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Thursday, Sep. 14, 2006 at 3:29 pm

Creating A Customer Experience – The Online Advantage

By Anthony Garcia
September 14th, 2006

Househomebaseball2mmmI just ran across this article at USA Today.

Retailers know how you’ll approach a store, where you’ll hesitate, how to affect your mood, how to pique your desires, how to play to your aspirations. Everything in a store, from lighting to floor color to music to how goods are displayed, is meant in some way to get you to not just shop, but spend.

"It’s like a Broadway musical," says Deborah Mitchell, a marketing expert at the University of Wisconsin. "Nothing was put into that musical that wasn’t thought through. It’s the same in a highly orchestrated retail environment." Read the entire article.

Here is a cold harsh reality: The most beautifully designed website, the most stunning 2D visual product photos or otherwise simply look weak compared to to a well orchestrated onslaught of your 5 senses at a brick and mortar retail outlet.  Online your visitors can’t experience depth, texture, lighting, smells, noise ambience, and the list goes on.

Now don’t take this as me telling you not to use images and pretty graphics, I am simply stating that focusing heavily on design may not deliver the conversions you hope for.

JPEGs, GIFs, PNGs, even flash presentations are still only 2d, flat, and when compared with a broadway musical, they are boring.

So why do so many spend so much time debating, and hand wringing about their site’s visuals and graphics? Maybe they haven’t heard.


Your biggest advantage online is your ability to create atom-splitting mental images.

How? With WORDS.

How much time are you spending with design vs. relevant copy?

What mental images are you building about your products/services in the mind of your visitors?  Are you using a series of planned mental images to create an online customer experience not bound by a physical reality?

Novelists do it everyday,and the methodology exsists to plan this online.

What are you waiting for?

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Comments (1)

  1. The quality of copy will only be on the radar for decision makers who insist on measuring. If the benchmark for the site’s quality is whether internal stakeholders and a self-selected subset of vocal customer feel it looks good, there is no incentive to spend money on improving non-sexy elements like copy.

    There’s a disparity of supply, too: You’ll easily find designers and programmers who can string together workmanlike but grammatically adequate sentences, while it’s much more difficult to find a writer whose copy sings and who can also put together an adequate layout. That means you’ll need to budget two FTEs for a great result when one would buy you an average result.

    Unless the executive site owner’s year-end objectives include conversion rates, she’s unlikely to take the risk of defending that extra cost. A much more likely and common scenario is that the site is judged on looks and traffic volume instead.

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