Last week I took part in a Yext sponsored panel, a link to hear the panel is here.

Websites the must have ... and websites have evolved

The website, while being a "must have" if you don't have one you don't exist, that said most websites are just brochures.  Buyers find this boring. 

In some recent research from Gartner here, "Humans spend 10 seconds or less, viewing most web pages regardless of quality".  

In the panel I said that "sales and marketing is about action.  If you put up a website, you want the visiter to do something".  In the same research, Gartner said that "76% of B2B customers did nothing after a digital experience".  And I think that this brochure and brochureware attitude to websites has become the norm.

In this article, there is research that shows that of 10,000 websites that were analysed, they were all the same.  Something I doubt, surprises us.

The pandemic has forced change in digital

There is now nearly 58% of the world's population on social media, that's 4.5 billion people!

That's your prospects, your customers and all the people that influence your prospects and customers!

If you haven't read it then you need to read the latest report from Simon Kemp, Hootsuite and We are social.  The link to the report is here.

The world has gone self service

Gartner’s latest CMO Leadership Vision 2022 report, which features the chart below, predicts a 12 point shift in B2B procuring that will happen through website channels in just the next two years.

By 2023, 37% of B2B procuring will happen through websites.

In a recent article by Scott Brinker, he said

"That’s hundreds of billions of dollars now shifting into a channel where the CMO and the marketing organization have far more influence and control. The additional 12 points are being taken away from salespeople (down 4 points), other online channels such as legacy EDI (down 2 points), and, of course, other offline channels (down 7 points).

For marketing technologists and marketing operations professionals, building and orchestrating this next generation of commerce capabilities — embedded into digital experiences and backstage workflows — is going to be a massive opportunity to deliver measurable value.

Directly put the revenue in revenue operations (RevOps)."

Let's hear it from a customer experience practitioner 

During the panel, Naeem Arif, who is a customer experience (CX) influencer as well as being a Director at United Carpets offered up this advice on websites from his own experience.

Naeem, said "before Covid the United Carpets website got 200 to 300 hits a month, during Covid lock down that went up to 6,000". Not surprising as people were stuck indoors under lock down.  Since we have started to open up Naeem said "the monthly hits have gone back to 1,000".  

So while the pendulum of hits has swung back away from the high of the pandemic his view was that "people have become used to buying online during the pandemic and like it".

The importance of search on a website

Naeem, also talked about the fact that people use his website, when they are in the shop.  People are searching multiscreen, so they will look something up at home, come into the shop and recreate that search in the shop.  Or look for deals or look at competitor websites. All in the shop.

It's now the brands shop to offer "google" type functionality on the website. 

The business imperative

Naeem, mentioned that the average buy cycle of a carpet is 6 to 8 weeks, he said that if they didn't make changes to their website based on changes in search or for a business requirement then they would get lost sales. 

Which meant that as a business they had to make improvements to the website, because the more buy cycles they missed, the more revenue and profit they missed. 

This article was created as part of a paid feature I did with Yext

You can read the full findings here: PDF Document.

On the back of the research, an online roundtable to explore and discuss these findings was organised.

The panel assembled consisted of:

  • Nico Beukes, Senior Vice President at Yext @yext,
  • Yann Gourvennec, CEO of Visionary Marketing @ygourven,
  • myself, and
  • A series of influential voices in the CX and digital marketing space
    • Claire Boscq-Scott @cbusyqueenbee,
    • Clare Muscutt @claremuscutt,
    • Elise Quevedo @elisequevedo,
    • Naeem Arif @NAConsultingLtd and
    • Tim Hughes @Timothy_Hughes

You can watch the full discussion here: