A new customer only has one first visit

As well as the layout and functionality of a website, the words used can make all the world of difference to first time visitors to your website.

I’ve just started using a coffee website and found myself stumped by the word ‘regular’ as to me this means once I have started ordering, not my promotion one off and the word ‘next’ as to me that means to follow the current event, not to replace it. I emailed them to express my views.

After hours on the phone with a train company, because I tried to buy a ticket to Margate and got stumped when about to buy and was asked which station I would pick my ticket up from, I identified the offending communication. In RED letters, customers were told they did NOT need to select a train unless they wanted to book a seat.

Misleading statement in red type
Therefore, you get to the end of the transaction and find that trains leave London from Margate from 7 (seven) different stations in London (each an hour apart on the tube) and therefore you cannot possibly visit each one to find out if you are catching the right train and still make your departure with your ticket. Impossible! So the misleading statement (in red) could be simply taken out and all would be well, with customers booking a seat, seeing what time and where their train leaves from, so they can collect their ticket from the right station. I just found now that it has been changed. A very simple (and uncostly) difference for the website to make to your journey.

No red writing and now you simply choose your ticket and it tells you where to travel from.
No red writing and now you simply choose your ticket and it tells you where to travel from.

Here is an email I sent to a company after trying to make my first purchase on their website and getting lost.

Here is the post showing a gallery of the website process as I first found it.

Dear Alex,

I wanted to relay some ideas/suggestions going from my experience as a new customer, wanting to purchase on your website.

I work in PR and communications and do websites for artists, so am looking at this from the point of view of both a regular shopper online and in terms of communication solutions that would have made my purchase as easy as possible.

I have attached the various stages of the process and put suggested text to be added to each one.

Signpost 1: (instead of saying how easy it is, this would actually make it easy)

“To get started:

* Select an item you want from the menus.

* Select quantity and click Add

* At prompt select delivery timeslot

* Confirm delivery timeslot.

* Then you are ready to keep shopping.”

Signpost 2:
“In order to create your shopping basket please select delivery time slot.”

Signpost 3:
“Once you have confirmed your delivery time, your shopping basket will appear.”

Signpost 4:
“Now you can continue shopping and your items will appear below in your order”.

Signpost query 1:
(Instead of people needing to navigate via “What we do” and to find “Food Boxes” there could be a link from More Information under each food box to this page and back again).

Signpost query 2:
(Links from the lists of items could link straight back to the Shopping page (Signpost 1) or to the item). Or use text “Click Back in your browser to continue”

Signpost query 3:
Something like:
“To complete your transaction, please continue from Payment Summary (or Click Here to Add a Card)”.

This was from my experience, once I had called up or found my way, what text that may have helped me find my way easily as a new user/visitor to the website.
Best regards…..

Here is the resulting website landing page, with a quick start guide.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 12.03.54

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