The digital era has changed the way people shop. Customers no longer need to visit a brick-and-mortar store when they want to make a purchase. People can now get the things they want from the comfort of their couch using a phone or laptop. This shift in shopping habits has helped e-commerce stores take over the retail landscape. But it’s also increased your customers’ expectations about their user experience.
When people shop online, they have access to thousands of different retailers. If you want customers to choose your brand over your competitors, you need to provide a seamless and engaging user experience. Outlined below are six strategies you can use to improve your customers’ e-commerce experience and boost sales.
1. Expand Your Product Range
Customers don’t want to visit multiple sites when they’re ready to make a purchase. Expanding your product line provides buyers with more options and improves convenience. Let’s say you want to buy a pair of shoes. Would you rather shop on a site that sells 10 pairs of shoes or a site that sells 100 pairs, socks, and shoe polish?
Expanding your product line may sound expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Dropshipping allows vendors to fulfill orders without needing to keep their shelves fully stocked. Through 3PL (third-party logistics), a dropshipping company receives and fulfills orders on the vendor’s behalf. This allows you to sell more products without high overhead expenses.
2. Create a Seamless Checkout
Slow or overly complicated checkout processes deter customers from shopping on your site. Every obstacle someone has to overcome to purchase a product increases their chance of abandoning their cart. Focusing on creating a seamless checkout experience reduces customer frustration, ultimately increasing sales.
One way brands can streamline the checkout process is by offering multiple payment options. If your site accepts your customers’ preferred payment methods, they’re more likely to shop with you over a competitor. Along with credit cards and debit cards, add other popular forms of payment like ApplePay. Some major companies like Starbucks and Whole Foods even let their customers pay using cryptocurrency.
3. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
As an e-commerce store, it’s not enough to simply have a website. You also need to ensure it’s easily usable on all devices. Many retailers focus on making their site function well on desktop, completely forgetting about their mobile shoppers. This is a critical mistake. During the 2021 holiday season, one-third of all online purchases were made on smartphones. If you don’t want to miss out on these mobile shoppers, your site must be optimized for their devices.
The best way to ensure your site is mobile-friendly is to use responsive web design. This means no matter what size of screen your customers are shopping from, your site is properly presented. Web design sites like Wix and Squarespace allow users to see what their site looks like on different devices before it goes live. This is a great option for business owners who are designing their sites themselves.
4. Create Educational Content
Does your site include content that answers users’ questions? Or do they have to call your customer support team and wait in a queue when they encounter a problem? If you answered the latter, you’ve got some work to do. Seventy percent of consumers would rather find answers on a company website over asking questions via phone or email.
To provide customers with the information they need, include educational content on your website. This could include a FAQ page, blogs outlining the benefits of certain products, and guides providing helpful tips and resources. If your product is particularly complex, consider creating instructional videos. Video content can be easier for some consumers to digest.
5. Answer Questions Using Chatbots
Sometimes customers can’t find the answers they’re looking for in your content. This is where chatbots come in handy. Chatbot systems use artificial intelligence to simulate conversations. Unlike your human support team, chatbots are available to answer questions 24/7. So no matter what time zone your customer is in, they can receive support when they need it.
If your customer has a particularly complex question, they may still need to speak with a live agent. However, chatbots can ensure agents have all the information they need before they begin speaking with a customer. This ensures problems are solved quickly, improving the customer experience.
6. Personalize Your Products
Take a second to scroll through Instagram. You’ll see ads for customized shampoo and health supplements designed for your individual needs. Such products are booming — and for good reason. People love personalization. Catering to your buyers’ desire for personalized products can help your brand stand out from the competition and boost sales.
If each individual product isn’t easily personalizable, don’t worry. There’s still a way to make customers feel like they’re receiving a customized shopping experience. Create a “recommended products” section of your site that auto-fills based on a buyer’s shopping history. This will make it easier for customers to find products that are relevant to their specific needs.
The rise of e-commerce has given people access to thousands of brands. Use the tips above to elevate your site, answer user questions, and streamline checkout. When you want to stand out from your competition, you need to create a top-notch customer experience.