From shopping in your pajamas to waiting for your package to arrive at your doorstep, online shopping has created a whole new level of convenience and positive experience for customers. Because of these amazing advantages, more people prefer shopping in online stores than in brick-and-mortar stores.
Online retail is at an all-time high, and businesses without a smart and sound online strategy are risking being left behind. So it’s best to understand how online shoppers behave, what they want and what can make them buy from you.
If you are running an online store and you’re thinking of ways you can meet their preferences and increase your sales, here are some of the things you should know about.
Waiting isn’t an option. Customers want all information to be delivered to them the soonest. Ideally, an online store should take no more than two seconds to load and it shouldn’t be difficult to navigate around your website. Fast-loading online stores deliver a satisfied feeling and at the same time, it increases sales.
Think of your product selection as your shop’s window. Your customers should quickly find what they are looking for so have your products displayed in key areas of your website. Most business owners think that having a large selection of products will impress customers. In reality, limiting your selection works better to avoid “decision paralysis.” It also helps to limit the number of steps to checkout.
Your product selection should be carefully strategised. Try not to source too much inventory because this might just result to logistical nightmares and delays in order distribution.
According to a research by Power Reviews, 70% of consumers refer to product reviews first before buying a product or service, and almost 63% said they are more likely to buy from a website that has a reviews section or product ratings. Reviews give your customers more confidence in purchasing from you.
Reviews also increases your online store’s exposure to search engines by helping you maximise a wider variety of keywords.
Good website design shows that you are serious about what you’re doing and that you care about your customers. Your goal is to wow your customers when they visit your site. Don’t scrimp on a good design.
A product page contains your sales pitch. This is where you tell your customers about the features, benefits and price. The best product pages include professionally done images and videos.
Your customers have visited your site, viewed your product, decided to purchase and put it in the shopping cart. There are factors that could influence your customer’s decision at this point, which includes shipping costs, payment methods and user accounts. Here’s what you can do:
- Post your shipping costs on the product page to eliminate the surprise of high shipping cost on checkout
- Display info about your payment methods in the product page
- If possible, don’t ask your customers to create an account before placing an order.
Online customer service
Online customer service or live chat can help your customers navigate your site, locate products and services or provide answers to their queries. According to a recent study, 76% of customers want to chat about checkout problems.
Clear pricing information
Be transparent with your pricing information. Displaying taxes and shipping fees before checkout will reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Today’s customers are expecting to see the links to your social media accounts more because they want to know if you are active or not. Social buttons also increase your chances of getting shared across different social media platforms and get noticed by other users.
Lastly, customers want to get some TLC. Once the transaction is done, your customers want to receive some form of after-sales communications like email newsletters and promotional items. In your email, include links to your website and add banners where you can add your latest blog posts, videos and discount coupons.
It’s also great to add some personalisation, such as mentioning any issues encountered during checkout or product and/or service quality. This will help you collect customer feedback, which you can use to improve on your products and services more.
What other tips do you like to share? Comment below!