Put simply, online shopping is competitive. Unless what you’re selling is so unbelievably niche that you don’t face a shred of rivalry, then your website is going to have to be top-notch; or it’s not going to be given any chance by consumers. Customers don’t really ask for much, they just want to visit your site, browse through the pages, and then buy it without any trouble. But surprisingly, so many e-stores manage to mess up one or many simple things that prevent them grabbing a sale. In addition to our previous points on tips for online stores, here’s what features yours needs to stay alive.
It seems obvious, but sometimes a customer simply wants to type in what they want, rather than clicking through the entire website. Without a search box, you’re depriving them of this quick option, and if they get frustrated and can’t find their desired product, don’t expect them to stick around.
Return policies and shipping rates
Before they have even bought anything, potential customers like to know how much everything will cost in the final total. As an e-store, it’s very deceiving to suggest that your product is so cheap and you deliver fast but charge an eye-watering amount for shipping. This turns off a lot of people, and you’ll likely find that they abandon the shopping cart; better to present the full amount rather than sneaking in the shipping fees at the end. Clear return policies are important too, as the customer deserves to know their rights should they not be satisfied with the product.
Nice design and trustworthy appearance
Not all about looks right? Unfortunately, in the world of online commerce, looks are everything. Imagine walking into a store with shelves dangling from the walls, ripped up carpet, and only about two lights working…. would you feel compelled to shop from there? Your e-store should look professional and inviting – making your customers feel like they want to be there. Large, bright photos, easy to read descriptions, and product pages that are simple to find: these are all traits that a good e-store should deliver. If you are unsure on how to do it yourself, there are templates available for online stores to use, so make use of this option and impress your customers.
Sure, it’s a little more difficult to collate reviews if you’re just starting out, but if you’ve been selling for a while, then ask your customers to leave a testimonial after shopping. This will no doubt keep you on your toes, and prove to those shoppers on the fence that your e-store is worth trusting.
If you’re an online store owner, then try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would you like to know about the company, product, delivery, etc.? Give answers to questions that you believe people will ask you, which is far quicker than having to reply to dozens of emails.
Research has shown that 14% of online shoppers will abandon their cart if forced to sign up for an account when purchasing an item. Some customers simply want to get in and get out, so not providing the option for a guest checkout could result in lost sales.