An online shopping experience that leaves the shopper feeling like it was easy and pleasant is only part of the story of what consumers want when purchasing online. There are many other strategies you can use to ensure an online shopper leaves your site feeling satisfied after purchasing, and possibly make more sales in the process. When asked what would make or break an e-commerce transaction, consumers have quite a bit to say about their likes and dislikes.
Access to Online Information and Reviews
Just about all online shoppers have stated a desire for clear pictures, detailed product descriptions, and customer reviews. Brands which are using high-quality stock images or photographs of products and detailed descriptions are well on their way to creating a satisfying online experience. Online reviews are also often mentioned as a valuable resource for influencing a potential customer’s purchasing decision. Don’t limit your marketing research to just plain text reviews on websites. Instead, expand them to massive online shopping forums, review blogs, and vloggers on Youtube or TikTok who try and test every product under the sun. If you want a less saturated approach, go for the vloggers or reviewers who only review specific niches, such as handheld tech gadgets, or the niftiest cooking utensils.
Personalized Shopping Experiences
The desire for a more personal shopping experience is nothing new to commerce, but it is also highly desirable in online e-commerce, for the most part. Survey results are a bit of a mixed bag, with 50% of consumers in general stating they have no desire to share personal information in exchange for more personalized shopping experience. However, when you ask millennials the same question, you get a majority vote of 66% stating they have no issues with sacrificing a little privacy in return for more personalization.
Try to avoid making it hard for potential customers to locate their online shopping cart, or having a mountain of extra steps to climb over before they can make a purchase. Online shoppers do not appreciate a convoluted checkout system, with many of them choosing to switch over to e-wallet gateways like PayPal, OneTouch, and Apple Pay for online transactions. Amazon’s patent for a one-click purchase ran out in 2017, which has been creating opportunities for e-commerce businesses to streamline and simplify their checkout procedure further.
Low Cost or Free Shipping Fees
Many e-commerce businesses know that low-cost shipping is a big drawcard for many online shoppers. Generally, online stores make more sales by subtracting shipping fees for orders made during a promotional period or as an incentive to garner more traffic to their websites. High shipping costs usually translate into fewer sales. Seventy-seven per cent of abandoned carts were due to unreasonable shipping costs and other fees. Sixty-five per cent of online transactions in 2017 provided free shipping, but other issues can end in an abandoned cart as well, including:
Website technical issues
Confusing website interfaces or poorly designed website layouts
The need to register and create an account, as well as verifying email addresses
Site and payment security issues
Peace of Mind
When consumers purchase from a local brick-and-mortar establishment they have confidence they can return a product should there be any problems. Creating the expectation that your customer will have the same level of convenience when buying online will help with boosting conversions. A customer’s peace of mind also comes down to the security on your site. They need to know that their personal information is secure from online theft.
Now that you’ve learned how to make more sales, keep in mind that part of what creates repeat customers is the overall experience they have while visiting your site. If you have too much to look at on your website, or are using images with an outdated appearance, consider hiring a web designer to help you navigate that. You will be competing with large, established players like Walmart and Amazon that have large tech teams continuously improving and updating their website interfaces. Still, if you can provide a satisfactory, positive, more personal experience, you will be able to carve out a piece of the market larger corporations can’t easily access.
Header image by stokkete, 123RF.