Nowadays, more people are buying products and services online than from physical stores.
But even though e-stores offer convenience and availability that can’t be matched by their brick-and-mortar counterparts, many of them fail during the first year of business. Why is it so?
Unlike physical stores where location and establishment are the most important factors, e-stores rely on the products they offer and, even more importantly, on customer experience. So, whether you already own an eCommerce store or you’re planning to buy one from an eCommerce business broker, keep in mind that customer experience should be your number one priority.
Luckily, there are several tactics that can help you improve your online store’s customer experience, boost customer loyalty, drive sales and, eventually, increase your profits.
Improve Product Search & Site Navigation
In general, online buyers can be divided into 3 categories:
- Buyers who know exactly what they’re looking for. They’ll go straight to the search bar and start typing. For that reason, you need to make sure the search bar strategically positioned and easy to find. You should also consider incorporating auto-complete to help buyers find the product more easily.
- Buyers who browse your online store. They need sorting options like price, color, size, and brand. You might also want to allow this category of buyers a personalized search experience.
- Buyers who have defined criteria when searching for products but don’t really know what they want to buy. These buyers need filter options. You should also consider including product features in the sorting options.
Improve Customer Service
Every good website needs to have outstanding customer service. Ensure that your contact info (phone, email) is clearly displayed on every page of your site. This allows customers to keep in touch with you at all times. When a customer reaches out to make an inquiry or seek assistance, be prepared to respond promptly and solve their issues efficiently.
Great customer service doesn’t necessarily mean interacting with your customers via live chat 24/7. You can use a tool such as Zenddesk or pick a suitable Zendesk alternative which will allow you to auto-respond to order-related questions with personalized messages and significantly reduce your response time.
When it comes to your FAQ section, make sure not to overwhelm your customers with too much information. Include only what is absolutely necessary.
Simplify the Checkout Process
When it comes to online business transactions, the rule of thumb is to keep things simple. Here are a few tactics that will help you make the checkout process simple and improve UX:
- Make sure that the shopping carts are visible and easily accessible on every page.
- Include fees and prices on the shopping cart (including tax and shipping fees). Ensure that the customers aren’t misled in any way. The fees and prices should match the chosen items.
- Include special offers that enable customers to save money. If a certain product is about to run out of stock, add an option for customers to sign up for updates to inform them when it is going to be restocked.
- Make sure that the recommended products are visible on the checkout page, especially the products that are similar to the ones the customer has already purchased. This is a great way to boost sales.
- Offer multiple payment options. If a customer’s preferred payment option isn’t available, they might abandon the checkout process. Besides the usual credit card options, you could also include online check and PayPal.
- Don’t make account sign-up mandatory in order to complete the transaction because this can annoy your customers. Give them an option to continue as a guest.
- Offer your customers an option to select standard or expedited shipping and make sure the estimated delivery date is visible.
Include Customer Testimonials
Potential customers tend to read quite a lot of reviews and testimonials before making a purchase, so displaying feedback from real people who have already used your services is really important.
All you need to do is collect the testimonials and share them. Ensure that they are strategically positioned on the product page that the customer is viewing. Effective testimonials include quotes, video testimonials, social media posts, case studies, peer reviews and more. If you are still not sure what to do, you can always look testimonial examples to help you out.
Offer High-quality Content
If your eCommerce site doesn’t have a blog, now is a great time to add one. However, if you don’t have the time or resources to publish long-form articles, consider offering high-quality visuals.
As you might already know, people’s attention span is getting shorter, so creating images, infographics, or videos is a great way to capture customers’ attention. This allows you to motivate people to buy while at the same time educating them.
Be informative but keep your content clear and concise. Your Image captions mustn’t look cluttered or messy. Include information that gives basic information about the product but at the same time entices customers to find out more.
Rely on Social Media
Regardless of who your target audience is, people are used to communicating and getting promotions and offers through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. So, why not utilize these platforms as cost-effective advertising channels? Social media are also a fast communication channel that allows you to handle customer inquiries and issues efficiently.
The above-listed six tactics serve as a guideline to help you improve customer experience and, ultimately, increase your sales. The key is being consistent and constantly analyzing the results of your strategies.