Business Website Design Lessons by Carnival Cruise Line: Business Website more outdated than the Carnival Triumph

Scene One:  

Keith Enloe  and I  went on a site visit this week to one of our favorite clients and were talking business website design and  how web user experience (UX) standards change.  We also discussed that and also how continuing to build upon old code is not always the best way to do things. They have a beautiful site that continues to improve, but over the years all the legacy code has gotten unwieldy.

Scene Two:

First conversations with new prospective clients: You’ll hear, “so how recently has this business website design been updated and how many programmers have been creating the code in your web store?”  Over the years, we realized when several developers of been in another store (some in the US and some not in the US) we find whole “variety” of code. With tongue firmly in cheek, we call them “Frankenstein” and “Bride of Frankenstein” code, where things have been pieced together without regard for the whole.

Scene Three:

Fastpivot even had a client go to another developer -GASP! Why? Because they were perceived as cheaper (primarily due to offshoring). Guess what happened next: this same client (who has a fairly complex fulfillment flow) had to spend more to fix what the other developer broke (and couldn’t fix) in their system. Had they just came to us first (instead of being pennywise and pound foolish), they would have remained stable and saved money and time.

Last week, Carnival Cruise Lines is announcing they are reinvesting in their fleet.

Occasionally we will see business websites that have not been updated in years. Like Carnival Cruise Lines where the critical systems that create the experience that creates the  revenue are neglected and certainly not refined or advanced.

When the business website design is a key component of your livelihood, you cannot afford not to change.

A web centered business website design cannot stay the same and remain engaging and relevant.

Most merchants have been reeling from Google Panda and Penguin updates.

Telling the unique story of your business is more important than ever.  The business website design must present the best possible face a business can afford. Content must be updated frequently, telling the best possible story and giving the best possible service to your customers.

Things have changed rapidly in business website design standards.

Four key trends are mobilization, personalization, commoditization & socialization.

  • Mobile now accounts for over 10% of most stores and web business traffic.
  • Amazon is just the leading merchant creating a more and more personalized experience for their shoppers with custom saved shopping and wish lists registries
  • Amazon has also become both a commoditizing market force and traffic source for merchants, while establishing a barrier to competition with Amazon prime
  • Social shopping and reputation management continues to grow in importance

If you’ve been maintaining your web business like Carnival has been maintaining its cruise business, perhaps you might reconsider how you’re investing your revenues.  That is, while you still have revenues.

If you really don’t care, you can just keep those navigation menus and pages in flash.

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