When it comes to technology and updating websites, it can be comforting to refresh rather than renew. Just keeping pace with competitors can seem like the best route forward – after all, the website works, doesn’t it?

Well perhaps, yes, but at the same time, there are simple technologies and approaches which have empowered companies to take big leaps forward. Here we will discuss five key technology advances that most companies can use to enhance their online presence, easily and cost-effectively.

Virtual assistants

No human works 24/7/365 and businesses are human enterprises. So, if customers need to reach you outside of working hours, giving them a chat assistant who can be polite, take their details and pass on the nature of their enquiry can be very helpful.

This may seem basic, but adding an AI Chatbot to a website at the right places in their journey can prompt customers to get in touch. With the recent advances in AI, chatbots can be highly customised and exceptionally good at giving users answers to basic questions. This means you can spend more time focusing on the operational side of things and less time managing customer questions.

Data Analytics Tools

Good analytics tools allow businesses to gather invaluable insights into user behaviour, preferences, and market trends. Learning how to simply evaluate data around a user’s journey and improve on it can make a website a more effective selling tool. It can also help companies to tailor their marketing strategies (understanding what approaches are most effective), refine product offerings and make informed decisions.

A common practice, especially when adding new areas to a website, may also be screen recordings. This means adding a snippet of code to your website that will allow you to watch how users interact with your website. You can evaluate how the user reacts to a new page and see, in real-time, if they face challenges. Resolving issues with a page or design quickly can pay huge dividends later down the line.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR and VR technologies are becoming much more accessible and affordable. Many companies have transformed their business by allowing customers to visualise products or experience locations before they take their next step. This could be showing them how furniture may look in their home, how clothes may look on them or allow them to walk around a house remotely (or any number of uses you can imagine).

Integrating these tools into a website can not only provide an interesting and powerful user experience but can actively reduce the number of questions about products and increase sales. Helping the end user get a good understanding of a product can also reduce the number of returns, which is a key concern in the eCommerce space.

Faster page loading

Faster websites are better. Quick-loading pages can actively mean the difference between a sale and a frustrated lost customer. This fairly simple factor can have a monumental difference to the user’s experience and help websites grow massively.

Implementing new tools to focus on ensuring a fast, stable, and secure website that can scale easily is a critical component of modern website design. While design is important and strong branding can play a big part, using modern tools to speed up web pages and reduce ‘hang time’ is becoming more of a necessity than anything else.

Marketing Automation

Websites that integrate with Marketing Automation tools make more sales and have better customer outcomes. It is as simple as that.

From basic things like sending confirmation emails to customers who make purchases, through to integrations with CRM’s (that ensure all website contacts are followed up), automation can be an effective tool to take the stress out of trading online.

Marketing automation can also be used to go further and promote the business at specific times. This could be during a sale or during a specific season, prompting a user to fulfil a purchase that was abandoned and a whole host of other uses.

A final note …

In recognising that a website is not just a digital storefront but an opportunity for growth, businesses can create more powerful and engaging online experiences. This can not only improve the user’s journey but can actively help a business understand more, drive growth, and identify new opportunities to protect its future.