5 Tips to Avoid a Health Crisis on Your E-Commerce Site
2. Lead with information that helps shoppers make a decision. Ensure that you understand what's most important to your customer. If the product's appearance is crucial, be sure your homepage provides multiple images. For items that consumers compare based on performance, product specifications should be placed up front.
3. Make your site easy to enter. Avoid requiring visitors to register and log in as a first step — that demands a commitment the consumer may not yet be ready to make. (In the case of Healthcare.gov, it appears as if the decision to force consumers to sign in to browse created a bottleneck, causing log-in issues.) Allow visitors to enter as guests and enroll as a final step in the transaction process once they know your products and processes.
4. Create unique product descriptions. Don't rely on generic descriptions furnished by a product's manufacturer; reshape those descriptions to fit your particular audience and the tone of your website to leave an impression that's in line with the goals of the overall site. In the case of Healthcare.gov, moving beyond standard product descriptions would not only facilitate a more personal connection with consumers, but would also make it easier to find the right products via search engine optimization. With a product's unique properties in the product description, consumers would more easily find the specific products they require by searching for those characteristics from a search engine.
5. Create positive community sentiment. Right now most consumers expect a poor shopping experience on Healthcare.gov, and the government is trying to manage perception as it addresses the site's problems. Like the government, it's very important for retail brands to proactively monitor and manage customer perceptions. Online shoppers rely on reviews that appear on individual e-commerce sites, on separate review sites and in social networking posts to help inform their buying decisions.