Stickin’ Around Web Sites
5. Give them a reason to come back. Marketers have spent decades creating programs to earn consumers’ loyalty. Special cards, point systems and discounts can be enticing, especially when getting registered “only takes a minute.” But once everyone’s doing it, it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate, and it’s more about whose perks are better.
Not that loyalty programs can’t work, but they shouldn’t be the only thing driving traffic to your site. Give shoppers unparalleled service or support, remind them of the value you can provide even after your transaction, or make the experience so seamless, easy or fun that it’s one they want to repeat.
Stickiness isn’t about guilting visitors into returning because they could get 100 more points if they buy from you versus your competitor, but in making sure they realize all the reasons why it’s in their best interest to return to you.
Another approach involves inviting visitors to take a little ownership of your site. Consider the current popularity of sites that invite consumer-generated content. Organizations that open the door to consumers in varying degrees and let them put their thumbprint on the experience—through a product review, a blog comment, or a contributed image or video—are letting consumers take some ownership of the experience, increasing the likelihood, again, that they’ll come back.
This is where the industry is today, but just as the last 10 years have been full of growth and change, one decade from now, with new technologies and new ideas, stickiness may have a whole new meaning. What’s important is to keep thinking about your Web experience the way your audience does. Stop trying to force them down a path or make them stay longer than they’re comfortable. Keep their interests, their needs and their goals in mind, and you’re sure to create an experience they will find satisfying enough to return to.