There is no escaping the fact that a good website is essential for any business. Acting as both a showroom and a first impression setter, websites can be hugely impactful on a business’s bottom line in the long run. And while websites for some mobility retailers have remained an afterthought, there is no shortage of firms are experimenting with innovative designs and ideas. Here we look at just a handful of the online showrooms that demand attention.
First impressions have always been an important part of business and now that we live in a digital age that also goes for websites as well. Research carried out by a university recently revealed that it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression when viewing a website, but it takes a little longer — closer to three seconds — for the user to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression.
Either way, in less time than it takes you to read this sentence, a person is likely to have formed a favourable or unfavourable view of an organisation based on what their eyes have just seen.
Unsurprisingly, website development has not traditionally been a priority for mobility equipment distributors. An elderly customer base and an understanding that many sales come from tenders, word-of-mouth and repeat business, has meant websites are for many businesses, an afterthought.
That said, many dealers are appreciative of the fact that a good website can speak volumes about a business and the service that a prospective customer might expect. And while many websites still leave a lot to be desired, it doesn’t take much browsing to find some very appealing sites which have brought mobility firms in line with 21st century retailing.
Here, we highlight just five distributor websites that have really caught our eye for a variety of different reasons. How do they stack up against yours?
NB: We have only evaluated distributors’ company/corporate websites. The list does include not online-only retailers.
Ross Care only launched an e-commerce operation in October but from the off it has taken a forward-thinking approach to digital by making its online world an extension to its new physical store, complete with themed branding, rather than an unrecognisable or separated element.
While the website does have an e-commerce element to it, like the company’s new store model, it is as much about advice, support and signposting as it is about retailing. It could be described as a ‘digital version’ of the new outlet and unlike many retailers, especially in the mobility sector, the website is admirably consistent with the physical shop.
Beactive Mobility’s website does a good job of considering its users, many of whom are elderly. While its approach of a seemingly blank landing page may be questioned by some e-commerce operators, the fact that the opening page does not assault the user with products and offers as soon as they enter is
a welcome to change to many mobility sites.
The minimalist landing page allows users time to think about the options they are presented with and allows them to then proceed to the destination they want to reach with ease and without obstacles or clutter. After all, most people visiting a mobility website have at least a general, if not specific idea of what they want, and so bombarding them with products at the point of entry could be regarded as detrimental to the user’s experience.
1st Step Mobility Ltd
Companies can splash their branding and colours onto their websites but few truly manage to make their mark on users, who in many cases are unlikely to remember which specific site they have visited. And while 1st Step Mobility’s website model may not be to everyone’s taste, and may be more difficult than some of its competitor sites to interpret, there are few other companies who have an online space as memorable.
The bright, bold, block colouring and almost childlike simplicity of its layout leave little room for error when navigating the site. Many will find the large, stand-out text easy to follow and the dealer may have uncovered a hidden trick in its model. Could it be argued that 1st Step is a step ahead of other dealers when it comes to its website, in spite of its seemingly simplistic design?
A world away from some of the more discrete websites, Betterlife appears on first glance an Aladdin’s cave of offers and discounts. While this retail approach may not appeal to some mobility dealers, the company’s online sales are evidence of the model’s success.
The website may appear busy and even overbearing to some, but the attractive offers on mobility equipment are hard to ignore. Love it or hate it, the proof is in the pudding and it is difficult to argue with Betterlife’s e-commerce operation.
The Mobility Aids Centre
A good mix of showcasing products and offers while also being clean and tidy, the Mobility Aids Centre’s site is a strong all-rounder when it comes to good mobility websites. Coloured branding and frequent logos help users to recognise and remember the site. A sliding banner of product offers along the home page shows the user the products the company wants them to see, without looking too cluttered or overbearing.
A good mix of text and images creates a straightforward and well-balanced experience, while all the usual tabs aid easy navigation. Delving into the products pages, equipment is presented with no fuss and so that the reader can easily compare mobility aids.
CLICK HERE to discover the keywords that drive traffic to dealer websites.