Earlier people used to search for individual stores to shop, but now as the time changes, the way we shop also have changed. Unlike retail stores, eCommerce stores do not offer the same tangible customer experience from retail stores. In addition, you have a lot of competition in any given eCommerce niche as the industry is thriving.
So, what should you focus on growing your eCommerce business and improve customer retention and sales? You might have plenty of ideas and probably might be implementing all but still you are lacking something- Perception is all that you need. You got to think from a customer’s perspective; they are the people who are going to directly bring your eCommerce sites revenue. Every eCommerce site is different, and every customer is different. So there aren’t any best rules to follow that apply to every situation.
Here is a list of 5 things what customers want in an eCommerce site.
- Free shipping
Reports by Statista points out that over 63% of users abandoned their carts due to high shipping prices. Well, almost every customer likes free shipping. No one likes to get surprised with costly shipping charges just during the time of checkout. The best thing to do is to keep the shipping costs low, even better- offer free shipping to your customers. But, not every eCommerce store can afford free shipping, especially during the initial stages. In that case, you can offer a discount in shipping or shipping coupons to customers to convince them to make a purchase.
Imagine that a customer visited your online store and navigated to the product selection and added some products to the cart. What are the different possibilities of your store losing the customer? Several ways are there including the types of payment methods and high shipping fee.
That is why it is important to disclose payment systems and shipping fee on your product page. Along with shipping fee, disclose payment methods on every page as well. Most eCommerce store builders offer the feature of integrating several payment gateways. Understand the basic payment methods preferred by your customers and the ones offered by your competitors.
Also, mention the shipping costs clearly on the product page so that shipping charges won’t come as a surprise to them. To deliver a great shipping experience, consider offering free shipping on orders that cross a certain amount for a shopping cart total. Make sure you promote this on your home, product page, and checkout screens.
- Genuine Customer Reviews
A lot of studies tout the popularity of rating and reviews with customers. Crowdsource reviews of your online store are more authentic and trustworthy. Customer reviews differ in comprehensibility and thoroughness; they hold a powerful effect on the behaviour of your customers and therefore, the performance of your business. People prefer to make buying decisions by browsing online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Enabling customer reviews on your website will have a positive effect on your brand’s organic search rankings in search engines.
Users can also like the review if they find it helpful.
Having more reviews for a product also means the conversion rates will be high. Not just positive reviews, a blend of good and bad reviews shows that you are not hiding anything from customers. Imagine that there is a product with thousands of 5-star reviews and not even one critical review. Customers would probably be suspicious right? The more reviews your products have and the more honest they are, you are going to make more sales. The best eCommerce platform that features store management capabilities allows you to manage the complete transactions related to business.
Testimonials can also work well when used effectively. When compared to reviews, testimonials are not that promising as only the glowing testimonials would be published. But they can give customers a bit more confidence in doing business with you if you are yet to become a well-known brand. If you wonder how to create an online store that incorporates these features, a ready-made eCommerce solution is the right way to start with.
- Smooth and free product Returns
A small percentage of people are still reluctant to shop online just because it is difficult for them to shop without seeing the products. Then what about the people who prefer shopping online? Uncertainty is a part of virtual retail, but people keep shopping only just because there is an option to return backs the product if you don’t like it after the purchase.
Whenever a customer shops online, there is a fear that it won’t suit or the quality might be poor, what if I don’t like, etc. If it can’t be returned back easily, the odds you will lose the sales rise dramatically. But return prices can become more complex and differ with different stores. If you want to improve customer satisfaction, it is significant to have a clearly defined return policy which is relatively easy for your customers.
It is true that new businesses might struggle with offering free returns as return costs you money. However, the end result of offering free and hassle-free return helps you deliver a great customer experience. This can lead to higher sales. You can easily customize your eCommerce platform to integrate this feature.
No matter what items you sell, you are competing with giants like Amazon. Even if the exact product you sell is not available on Amazon, it is still a competitor to you. Why? Just because Amazon has set a standard for customer experience and support expectations.
- Personalized recommendations
With the rise of AI and machine learning, businesses of all sizes can now use these technologies to learn quire bit about their visitors. This information can be further leveraged to offer smart and personalized recommendations to users for a customized shopping experience. Many eCommerce store builders integrate chatbots that allows you to personalize the shopping experience. eCommerce personalization can be anything from retargeting, showing individual offers, product recommendations or anything to your visitors based on their previous browsing history and other personal information.
The key to getting personalization right is through segmentation. The types of users, where they are coming from, the device they use and their customer behavior all makes a significant difference in the recommendations you give them.
The most common eCommerce personalization examples are that of Amazon. When you visit amazing and navigate any other page, you will see categories based on your previous search and your overall browsing behavior. This type of personalization is known to increase sales by at least 10%.
It can also be through personalized emails based on customer behaviour and this serves as a significant way to drive more sales. You can also send customized newsletters to users to alert them about offers on the products they are looking for. Email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach out to customers. A majority of businesses also use chatbots to send personalized messages to users to make the whole process smooth, leading to better customer satisfaction.
- Special offers and deals
In online shopping, people look for a decent amount of discounts and offers. Creating innovative eCommerce promotion ideas can be tough, but it will ultimately pay off when implemented correctly on your website. No two eCommerce sites are identical, and what works in one niche may not work in another. Before deciding on the type of discounts to offer to your customers, make sure that you collect essential data to find out the effectiveness of each strategy.
Percentage based discounts are the most common types of discounts most businesses offer. We all know that everyone loves to buy products that are on sale. Therefore, format your product pages to have a sale price and this approach works well to increase conversions. Another method is to offer free stuff. Set up product giveaways for particular items.
You might be already owning an eCommerce business or thinking about how to create an online store. It doesn’t matter what stage you are in, it is important to fulfill customer needs and their requirements if you want to grow your eCommerce business.
These are 5 major things among several other factors that you must focus on improving your customer experiences. No matter how successful your online store is, you always have to brainstorm ways to improvise it. When you pay more attention to the needs of your customers it is easy to determine the opportunities to improve the experience you provide them. Offering what customers want in an eCommerce site also becomes easier. Experimenting with different ways to satisfy your customers can bring in satisfactory sales.
There are a lot of eCommerce elements that virtually all eCommerce stores must have. Every scenario is different, but unless your online store is a powerhouse, you are less likely to retain customers, offer great customer experience and make better sales. Make every shopping experience feel real, connected and informed.
Also Read: 5 eCommerce Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Online Sales