The first moment of truth: what does it mean to your website?

First impressions count. Step into a hotel lobby or a store for the first time and immediately you start to form value judgements based on the look and feel of the environment. Is this place going to meet my needs? Do I feel comfortable doing business here? Is it worth my while sticking around?

An important part of marketing involves trying to understand what goes through a customer’s mind before he or she decides to buy. The “two moments of truth” concept developed by Proctor and Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley helps us to understand this. The first moment of truth is what you see on the shelf and the second moment of truth covers what happens when you actually experience the product.

For online marketers, that ‘first moment of truth’ takes place on your website. Given that consumers are bombarded by hundreds of marketing messages each day, getting that all-important first impression right can be tough. Here’s what you should bear in mind…

Make online shopping a hassle-free experience

Imagine walking into a store where nothing seems to make sense. The shelves are unmarked and you don’t know where to go. Are you going to stick around? The same principle applies to your website. Navigation needs to be natural and your visitors should be able to get to exactly where they need to be with the minimum of clicks.
Don’t just rely on your own judgement for this either: remember that you’re familiar with the product list – and what makes sense to you might not make sense to a newcomer. Get someone who hasn’t seen it before to test it out.

Focus on benefits for your customers

How is this product going to meet my needs? This is the key question going through the minds of your website visitors – so make sure you answer it. Focus less on “salesy” copy and boastful claims and concentrate more on the actual benefits of your offerings.

Be ready to engage

Customers are all too quick to walk away if no-one is on hand to answer queries quickly. In 2015 success at the first moment of truth stage means having sales and/or customer service representatives available on your website as well as on your social media channels.

Make sure you have the tools on hand to give your potential customers a helping hand where needed to make the right first impression.

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