Online shopping has become a major phenomenon for retailers and consumers alike. As more and more people turn to online shopping, companies need an online presence to stay relevant in the marketplace. Though most businesses recognize they need to be online, it can be daunting to find a starting place.
Even if the company has an online presence, many are left scratching their heads when it comes to improving the customer experience. The cost is well worth it, though. Doing so can not only create repeat customers but also can increase efficiencies for your business. Keep reading to learn how to improve your customers’ online shopping experience.
1. Employ an E-Commerce Solution
You’re an expert in your niche and provide your customers something the competition cannot. That’s why they come to you to do their online shopping. By the same token, you seek out the expertise you need in various areas. You likely have an accountant to do payroll and your taxes and hired a web developer to build your website.
The same principle applies to fulfillment and logistics for your e-commerce storefront. A complete e-commerce solution provides the software you need to automate digital commerce on your site. It also does the heavy lifting with respect to warehouse management, inventory, and shipping. An e-commerce solutions partner can help you manage your online store and get customers their orders in a more timely and accurate manner.
2. Make Checking Out a Breeze
When customers come to your site to make a purchase, make it an easy process for them. Did you know the bounce rate can increase when it takes several clicks to get where customers want to go online? When developing your site, make getting to the check-out screen a breeze.
With fewer clicks, you might find your web traffic converts a higher percentage of sales. You could go as far as having a one-click checkout. Customers can get in and get what they want quickly. Having multiple options for payment can also help you make sales. In addition to debit and credit cards, you could let people pay with Venmo or Paypal.
3. Brand Consistently
Are you known for offering edgy styles for the club set? Or do you sell backpacks so sturdy they can make it from kindergarten to college? Whatever the reason customers come to your store or site, lean into that and brand consistently. Make shopping with you an experience for consumers. When they come to your website, they want to see the same vibe your brick-and-mortar store has.
Make sure your messaging is consistent in your social media channels, too. This goes all the way into the color scheme and images you use. Look and feel can do a lot to gain and maintain customers. When purchasers receive their packages, include some branding elements there as well. Underscoring your value message at multiple touchpoints can keep customers coming back.
4. Personalize the Buying Experience
One way to create brand loyalty is to make your customers feel seen, so personalize the shopping experience for them. There are plug-ins you can use to tailor what audience members see according to their preferences. Creating an online rewards system that requires a login is one easy way to track your customers.
Once they are logged in, you can highlight the sales they qualify for. You can also pitch popular or sale items to them based on what they purchased last time. “Order Again” functions are a great way to gain additional business for you and also make things convenient for the customer. With a reward or login system in place, emailing targeted sales and coupons is also very easy to automate.
5. Provide the Right Information
When a customer comes to your site, they shouldn’t have to leave it again in order to understand your product. You want to provide all the information they would need within your website. A description of the product, sizing, uses, and more are all necessary. It can also be beneficial to inform them of how long shipping will take.
In addition to product descriptions, you could add a blog to educate your community on what the company does. This could include thought leadership pieces and industry news pieces. Add a section for reviews as well. These are popular features and help customers understand your product and company.
6. Be Available
There’s nothing more infuriating than needing to talk with a representative while shopping online, only to have no one answer. If you want to improve your customers’ online shopping experience, you need to improve your customer service. Hire a great cultural fit for this role and seek out those who will go above and beyond.
Chatbots are useful, but make sure customers can talk to a real person if they have more than routine questions or issues. Having real reps in place makes you appear more reputable, especially with customers who are just getting into shopping online. That said, some customers will prefer to self-serve. For them, an AI-powered instant messenger can be helpful for minor questions or after-hours contact.
Improving the online shopping experience is a win for both retailers and consumers. To stay relevant in today’s market, make sure you’re treating customers just as well online as you would in a traditional store setting. If you make the e-commerce process a stress-free and pleasant experience, they’ll keep shopping with you for years to come.
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