The vast potential of Internet has made it easier for businesses to target and reach out to a large number of people. ECommerce has removed the boundaries of location and area allowing businesses to target audience globally. Sales of eCommerce have grown at an average rate of 19 percent in the last decade and this trend is expected to continue in coming years. ECommerce sales are expected to triple in the next year itself. With customers growing tech-savvy and increasing penetration of Internet in lives, eCommerce businesses are capitalizing on the benefits of eCommerce.
The growth of eCommerce has increased competition within traditional and retail markets. Brick and mortar stores are struggling to maintain their market share. But, the growing number of eCommerce businesses has also resulted in stiff competition with each retailer fighting to gain and maintain their market share. Similarly, there is an intense competition among the eCommerce stores and every new entrant in the market is vying to make a place. Some eCommerce stores are focusing on just one product or product category while others are offering a large pool of products across categories.
So, the basic questions every eCommerce business is facing today – what can be done to ensure the shopping experience remains a pleasant one? How is it possible to get more traffic and sales on the website? What will interest visitors coming to the website?
First and foremost, eCommerce businesses need to understand the importance of having an intuitive and appealing online store. The overall user experience of the online store can make the difference between a prospect and a customer. Hence it is important to focus on making improvements to the online store for better returns.
Here are 10 improvements that every online eCommerce store needs to do to be successful:
1. Implementing Instant Search and AutoComplete Feature
Customers today have become smart! They know exactly what they are looking for. With the easy presence of information online, researching and gathering information has become simple. Smart customers have the habit of checking products across different online stores and find the best deal. So, when a visitor comes to your online store looking for a particular product, you need to make their search easier. Simply implementing simple search functionality where the visitor needs to type in the brand name and product details is surely not a good idea. Your store needs to be intuitive and the best way to achieve this is by using Instant search and autocomplete.
Presence of instant search and autocomplete feature in search box not only reduces efforts in finding products but also gives a quick insight on whether the product is present on the store or not.
2. Providing Simplified / One-Page Checkout
It has been observed that a single page checkout improves the conversion rate compared to a longer checkout process. For example, the Vancouver Olympics store put up two different options for checkout – a single page and a multiple pages. It was observed that the single page checkout performed 21 percent better than the other option.
The reason behind this is basic human behavior. When you have a multiple page checkout, it causes friction and distraction at the point of sale. There are higher chances that the customer will leave the checkout process in between and leave the website. With a one page checkout, the store reduces the chances of abandoned carts. Remember, every missed out potential order is a loss of money for the business.
Example site to check the simplified / one-page checkout feature: Olympic.org | Sephora.
3. Making the Site Multilingual
Today, customer experience is about personalization. Any customer would love to be addressed in their native language. Having someone talk to them in their language creates a connection and helps in the long run. This is equally true when it comes to online shopping. There is a better chance of making a sale. Translating a website will take little efforts but its benefits are enormous. Making the website multi-lingual will help you to explore new markets as the current markets are already saturated.
Example website to check multilingual features: Xiaomi | JJsHouse.com.
4. Improving the Quality of Product Photo
A good quality photo can make up for a thousand words. Images appeal to people, and it is the best way to catch their attention. Every online store needs to invest in good, high-quality photographs. Online shoppers find images reassuring and identifying what they are looking for. It’s a visual world, and eCommerce businesses need to capitalize on this. To get a look and feel of the products, it is important to zoom in and see the product. If the images are not high quality, they do not zoom in properly and images tend to get distorted. Also, make sure that you maintain the consistency of photographs. Add high-level photos along with close up shots. The quality of images makes the difference between a customer staying or leaving the website.
Example sites to check a good example of product photo: Nike | VeryVoga.com.
5. Publishing Product Video
Videos are the best way to provide knowledge about the product in a precise, practical and time effective manner. Videos also enhance the overall experience of the website. It reduces the clutter on the screen as it eliminates the need for multiple images and detailed information. If you do not add videos on the eCommerce site, you are surely missing out on a lot of things. You are losing out on the audience. There is a higher chance that your videos will show up in search results. Statistics reveal that 73 percent more visitors who watch a product video will buy them. Consumers also think that video is one of the best ways to understand the working of a product.
For example, you can check many products on Amazon.com where product videos are available. Here is one of them.
6. Adding Live Chat option for Customer Support
Customer support tales of customers can be really horrifying to hear. Not getting support after purchasing a product can be really frustrating. A bad experience with customer support translates into a lost customer for life. Presence of live chat can turn your online store browsers into buyers. It has been seen that customers are more likely to purchase from an online store that offers online chat and support option.
To implement the live chat option on your site you can check our article Top 8 Online Live Chat Tools / Software to Use in your Website.
7. Improving the Site Navigation for Easy Product Search
There needs to be consistency in the website layout and navigation. It needs to be intuitive and easy for customers to move around the website. Imagine losing customers because they cannot find products on the website and go away because assuming you don’t stock them. The structure of the main website and flow of products decides how easy it is for a visitor to find a product. If you are offering a multi-lingual website, it is better to create a landing page asking for a selection of preferred language. Maintain consistency of terminology and language across the website.
8. Modifying the Product Description with More Accurate Information
There are endless options for every product available on the market. The best way to decide on a product is by comparing two similar products and making an analysis. So, it is very important to give an accurate and precise description of every product on the website. If your product has 10 USPs and you simply mention 8 in the description, you will lose out on the competitors. You also need to modify product description to make it search engine friendly. It will help rank your products for relevant queries.
Recommended for you: 5 Key Factors that Affect the Engagement of eCommerce Videos.
9. Optimizing the Site for Speed
There are so many eCommerce sites available at the fingertips of the user. Don’t expect them to stay on a slow website waiting for the products to load. Instead of waiting, they will simply move to the next website. Responsiveness and speed of the website make a major part of the overall user experience. No one likes to wait in this fast-paced world, so ensuring your online store is optimized for speed is important.
You may like: 5 Best Trending ECommerce Product ideas to Sell in 2018.
10. Optimizing the Site UI for All Screen Size (Computer/Mobile/Tablet)
When you talk about responsive, it is not just the speed of the site, but its friendliness to different devices and screen resolutions. The flow of the online store should be as smooth on the website as on a mobile device. There is a growing dependence on mobile devices, and shopping on a mobile device is the latest trend. In fact, the number of mobile-only shoppers has also increased. So while selecting the design elements of your store, pay special attention to its mobile-friendliness. You cannot miss out on the mobile conversions as you will surely lose a lot of business.
You may also like: Top 5 Recommended Elements of eCommerce Website Design of 2018!
Your online store needs to be structured in a way that it makes your products stand out. Missing out on clicks and buys means loss of business and customers. You need to make plans to get new customers while retaining the existing ones. Your eCommerce store plays a central role in this entire process. It is the face of your business in the online world, and you surely need to make a strong impression. Better the experience of a website, higher will be the traffic and more is the probability of conversions. Managing an eCommerce store can be a challenge, so plan it properly!
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