18 Sep 2018

Online Expectations: A Customer POV

Wendi Hill
Online

Online innovation, rapid communication via social media networking, and advances in artificial intelligence for targeted, custom marketing are constantly raising the bar in terms of online customer expectations.

According to Google, searches containing terms such as “near me,” “the best,” and “available now,” all indicate a shift in online expectations towards convenient, highly-rated, instant-gratification.

Other trends in online customer expectations, as demonstrated both by search engine statistics and marketing techniques designed to both ride and predict these changing tides, include the following:

1. Customers are better informed than ever before. A keyword search for “the best” is the beginning of a research process designed to determine, based on previous user experience, which products and services really fit the bill. Customers expect to be able to compare products and services and reach an informed decision long before they decide to buy.

2. Customers want to consume on their own terms. This is demonstrated by the use of search terms such as “near me.” If customers want the convenience of doing business locally, they also demand a quick, optimized, responsive, and easy-to-navigate online experience. If a website fails to provide an easy and convenient experience, customers have plenty of options from which to choose!

3. Search engine keywords such as “available now” indicate not only a desire for instant gratification, but also a readiness to buy now! Customers expect the user experience to be crowned with immediate product availability and clear pricing and delivery details. Customers expect an “Amazon experience,” and if they fail to find it on your website, they know they will find it at Amazon.com.

Search engine keywords such as “available now” indicate not only a desire for instant gratification, but also a readiness to buy now!

Customers expect the user experience to be crowned with immediate product availability and clear pricing and delivery details.

Customers expect an “Amazon experience,” and if they fail to find it on your website, they know they will find it at Amazon.com.

Wendi Hill

4. Customers have also come to expect personalization. They expect to be treated as individuals, not numbers. They expect custom marketing based upon past searches. They expect to be understood in terms of past purchases. The personal experience is a growing expectation, and anything less is proof that the business does not understand the customer as an individual. Customers expect businesses to sell what the customer is buying, not what the business is selling.

5. Finally, customers expect the online experience to involve protection of their data. With Google’s increased focus on SSL and secure websites - even going so far as to clearly mark and down-rank unsecure sites - customers expect to be assured that their data is secure and will not be mishandled or misused. We cannot overstate the importance of data security, but also the importance of managing the perception and delivering on this expectation.

In a marketplace of highly-informed consumers, businesses ignore the customer’s online expectations at their own peril. Furthermore, failure to deliver on customer online expectations can reverberate throughout social media reviews, postings, comments, and shares in the click of a mouse. Let Market Momentum help your business deliver on customer expectations across your entire marketing, social media and web footprint. Contact us today to learn more!

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