Criticism is easier to take when you realize that the only people who aren’t criticized are those who don’t take risks.
Customer service, by definition, is about serving people; it should be genuine, personalized, and compassionate—or, simply put, human. For most organizations, customer service is an afterthought. And since servicing customers is primarily viewed as a cost center, customers are often treated as a liability. Yet, customers are a valuable resource: their feedback is integral to shaping your product and building your brand. Customers are not shy about exercising their clout, shouting their experiences—good and bad—to the world.
Small changes to your marketing mix can have a big impact — especially if you tap the wealth of low-cost tools available to you online.
Here are seven small marketing changes that you can make now to boost your sales in 2011:
In 2010, Sean Bandawat acquired Jacob Bromwell, a specialty housewares company that’s been in existence since 1819. Here, he shares his operational plan, focusing on his strategy to turn the company into a profitable business.
Product pages for e-commerce websites are often rife with ambitions: recreate the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, provide users with every last drop of product information, build a brand persona, establish a seamless check-out process.
Looking back, Cyndi Finkle wishes she had sold her craft services company, Sunday Night Dinner, early in 2008 when the economy was booming. With a track record of 30 to 50 percent annual growth for each of the previous five years, it could have been a compelling transaction.
Paul Demery. Sometimes what makes retailers special isn’t always immediately noticeable—until you get inside their heads and how they operate. And sometimes, as in the case of HauteLook—which emerged on the retail scene a few years ago as one of the first members-only, flash sale e-commerce sites—what initially sets them apart is followed by something that may be even more important.
Members-only flash sale sites are no longer unusual, of course, with many of the more traditional retailers launching their own versions. Yet there’s something else about HauteLook and how it operates. It’s also not unusual to use social media to offer consumers another way to engage with a merchant. But this merchant takes it a step way beyond the common.
What makes a great website? There’s a lot that goes into one these days. Universal appeal, good design, and useful features are just the beginning of the list of essentials. They’re also the things we take into account first when we dive into evaluating sites for our yearly list of the Top 100 Websites.
Our list of Classic websites remains much the same as last year, though there are some sites that are making the list for the first time (hello, Quora!). The websites we’ve deemed our Classics have been chosen because they remain constantly useful while staying relevant to an ever-changing audience.
The Undiscovered portion of the list—new (or newish) sites that have never been on this list—seems to get a little smaller every year. (Yes, we’re picky and yes, there are a lot of crappy websites out there.) We narrowed the list for 2011 down to 39 sites. Another reason this list continues to shrink? It seems that, as we noted last year, the rise of mobile apps is cannibalizing the development of stand-alone websites for the desktop. There just aren’t as many sites that are as compelling as in past years. Now, we didn’t say none. Thankfully, there are still plenty out there. They, along with our picks for the 61 Classics make up our list of the Top 100 Websites of 2011. If you haven’t checked them out by now, you really should.
So read, explore, enjoy, and discuss. While you’re at it, recommend some more sites in our comments area for our 2012 list. It’s never too early.
For designers, it’s easy to jump right into the design phase of a website before giving the user experience the consideration it deserves. Too often, we prematurely turn our focus to page design and information architecture, when we should focus on the user flows that need to be supported by our designs. It’s time to make the user flows a bigger priority in our design process.
Design flows that are tied to clear objectives allow us to create a positive user experience and a valuable one for the business we’re working for. In this article, we’ll show you how spending more time up front designing user flows leads to better results for both the user and business. Then we’ll look in depth at a common flow for e-commerce websites (the customer acquisition funnel), as well as provide tips on optimizing it to create a complete customer experience.