It’s in the Bag! How to Improve Your Customer’s Online Shopping Experience
Setting up an online store is a great way to sell your products to your customers in a convenient way. However, although online shopping is convenient, it doesn’t always convert to huge sales.
In fact, studies show that the average rate for cart abandonment is 67.91 percent. In general, the average rate varies between 60 to 80 percent. This means that for every 100 people that visit your website, anywhere from 60 to 80 of them will leave without buying anything.
While this can be a disheartening statistic, there’s plenty that you can do to improve your customers’ online shopping experience so you get more conversions.
Check out this guide to learn what you can do to improve your customers’ online shopping experience.
1. Focus on Appearance and Functionality
One of the most important things you can do to improve your customers’ online shopping experience is to invest in your website’s appearance and functionality.
First impressions matter and no one wants to spend time on a terrible looking website, no matter how great your products may be. If your company is solely online, then your website is your first impression. You don’t have the opportunity to wow your customers with your personality or conversational skills, so how you present your website really matters.
In fact, studies show that 55 percent of website users spend less than 15 seconds on a website. While there are a lot of reasons why someone may leave a website abruptly, a lot of the time, it has to do with the site’s appearance and functionality.
So, to make sure you leave a good impression on your visitors, start by looking at how your brand feels as a whole. Take a look at your color scheme, logo, taglines, and voice.
Make sure you’re emphasizing the appeal of your homepage by properly balancing educational content and visuals.
2. Prioritize Mobile Responsiveness
Most of us don’t let our cellphones out of our site.
Because of this, long gone are the days where one needed to hunker down behind a desktop or laptop in order to make online purchases. Now, making online purchases is as easy making a few clicks on your phone.
In fact, studies show that 79 percent of smartphone users have made an online purchase in the last 6 months.
Without a doubt, mobile shopping is here to stay. Therefore, it’s very important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, your customers will quickly become frustrated and this will lead to cart abandonment.
Ensure that your website is functional across as many platforms as possible. And, take time to consider how website layouts will transfer to a small screen. For example, a quality photo on a website may be less effective when transferred to a mobile device.
3. Remember that Website Speed is Important
These days, people are used to instant gratification. If your website is taking forever to load, customers aren’t going to have the patience to sit around and wait. Instead, they’ll just head to your competition’s site which is much faster.
In fact, a website that takes 1 to 3 seconds to load can increase your bounce rate probability by 32 percent. A website that takes up to 5 seconds to load can increase your bounce rate by 90 percent. And, a website that takes up to ten seconds to load can increase your bounce rate by a whopping 123 percent!
To make sure you aren’t losing customers before they even take the chance to look at your site, you need to make sure your website is up to speed. While incorporating third party displays and applications can be a good idea, make sure these things aren’t slowing down the speed of your website.
4. Make Checkout a Cinch
So, you’ve gotten customers to your website. You’ve wowed them with your fast load times, functionality, and beautiful design. So far so good.
But, when they go to check out, they run into an issue. Are they going to email your customer service team because so far, everything has been great and they really want to buy from you? Or, are they going to abandon their cart and shop somewhere else?
Unfortunately, the latter scenario is more likely to occur. To make sure customers aren’t abandoning their carts at the last minute, you need to make the checkout process a cinch.
Here are some things you can do to make the checkout process easier for your customers:
- Offer your customers the chance to buy immediately or continue shopping
- Don’t ask for payment information until the very end
- Let customers know when they’ve added a product to their cart
- Use perpetual shopping carts (aka, when a customer returns to the website, their cart should still be there)
- Assist customers with discounts
- Make sure your website accepts a variety of credit cards and payment methods (ie, Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet)
- Consider accepting monthly installment payment solutions for your customers
The easier you make the checkout process for your customers, the more you will improve your product experience management (PXM).
5. Make Use of Customer Reviews
When a customer is hesitant about buying a product, they often look at customer reviews in order to make a final decision.
In fact, 84 percent of people trust online customer reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure that your reviews are displayed prominently.
If your website is lacking reviews, then it’s time to start reaching out to your customers for feedback. You can send your customers follow-up emails after purchasing your product to remind them to leave a review. Or, you can offer your customers incentives to leave reviews.
For example, some e-commerce stores offer their customers a certain number of points for every review they leave. Then, customers can put these points toward their next purchase.
6. Befriend Free Shipping
We get it, constantly shipping out products costs money. However, whether or not your company offers free shipping is often a deciding factor for customers.
If you’re worried that free shipping on every product will set your business back to much, don’t worry, you don’t need to offer it all the time. For example, you could offer free shipping to customers who spend over a certain amount. Or, you could create a membership service like Amazon Prime in which a customer gets free shipping if they pay a small monthly subscription fee.
7. Make Use of Live Chat
No matter how seamless your website’s online shopping experience is, there’s a good chance that your customers are going to run into problems at some point or another.
When this happens, it’s very important that your customers have a customer service agent at their disposal. Otherwise, you risk losing their business. While you should definitely have a customer service line and email that you respond to promptly, you should also consider adding live chat to your website.
Live chat ensures that customers receive the answers to their questions in a prompt manner. Additionally, you should offer an extensive FAQ page for customers to turn to before they hop onto live chat.
8. Embrace Customer Photos
When a customer hesitates to buy a product online, it’s oftentimes because they’re unsure of how the product will look in real life.
To make it easier for customers to visualize products in person, we suggest making use of customer photos. Sure, photos with models are great. But, customer photos can give people a more authentic idea of what something will actually look like in person.
To get more customer photos, make sure there’s a spot in the review section where a customer can add a photo if they wish. Additionally, make sure any social media influencers you are working with are posting photos with products as well.
9. Make Filtering and Searching for Products a Breeze
Nobody wants to spend a lot of time searching through a website just to find one product. Therefore, it’s very important that you make filtering and searching for products a breeze.
For example, if you run a clothing e-commerce store, then a customer should be able to search by the type of clothing, size, color, price, and more. Additionally, they should be able to type the name of the product they’re looking for right into your website’s search bar and get the results they’re looking for.
Also, when your post information about your products on social media, make sure you provide links to the products.
10. Offer Wishlists and Like Buttons
People often shop online in the same way they shop in-person. That is, sometimes people are just there to browse and not really buy anything.
But, oftentimes, people are thinking about returning later to buy something once their next paycheck comes in or once they’ve done more research on the product. To make it easy for someone to come back to these products, make sure you have wishlists/like buttons on your website.
This way, a customer will have no trouble moving an item they like into their cart to purchase.
Improving the Online Shopping Experience: Wrap Up
Now that you know how to improve the online shopping experience for your customers, it’s time to put these tips into action.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips and tricks on improving customer experience.