Did you know that Wal-Mart has a store in Bentonville where they test all the things, like endcaps, signage, what the entrance looks and feels like, and so on? I bet there are more “test” stores across the country. Their market research team looks at what it’s like to step into a store as a customer. Is it easy to find the shoes area? Is it easy to find an associate for help? Is it easy to use the price scanner? Can I see the signage from 20-ft away? Is the store’s temperature cool enough so I don’t break into a pre-menopausal sweat?
Other retailers do this as well. In ecommerce, you test test test your site for usability, speed, and user experience. Does everything link up correctly? Loading fast? Is it easy to pick a product and purchase it? Does the website describe products or services accurately?
Here are a few things that should not be done in marketing anymore, both as a brick and mortar business and ecommerce business.
- Contact form. As a customer, a form can be unruly to type within a box, especially if the website where the form is housed is NOT mobile-optimized. Don’t make things hard for your customer. On the flip side, as a someone who handled press, influencers, and other media, contact forms were useless in our PR lists.
- No email address visible – see above. 😐
- Auto-playing videos. Just stop. 1. It’s annoying to EVERYONE. 2. It makes me (a potential customer) close the tab and move on to something else.
- Pop-up ads – to the left, to the right, up top, at the bottom. Pick one pop-up. I know you want one, so keep one. The worst offenders are recipe blogs.
- You tag a bunch of brands in your Instagram post that have nothing to do with your Instagram post. If you do this often enough, I’m pretty sure one of these brands’ managers will flag you for spam.
- Making a checkout page difficult for the customer to check out. They are trying to give you their money and yet you’ve made the “buy” button impossible to read with a weird color. And you’ve placed it behind a pop-up ad. 💩
- Not installing Google Analytics – boy, I tell ya, this one hurts me. If you cannot track what’s going on on your website, how do you know what resonates with people on the interwebs as they search?
- If you’re a local business, paying for Yelp.
- Overselling. Would you rather look like a friendly encyclopedia or a used car salesman like Danny DeVito in Matilda?
- Plugging your service or product in someone else’s Facebook group. You’re there to serve other members with your expertise. They’ll find you if they’re interested in more info.
Now, what will you get started on first? Take a look at your Google Analytics and see if your changes create a natural lift!