For this month's Chain Store Age print edition, I spoke with Tamara Adlin, partner and experience strategist for Seattle-based customer-experience strategy and design firm Fell Swoop, about homepage etiquette. Some of her biggest pet peeves include: Using way too many exclamation points (SALE!!!!!!), unnecessary capitalization (don't yell at your customers), and overwhelming consumers with too many links (50 can be too much). Simplicity is key, and it's important to remember that a homepage is not a destination (it's a jumping off point to where the shopping experience begins).
Adlin also stressed the importance of a seamless end-to-end experience, from a shopper's first impression down to the thank you note sent after a transaction is made. Amazon.com is known for many things, but it's end-to-end experience should be emulated by all. Last night I took advantage of some of its Cyber Monday deals (mentioned in a previous post), and was pleasantly surprised by the note I received in my inbox this morning. Note the word choice and language used:
"We thought you'd like to know that we shipped this portion of your order separately to give you quicker service. You won't be charged any extra shipping fees, and the remainder of your order will follow as soon as those items become available."
Amazon is king when it comes to customer service, and it lets customers know in the right way (it tells them and it shows them, by sending a few items early). Also included in the e-mail is tracking information and details on which products were sent early, as well as when they expect to ship the remaining items. I don't want to play favorites, but there are many reasons why Amazon.com fares so well during the ever-critical holiday shopping period. The bottom line? They exceed expectations, start to finish, time and time again.