We are writing a three-part series on how to run a better Ski School operation in a few minutes a month. Read our first article on mobile booking here.
Did you know, it only take 500 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion on a website. Creating a positive user-experience starts far before the potential customer views a product. Similar to most product offerings, it is vital that businesses understands their audience, lifestyle and preferences when creating a website. This way, the layout can be intentional and deliver a purpose to those it services. So, if this is a common practice in other industries, it's safe to say we have to try even harder in the ski and snowboarding industry. As a luxury market, the stakes are even higher and there should be greater attention paid to the customer experience. We're here to help.
Part II: User Oriented Design
In our first piece about mobile booking, we discovered 62% of lesson booking requests are made after regular business hour. A mobile web experience is a great way to target younger, fast-paced customers, yet, some people simply prefer to work on their computers. A website acts as a hub for those looking to decide on a resort, find information, and ultimately book their trip through your site. Designing the website around the needs of guests will make their experience easier and much more satisfying. But what can resorts do to change the way users work with their mobile platforms. It’s simple: TRY SOMETHING NEW.
We know that the ski industry has an e-commerce delay problem, but with a little creative thinking, we can customize user experience to solve it. The next step is to begin implementing. Industries all around us have the same goal, so why not utilize the expertise that is already out there. Steal, test, and repeat until you find the perfect solution for your mobile platform. Here at Snowvation, we play around with our interface to ensure that customers are offered what they are looking for through our platform - specifically a booking solution.
Utilize white space and central logo position to target important headings
First, we start with a simple and effective landing page in order to compose a website geared towards the users needs. Creating a design that also utilizes white space around important titles and text can increase user-attention up to 20%. While white space does replace areas content could be displayed, a good balance maximizes the utility of a website. This space isn’t wasted, it is just repurposed.
Other strategies include positioning the company logo in a central location, contact information and links to social media platforms so it is easy for the user to get in touch when they want to. This information should be easy for the customer to find or they will move on to somewhere that is more accessible.
add a progress bar to your checkout page
Users also love to see how they are progressing throughout their experience. Many online retailers have implemented a checkout progress bar which provides a clear layout of steps, what was completed and what still needs to be done. This encourages the user to complete their transaction because they can see how close they are to completing the task. Customers crave an easy, simple and convenient way to operate online, and by adding this simple element, conversion rate in retail have increased up to 30%, even more when sections were differentiated with colors and graphics.
utilize analytic tools to track progress
Now, how do you know if these changes are working? It’s easy! All you have to do is track what you’re doing. There are tons of free resources out there that can provide analytics on engagement, reach and conversion. We recommend Google Analytics as a great place to start. Other programs such as HotJar have a unique way of tracking usage. Specifically, HotJar displays a heatmap of your website as users progress throughout their experience. This is a great tool for eye-tracking and help your marketing team understand what the user sees.
Customer-oriented experience has been the focal point for businesses across a variety of trades. So, what makes the ski industry any different? These techniques can be easily implemented to see an increase in traffic and activity on any company’s website. Consumers are constantly searching the web for information, content and services. Presenting the user with an experience customized to optimize their experience stands out in a sea of crowded webpages. Making alterations in order to increase customer experience satisfaction with has the potential not only to increase overall customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by up to 15%. When a website is designed with the user in mind, the efforts are obvious and the consumer will keep coming back.
Article by Faarah Ameerally, Marketing & Sales Intern