The biggest competition that an online store faces is not from rival brands. But, from their very own customers! Customer experience is the trump card that helps an online store win customer minds and become a successful business.
Shocking? Consider this statistic from Barilliance. Approximately 71.39% customers abandon their online shopping carts without completing the transaction. Reasons like lack of express shipping, poor UX, slow page loading speed, security concerns, undeclared/hidden costs at check out are some of the reasons that contribute to this high a cart abandonment rate.
But, should that stop you from maximizing your sales volumes? Any online store that delivers a stellar user experience always wins customer’s hearts. Customers keep logging back to those online stores that have a user experience (UX) that is engaging, delightful and memorable.
But, how to craft such a user experience? This is what we plan to elaborate upon in this write-up. We discuss some factors, elements, experiences or anything else as they can be called that can enhance the user experience on your online store.
All set? Let’s dive in.
1 Contextual Product Suggestions
According to a study conducted by The Intelligence Group (TIG), almost 50% of millennials are reported to be visiting online stores without an intention to make a purchase. Window shopping or looking at options to buy in the future is the main reason that motivates young online shoppers.
While this increases the churn rate for your online store, it can also be viewed as a potential way to increase sales. Contextual product suggestions can help bank in the interest of visiting customers and make them buy impulsive purchases. There are several Artificial Intelligence based solutions for e-commerce that help deliver context based product suggestions to customers who are just browsing the store aimlessly.
2 Location Based Marketing
Search Engine Land says that ‘Hyperlocal marketing will soar in 2017’. Although online shopping is the norm, customers have more interest in knowing offers that are available in their close vicinity. This ‘near-me’ offers triggers a buying tendency in customers than general audience centric marketing can achieve.
Moreover, in an online store, the customer often has to wade through endless options before narrowing down the suitable options. However, with location based marketing, it is possible to shoot exact product suggestions relevant to the location of the customer. This makes buying easier for the customer, thus improving conversion rates.
3 Social Proof
Social proof has a magnetic power that makes customers make quick decisions. When customers see products that have been well received by other customers and also backed by star rating and reviews, they feel more convinced about the product’s buy-worthiness.
Further, Bright Local’s Consumer Review Survey 2014 has found that customers trust online reviews and ratings as much as suggestions from their near and dear. So, it is petty wise to show how much socially accepted the products that your online stores sell to improve customer’s online shopping experience.
4 Transparent Return Policy
Online shopping is like a blind date. Sometimes it turns out to be awesome, otherwise it ends up being disappointing. If you want your customers to keep coming back to your store for more purchases, you have to give them the option to return goods that failed to impress them.
There should be a transparent return policy that is easy to understand, track and also materialize. Such an easy return policy will pacify customers who are new to online shopping and are skeptical about product quality.
5 Round-the-clock Support
Even in the age of online shopping, real and personal customer support has its own charm. Round-the-clock support in online shopping customers get real-time assistance relating to product usage instructions, delivery tracking, replacements, refunds and so on. Support can come in the form of live chat, telephone, email or even instant messaging. Clear display of how your customer support team can be reached in the shopping page is a great customer UX factor. It also helps improve customer’s trust in the store.
6 Page Loading Speed
A slow to load online store is a pain. It makes any customer to close the window and shelve the plan of buying something online. Worst, they might even be quick enough to go to a competitor website and complete the transaction.
E-Commerce platforms like Magento, Drupal, WooCommerce, Prestashop, etc. have specific procedures that help cut down the loading speed and deliver fast performing online stores. The procedures range from reducing HTTP requests by merging images, clearing cache, using CDN, etc. Try to keep your page loading speed under 3 to 5 seconds or less and your customers will not feel like closing the window before starting the shopping spree.
7 One Step/ One Page Checkout
Bringing the customer until the checkout page itself is a battle of its own. That battle will be easily lost if you make customers fill up long forms that ask for too much private information that are non-essential for completing the transaction. Although using a Cheap Thawte EV SSL Certificate to secure the age does help, the lengthy process can be quite a turn off.
Set up one step or one page checkouts which are far simpler. They ask for minimal information that are relevant to complete the order. Since they take the customer to the payment portal quickly, there is less time for the customer to rethink the buying decision or abandon the cart.
8 Purchase Protection
Although online shopping is a feverish trend, there are still customers who shy away from shopping online citing security concerns. Establishing purchase protection measures and convincing customers that they are safe to part away with sensitive information is indeed a crucial customer experience factor.
Using an extended validation certificate like the Thawte EV SSL or other alternatives is a good place to begin. Websites that have SSL certificate installed in them have a green address bar accompanied by a greed padlock symbol. These symbols makes customers feel at peace and transact without any fear of hacking or personal data breach.
Online shopping is more of a customer experience game. Better the experience, better the conversions and brand loyalty. Online stores that render a memorable customer experience will stand ahead of their competition even if their offerings and pricing is of the similar nature.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.
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