YourGrocer is an online delivery service that allows customers to order products from their local butcher, greengrocer, baker, deli or independent supermarket.
It’s an idea that clearly has traction, and the Melbourne-based startup recently closed a $500,000 seed-funding round.
As an eCommerce business, the team has worked hard to implement a number of elements critical to their levels of customer satisfaction – all in a bid to ensure a certain level of usability when it comes to carrying out and completing a typical online shopping journey.
The following advice on adding a human element to your business, and ensuring you offer the best possible service to your potential and returning customers, comes from YourGrocer head of user experience James Mansfield.
Don’t underestimate the basics
“It’s often the basic things that are critical features for a website – like listing your opening hours and phone number. For example, if you’re a local restaurant then all you really need is a one-page website with your phone number, address and hours on it. That will cover the most important features your customers need,” says Mansfield.
“From there you can look to add photos to communicate the atmosphere and cuisine, and consider adding online reservations… A presence on social media will help but depending on your business, it isn’t essential.”
Build as you grow
“Start simple. You couldn’t build a house on your first attempt, you’d start by building a small shelter and then looking to learn from this and improve,” says Mansfield.
“The same applies for building a website. Start with the basics and then look to iterate and improve from there – as you grow and learn more about your customers you’ll be guided by what they respond well to.”
Once you have launched (and survived) your very first website, or have made substantial tweaks to your existing online presence, observe and listen to your customers when it comes to designing the shape of your site, says Mansfield.
“Accepting and acknowledging your customer’s opinions is important, but don’t take what one person says literally before asking for more feedback and seeing what themes come out of it.”
Think like your user
“When designing a website it helps to think about the conversation you’d have with a customer over the phone and how you could replicate that tone and language in the way you design your site,” says Mansfield.
Getting to know and connecting with your target audience is an art, and it’s essential you get it right in order to gain an insight into the best way to structure and design your site.
“From the order in which you communicate messages, to the labels you put on buttons, think about your typical user… Avoid dry computer terminology like ‘shipping details’ and instead aim for natural language like ‘where should we deliver it?’”
Keep the site’s appearance consistent
“I like to think of websites as having personalities. Their appearance and the way they talk to you makes up their personality,” says Mansfield.
“No matter what personality you create and what feature set you implement, create visual patterns as much as possible. Patterns like headings are always black, links are always blue, primary actions are always green, secondary actions are grey, and so on.
“Limit the number of patterns you create. The fewer patterns there are, the faster your customers will learn these patterns and start navigating your website.”