Why small businesses have the e-commerce UX advantage

“We invest in really good design and making our site simple. We found that people don’t spend very much time on a website when they get there so we need to compel people to make a decision right when they arrive.

As a small business you’ll be competing against companies that have far greater resources, your advantage is that you’re adaptable.”

Michael Winnike, founder of Happy Goat

Small businesses often don’t invest enough resources into their online presence, yet when it comes to User Experience, it’s small businesses that have the speed and flexibility to be able to adapt to customer needs much more quickly than their larger competitors and capture a greater market share.

A well designed website with a great user experience is even more important for the small business owner who relies on a good experience to encourage repeat business, larger order sizes and word-of-mouth recommendations. Many smaller businesses spend as little as possible on their website, without realising that your online presence is your shop front.

Imagine walking down the high street and seeing a shop that looks tatty on the outside. The paint is peeling off, the sign is difficult to read, items are crowded in the window and the door to enter is difficult to find. Would you go in? No. It’s exactly the same online. Make sure your logo is easy to read, your home page feels welcoming and not overcrowded, make it instantly obvious what you do and how the user can find and purchase your products – make it simple. You need to put a lot of effort into making your online presence an attractive experience that feels pleasant and easy. Your customers will reward you by buying more from you, returning more often and recommending your site to people they know. You’ll find you need to spend less money on marketing as customer recommendations are the most powerful marketing tool you could hope for.

Research your customers, research your competitors, find out what your customers need and want from a site selling your products/services, what are their expectations? The advantage you have over your larger competitors is you can adapt your site much more quickly. You can meet your user needs more easily. User experience really is your secret weapon – use it!

Watch the video below, where Michael Winnike, founder and owner of Happy Goat, talks about how he created a successful e-commerce experience for his customers.

Small business? Check out our usability evaluation service http://www.keepitusable.com/usability-evaluation