Learning from Airlines: Redesigning Your Web site – Increasing Your Online Revenue and Customer Interaction

Why is it that many successful companies refresh their stores every so often?
Why is it that Macy’s and other retailers always refresh the displays in their store windows? They do this so that customers keep coming back again and again – to something fresh and new. Your web site is no different.
Your web site is probably the FIRST place your prospective customers, employees, partners and competitors will go to know about your business. In addition your customers will expect to be serviced more and more online as well.
You should upgrade it every so often for a few reasons.
1. Your web site of many years ago is probably no more than a glorified brochure (digital mind you). It’s time to make it more – to bring it alive with interactivity and life.
2. Simply refreshing your web site and making it look new and perky will give your customers reason to return to it more often. Everyone likes something new.
The New York Times writes how airlines are realizing this as well. On many reworked airline sites, for example, customers can easily manage their frequent-flier accounts; travel awards and upgrades, which typically used to be arranged over the phone with an airline clerk, now can be easily booked online. Some sites display calendars showing open dates and seat-availability charts.
As international travel grows, airlines have also simplified the process of booking complicated schedules to just a few clicks ó including travel with two airlines that are code-sharing partners.
Many travelers are also drawn to online check-in, which permits passengers to print out their boarding passes and is now a standard feature at airline Web sites. The sites give airlines the ability to promote special fares and other offers through direct marketing and e-mail alerts.

Check out my 10 Web Site Musts for tips on building a business class web site.