[tweetmeme]Lenox.com recently redesigned their website to enhance customer experience. But like many retailers, particularly small businesses, they don’t know what users really want from their site. It’s hard to improve customer experience when you don’t know where to start.
The home decor, jewelry, and dining and entertaining retailer then conducted an extensive market study of how customers use their website. They needed to know what their customers want, and what better way to find out than asking the customers directly.
According to Internet Retailer magazine, Lenox hired a market research agency to conduct usability tests with Lenox target audiences, including their own customers. They discovered key learnings that contributed to the redesign:
- Customers want to see products of the same pattern, which the site didn’t offer. Customers apparently were having a hard time looking for various products using the same pattern.
- Customers find it hard to search for their 5,000+ products.
- Customers can get “lost” in their category pages — e.g. when going to the dinnerware category page, left hand section show products from other categories
Lenox spent the next six months redesigning their site. In addition to addressing the problems above, Lenox also used more images and moved the description of products to the right instead of below so customers can immediately learn about the products. A month after the new design was launched, the company saw a 10% increase in conversion.
Lesson for Small Businesses: It is important to actually go out and talk to your customers what they think of your business or website. Don’t always assume that you know what they want and what they need; instead, ask them.
Of course the main constraint will be resources. While big boys such as Lenox have the resources to conduct extensive market research, you may not have the deep pockets to hire a firm. So invite friends of friends and ask them to check out your site – whether they find it easy to move around the site or understand your product descriptions or find products they want.