Healthcare marketers spend a lot of time thinking about how their website compares to other hospital websites. They even put a lot of energy into figuring out which sites to evaluate. Do you look at how you compare to peers around the country, or to that competitor up the street?
Although useful, this information doesn’t give a complete comparison. That’s because you don’t just compete with hospital sites – they don’t set consumer expectations. Consumers spend over 13 hours each week online, and most of that time isn’t spent on hospital websites.
When consumers come to your site, they don’t care how it stacks up with national healthcare leaders. They compare your site to the sites on which they spend serious time.
Look at popular sites across the Internet like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Expedia, Kayak, Mint and others. They all help consumers make decisions and complete transactions. And they create great experiences – consumers easily interact with the site and feel good about the purchases they make.
These sites do a particularly good job at helping consumers:
- Find the products that interest them
- Understand the products
- Evaluate and compare options
- Buy or sell
- Share their experiences with their social networks
Take, for example, Apple’s website. The goal of the site is obviously to get you to buy an Apple device. Now consider Expedia. The goal of their site is also to facilitate a purchase, and they help you compare options to make it easier for you.
What is the top goal of your site? Is it to have the visitor make an appointment? Pay their bill? Sign up for a class? Do you help them make their decision or do you carry them part of the way and then leave them high and dry?
Let’s consider class registration. There are only certain points in a health consumer’s life when they can be influenced. Classes and screenings give you the opportunity to build relationships with prospective consumers.
What should an incredible class and event system look like? It should definitely cover all of the bases listed above – the visitors should be able to find the products, understand them, evaluate them, buy them and share their experience with their social network. Going a step deeper, the system should allow consumers to:
- Search for classes in a way that makes sense to them
- Read great information in the description so they can make a decision about what’s right for them
- Compare dates in one place
- Register and pay for the class online
- Register and pay for several class registrations at one time
- Use promotional codes and coupons
- Create an account and save information to avoid re-entering it in the future
- View recommendations for other classes that might interest them based on their original selection
To learn more about how to improve your site’s eCommerce capabilities, watch our webinar on Revenue Drivers: Improving Your Site’s eCommerce Capabilities. Our next three webinars are dedicated to looking at how hospital websites measure up to the best of the best.