Today's customers are increasingly starting their buying experiences online. Even if they end up going to a store to make a purchase, a large number of customers are doing a lot of research online and learning about organizations even before they speak to a salesperson.

Further, while doing research, customers are automatically eliminating certain organizations and creating preferences for others, solely based on the information they find on a website, reviews by other customers, and the overall online experience.

This trend makes it essential for organizations to ensure their websites are not only well-presented and easy to navigate, but also provide customers with added value, allowing them to stand out from among the competition. "Whether retailers like it or not, users are doing a lot of research online," says Eric Hansen, SiteSpect's CEO, adding that the online and brick-and-mortar experiences are becoming increasingly mashed together.