Locality information: A recent report by the Capgemini Research Institute found that the pandemic has reinforced consumer preferences for locally sourced products and services. In fact, the CRI’s research found that 68 per cent of those surveyed planned to purchase more locally-sourced products in the coming year.
Capgemini said: “This trend is driven by a number of factors – the perceived level of safety in local products, greater trust and traceability of local products over imported ones, the smaller carbon footprint of local products, and a sense of supporting local communities.”
Empathy: Nielsen’s recent VisualDNA study has found that people across Europe have been feeling more emphatic since the start of the pandemic and they suggest that, in the foreseeable future, consumers will expect the same from the brands and businesses they use.
A recent opinion piece in Forbes entitled ‘In An Era Of COVID-19 Disruption, Brands Must Rethink Marketing As Empathetic Customer Experiences’ sums up the approach to take well.
It explains: “To thrive in an era of pandemic disruption, one where customers are seeking brands to be relevant, genuine, and empathetic, start from the start. This is a time when the world is vulnerable, where every person and organization is adapting to life with a live virus in their midst, where no one is operating from a best-in-class pandemic playbook.
“Brands, and marketers must become the very people they’re trying to reach. This means that among innovation, compliance, time and technology, humanity must become a killer app.”
Need more power for your online offerings?
Check out tsoHost’s powerful VPS and fast dedicated servers bundles.