Since the volume of online sales worldwide soared in 2020 and the number of people who shop online on a regular basis has increased, having ecommerce channels is a must for manufacturers and retailers.
However, entering the world of ecommerce is not a simple task, but an adventure that must be constantly optimized, paying attention to changes, trends and online visit patterns among users. In addition, a larger number of online shoppers means more difficulty in finding and attracting ideal customers... and attracting them over your competitors.
Many stores and brands that intended to benefit from the attractiveness of ecommerce find themselves with a low number of visits and purchases, or a high number of product returns or shopping cart abandonment. The reason: a mediocre online shopping experience, as 83% of online shoppers repeat purchase on a website because their previous experience was good.
To improve it, we give you 10 tips that will make all your customers find in your ecommerce channels the best online shopping experience imaginable.
10 tips to improve the shopping experience in ecommerce
The eye commands: a user-friendly design
In an online store, less is more. Follow the basic rules of design instead of going for something radical that no one will understand or that may mislead the user from the relevant information they are looking for when buying a product.
White or neutral backgrounds to highlight products, important elements placed at the top of each page (such as image, price and name). Prominent purchase buttons in areas of high user activity (and that are easy to click in app), web pages adapted to different devices, not abusing intrusive elements such as pop-ups and adding touches of personalization according to the time of year.
Search, buy, pay: simplicity is king
Even if you sell thousands of products and lines, make amazing lookbooks or specific pages to highlight influencer testimonials, the shopper should always easily distinguish the 3 phases of the online shopping process: search for products, add them to the shopping cart and checkout to complete the process.
The buttons for these 3 steps should always be clearly visible and lead to an easy and fast process. If the payment can be made on the same page, all the better, since traveling through several pages transmits impatience and is the reason for many abandonments.
As far as possible, do not ask for a lot of data to complete an order, do not force the registration to buy in your online store, and offer from the product sheets basic information such as shipping times and costs, and return options.
High and unexpected shipping costs are the main reason for abandonment of the purchase process: inform customers well on each page, without redirecting them to the FAQ or making them track this data in other tables.
Being online is public and personal: enrich your content
Despite the popularity of marketplaces, with their identical product sheets from one seller to another, more and more users value a personalized shopping experience.
This implies that customers expect original and complete web pages, which even adapt to the user's needs based on geolocation data or previous purchase history (if registered). And, above all, to find accurate, reliable and updated product content in them, for which a PIM system that centralizes all product information, analyzes its quality, and allows you to enrich it before sending it to the ecommerce channels you want is essential.
The more text, images, videos, tutorials, downloadable materials, reviews and suggestions a product card includes, the more likely it is to increase the likelihood of a purchase. Of course, make sure that this content is always relevant to the target user, as an ordinary buyer is not looking for the same type of product data as a distributor at a congress, for example.
Also study the SEO of your product range and the most common searches of your target customers, to optimize your texts in all sales channels and update descriptions and keywords that may become outdated over time.
Age counts: segment your catalog
Depending on the segment of the population to which your products are oriented or that you want to find and promote as target customers, the shopping experience in your online store will have to be adapted to different buyer personas and to a specific categorization of your catalog.
Not everyone is as digitally and technologically fluent, and while younger customers can easily locate information and actions, older users need more assistance and clarity in the layout of elements.
Tailor the design to what appeals to each age segment or demographic group. It investigates general tastes and the better response rate to more minimalist designs, as opposed to garish colors that may work better with teenage users. The same applies to grouping your products into different categories and collections: highlight what your buyers are looking for the most.
Attend all the parties: the online visibility of your catalog
In an ever-growing and increasingly competitive online universe, a branded online store is no longer enough to stand out from the competition and be found by your customers.
Even if you invest all possible resources in creating the best website and app on the market, you need to diversify your online presence. This is the only way to increase your visits and sales and make the online shopping experience of your products easier.
Most users start their product searches on Google or Amazon, and the trust that the marketplace inspires among a large part of the buying population is very strong (51% of the total number of users), and you should take advantage of it along with any other marketplace where your products fit.
Marketplaces improve your chances of being found and customers trusting to buy your products. But if you want the results to be successful and not damage your brand image with disorganized products in dozens of marketplaces and pages, a PIM system as mentioned above allows you to standardize and customize the information you send to different marketplaces, and send it automatically through specific connectors such as those included in Sales Layer.
Look at the camera: more photos are better
Shopping in physical stores has always been a visual experience. As all other senses are overridden when shopping online (at least for the time being, until further technological innovations), sight is the star factor for the user.
73% of online shoppers state that they need at least more than 3 or 4 images per product to decide on a purchase. Depending on the type of product you sell, adapt the type of images to your product cards: more detailed, more general, with demonstrations of use or on model... Always create a high resolution gallery with zoom and 360º options in the product cards, and galleries with thumbnail and large images option in the search results and in the category queries of a website.
Also take care of the pictures that you attach in the marketplaces, where it is easy to stand out in this aspect. Most sellers neglect photos and are unreliable, and product cards with images on marketplaces improve their sales conversion by up to 53%.
Good photographs allow the user to be convinced more easily and decrease the percentage of returns, since they get a more accurate and real idea about the product.
Lower the price... where applicable
Price is the main purchase decision factor for 69% of online users, but this does not mean that the cheapest is always the preferred option.
Choose to reduce your prices strategically, because if you constantly offer low prices you will never be able to increase them again and improve your sales. If you cultivate an image of cheap products, why would your customers suddenly want to pay more for them?
It is advisable to carry out promotions and discounts at key times of the year (official sales periods or organized by marketplaces where you are), and also when opening a new channel, as a way of making yourself known and attracting old and new customers.
Make this strategy only temporary, as the "for a limited time" touch also encourages purchase and generates an impression of exclusivity among customers.
Listen to your customers: incentivize reviews
Many online retailers choose to remove the option of writing comments and reviews on their websites, fearing that bad reviews or ratings will tarnish good ones and spread a bad brand image.
Nothing could be further from the truth! It's true that positive reviews improve sales figures by up to 35%, but you can only get them if you accept the possibility of some lukewarm or bad reviews.
In addition, the marketing opportunity provided by a bad review is huge: it can improve your brand image and trust among users if you respond quickly to a bad review, showing understanding and providing a solution to the problem. And they provide valuable information for the marketing, design and manufacturing team: what can be improved in the product and in the online shopping experience?
Become an influencer: social networks
Not all social networks work equally for all brands and all types of products. However, it is interesting to incorporate them into a sales strategy because they can greatly facilitate the user's shopping experience.
For example, Instagram's option to add prices and direct links to a product in photos is improving sales figures and visits for many ecommerce businesses, as customers access the checkout process quickly.
Take advantage of the networks to promote promotions and raise brand awareness with more creative campaigns, and heed the saying that there is nothing better than word-of-mouth to get the word out (or a tweet-tweet).
Boosting engagement: a memorable service
Generating a great first impression is vital to inspire confidence and keep users coming back.
Design and create specific and personalized messages and mails to thank for the purchase, to remember products from a wishlist that may be about to run out, or from a shopping cart that was left half-finished some time ago.
Another key is to offer instant, quality customer service by any means necessary (including increasingly fashionable chatbots), and have a detail such as a discount coupon on the birthdays of your customers, if you have that data.
Remember that a PIM system is the tool that is helping manufacturers and retailers to improve the shopping and product experience in all their channels. Try it for free with Sales Layer and get outstanding teamwork that will improve your customers' experience.