If you’re an online photobook and personalised photo gift retailer, you’ll need to schedule in some tests now and then to ensure that everything is running smoothly. We advise our customers to keep on top of regular testing, such as site walk-throughs every couple of weeks. More detailed testing should be conducted every quarter, with a recommended annual review of your entire set-up. You’ll also get more out of your detailed tests if you have an impartial, third party doing the checks for you.
Testing your processes won’t be news to you – it’s something that we all know we should do. The burning question, however, is why? What value does this hold for your business? With this article, we’ll walk you through all the why’s of the process.
Why is it important to test my website?
A question which can provide countless answers, there’s too many to list individually. The higher priority answers, however, involve conversions, revenue, customers satisfaction (which brings return custom into the question) and quality control.
Testing your website, your checkout process, integration with your photo personalisation software (and even your shipping options) is all done with one priority in mind: ease. Your intention with these checks is to discover any pitfalls or hurdles which make it more difficult for your customer to happily place their order. Don’t forget to test your site across all devices: although websites should be responsive to different devices, you should still check across desktop, mobile and tablet devices to get a realistic understanding of how your customers are seeing your site.
Broken links, inadequate shipping options or an endless navigation loop cause frustration and abandoned carts. Affecting your revenue and reducing the likelihood of the customer ever returning to you in favour of well-functioning competitors.
Testing your set-up isn’t reserved for underperforming businesses, this is something which all businesses should engage in. Your turnover may be great, but there could be a reason stopping it from being even better. If you test for the reason, you’ll find it.
Testing leads to qualified data
The most fatal mistake you can make when creating for your target audience is to make assumptions. Assuming you alone know the answer to all decisions your market would make can prove to be a very costly move – investing in third party testing negates the threat of over-assumption and under-performance.
You need true data from your target market to make informed decisions that will improve your standing. Well-meaning friends and relatives will offer their advice, particularly if you’re just starting up, but you need to consider whether they fit into your buyer persona. If they don’t, then they can’t offer you any insight into your intended market’s choices and preferences. Ensure that any third party who tests your site and set up is either from your ideal audience or has a thorough (and informed) understanding of it.
If your site is already live, make use of free tools within your Google account dedicated to user behaviour. You’ll be able to see which pages have a higher value for acquiring your audience, where users may be dropping off and areas within your site that may be consistently revisited. Tracking user behaviour flows through your site will help you to prioritise what content goes where, how effective some marketing streams may be and to flag up any experience issues through your website.
Don’t limit your testing to your website itself – go through and test your Taopix. Are you making use of the Free Launch Pack items? Are customers offered a wide enough range of products? Have you upgraded to use the latest features? Keep an eye on how your editor is running and your number of abandoned projects. If you see an increase in abandonments, there could be an issue. As the crux of your business model, it really is in your best interest to stay in touch with Taopix to make sure everything is in tip-top condition.
Prevent loss of income
If something isn’t right, your customer won’t buy. Abandoned carts are an inevitable experience as a retailer, although these should still be managed. Don’t allow any issues flagged in your testing, no matter how small, to overstay their welcome. You can feature your best product on your homepage, but if the CTA isn’t linked or the page 404s, you’ll lose out. Part of your purpose as a B2C retailer is to make the user journey as simple as possible. If there are any issues along the way, you will likely lose out in real monetary terms.
In a world where there are countless avenues to leave feedback, all it takes is for one disgruntled user to leave public feedback and cost you a dramatic loss of sales. Ensuring that everything is in the best working order will honour your promise to your customer and honour your promise to your business to serve it well. Avoidable issues are damaging to reputation and damaging to profit.
Consider the last time you had a bad experience with a retailer. Have you returned since? Return custom is a valuable asset to businesses. Reduced marketing expenditure and increased likelihood of word-of-mouth referral are valuable for businesses to retain. You don’t want to risk damaging a pre-existing relationship with a customer, and you don’t want to risk ever gaining other users custom due to simple and avoidable issues. You may be tempted to think of testing as a ‘rainy day’ project; we challenge you to rephrase testing as a ‘sales growth’ tool. An investment of time allocated to testing will maintain, if not improve, your revenue.
We can help
As a Taopix customer, you’re not alone in this responsibility. Our support team are responsive and proactive, helping our customers to maintain their best business health. With new releases each offering numerous key improvements to make life easier for you, and to increase your revenue, you can count on us to support your vision on your path to success. We recently offered all our customers a free review, encompassing system health, marketing, and software checks. If you missed out on requesting this, get in touch with your Taopix representative to let us know you’d like a check conducting. We can identify any potential roadblocks in your path to success and offer advice on how to boost your revenue with Taopix.