Today, customers have more shopping options at their disposal than ever before, both in terms of venues (websites) and methods (credit/debit card, coupons, vouchers, gift card, etc.). And they easily get restless if they are made to wait. They want things quick, and they want a lot of options.
So if you are running an ecommerce store, or are planning to start one, you need to offer them more than just great products, you’ve got to engage them and give them an exhilarating shopping experience. You want your target audience to buy from you, and you’ve got to work on shopping experience to make them want to come again, and again…
So coming back to the original question, here are the key points you need to focus on what can ecommerce businesses do to help ensure that the online shopping experience is a pleasant one? Following are 12 ways to create a customer experience that will have consumers buying from you – and coming back for more.
1. Reduce Website Load Time
This particular point has been talked and discussed a lot of time, and still many ecommerce websites fall prey to web pages that take an eternity to load. “But it’s just a matter of seconds!” you say? That’s right, it’s just a matter of seconds that can make or break the deal for you.
The age of internet calls for speed, and if you are complying with it, you are losing your customers to other websites. Quick loading web pages are the key to deliver good user experience. People don’t like to wait anymore, especially when the market is full of options. Speed up; use web compatible image sizes that offer good resolution without putting load on your server.
To have a website that loads quickly is a prerequisite, but there’s no point working only on speed if your customers have difficulty in figuring out where to go from one web page to another. To ease things for them, invest in a good site search mechanism.
There’s one more thing you can, and must do: guided navigation for the first time and irregular visitors. Ease of navigations is one of the major purchase drivers in an online purchase. Give them a brief walkthrough of your website so that they know how to search for something on your website, how to place and order and how to make payments.
3. Pay Special Attention to the Content
From product catalog to business policies (return/refund, order cancellation), everything that goes on your website is content. Even a small fragment of misplaced or misinterpreted content can ruin your customers’ shopping experience.
Always be precise and clear with any and all information you share on your website. Proofread your product descriptions before uploading it on a web page. Every single word matters.
4. Work on Your Emails
There are primarily four different types of customers: Potential, New, Loyal and Past. Apart from your newsletters that these customers have signed up for, you need to understand which email must be sent to which customer and at what time. Take a hint from the following scenarios:
Entice Potential customers with offers they can’t refuse through an email. But make sure you don’t send too many offers too often, this method is counterproductive.
Send a welcome mail to your new customers, thanking them for doing business with them, and notify them of any reward that you offer to new customers through the email.
Loyal customers are your real MVPs. Appreciate their loyalty by offering them special loyalty programs along with giving them an early start for any and all upcoming sale. And whenever you send them an email regarding this, mention that this pre-sale offer is valid only for the loyal customers.
Retargeting is especially useful because this category has customers from any of the above categories. Take note of their sales funnel and see where they left; this will help you understand why they left. Address their issues and notify them that it is resolved, and again, make an offer they can’t refuse.
5. Tap Buyers’ Emotions
Not every shopper buys things online just because they like to shop. There are various emotions behind many shoppers: impulse, decision making anxiety, need of validation, need to be trendy, for a special occasion; emotions are many, and so are the shoppers.
The idea is to identify which customer is driven by what emotion, and to approach them with a relevant message.
6. High Quality Pictures
Make sure your catalog has high resolution, web compatible images clicked from different angles. If the product you are selling is a wearable item, adding pictures showing a model wearing it can help buyers make a calculated decision.
Blurry and pixelated images drive customers away, and so do large sized images that weigh down a website’s page loading speed. You need to strike the right balance between image clarity, resolution and file size.
7. Rich Content Instead of a Lot of Content
Rich content helps in the decision making process of a consumer. Be it a potential, new or an existing customer, rich content offers information that a customer wants to know, e.g. user ratings, Meta description, snippets, etc.
A lot of textual content on an ecommerce website can distract consumers from the original intent and hamper the user experience. Never overwhelm your audience with too much information. Always use a neat format to show specifications and product details. Remember, educating customers is important, but doing it the right way is more important.
8. Color Psychology
Colors play an important role in the buying process. It adds to the overall user experience of your website visitors. Understand what colors support the nature of your business. Here is a color chart to help you understand what different colors mean for your customers.
(Image Source: Pinterest)
9. Easy To Contact You
Finding your contact information should be easy and absolutely hassle free. The moment people find it hard to contact you; they smell something fishy is going on. Whether it is your phone number, email, or office location, be prompt with your “Contact Us” section.
It would be a good idea to have a dedicated Contact page so that customers can give you an idea of what their query is about. This way, you’ll be saving a lot of time by already knowing what their issue is, and you can design your approach accordingly.
10. Live Chat Support
Live chat support facilitates answering queries instantly and assisting in letting customer make the purchase quickly and easily. Many times a customer abandons a website because they don’t get their questions answered on time. FAQ based chat support that uses AI for answering customer queries are gaining popularity.
The reason is simple: saving money on human resources and ability to talk to many users simultaneously. Time windows are shortening and people don’t blink twice before moving on to another ecommerce portal. Machine learning has simplified customer support while making your website more secure and segregating your customer base. It’s time you also invest in it.
In the recent turn of shopping trends, it is seen that customers don’t mind paying for shipping charges or a marginally higher price tag if they like the services and shopping experience with a particular website. Price is no longer a primary deciding factor about whether a sale will happen or not. It’s more about experience now. The points we discussed in this article will help you in delivering an unforgettable shopping experience. Make people want to shop with you, as a wise man once said, “It’s not about what you tell them, it’s about how you make them feel.”