Though e-commerce is no longer a new phenomenon, its relevance has been increasing with each year that passes. In fact, as per a 2016 study by comScore and UPS, 51% of shoppers buy goods online versus in-store, which has risen from 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014. With over half of the population turning to digital for everyday purchases, it would be in any retailer’s best interest to re-evaluate the shopping experience offered in order to optimize the customer experience and maximize profits.
If you’re determined to offer a winning online shopping experience that will breed loyalty while augmenting your bottom line, keep the following four tips in mind:
Ensure optimal viewing on all platforms (especially mobile)
The rising popularity of online shopping has a host of contributing factors, including but not limited to expedited delivery times, promotional discounts, the ability to read user-generated reviews, and more.
However, perhaps the biggest driving force towards the propensity to shop online is the convenience offered via mobile devices: Forrester predicts that e-commerce activity will reach 270 million people to the tune of $523 billion by 2020, up from 244 million buyers at $335 billion in 2015, largely on account of the increased propensity of buying on mobile.
In order to access the purchasing power of the mobile-savvy customer, it’s absolutely necessary to ensure optimal viewing and functionality across all platforms (desktop, iOS, Android, tablet, etc.) so as not to deter potential buyers on account of poor viewing and UX capabilities. Lastly, keep the amount of copy low and the emphasis on imagery high, both in terms of quality and showing the full scope of the relevant product.
Empower the buyer with an easy, secure payment experience
Consumers are wary to divulge their personal details as basic as their name and email address, let alone their payment details. Be sure your e-commerce site is encrypted via Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to foster buying confidence in your consumers.
Furthermore, take active measures to eliminate shopping cart abandonment, the rate of which is a whopping 65.23%. A number of factors contribute to users halting the online purchasing experience, including the presence of too many forms and fields, no guest checkout option, and hesitancy regarding the total cost of the basket.
If a consumer is already on your site looking at your products and adding them to the cart, you’ve already won half the battle, and you know they’re serious about wanting those products. It would be a shame to lose them at this crucial part of the process, so encourage successful checkout completion by allowing them to choose from a variety of payment methods in addition to credit cards and Paypal.
Splitit is an option that will help you encourage purchases, empowering consumers to buy via interest-free monthly installments with no credit application required, thereby alleviating potential hesitation and working with users’ budgets in mind.
Guide through personalization
Personalization is the name of the game in a successful digital strategy that will not only encourage user purchases but also help foster loyalty. The 2016 Conversion Rate Optimization Report by Econsultancy and RedEye found that 92% of businesses saw increased conversation rates once they started to implement personalization features, though less than a quarter of businesses actually utilize this technology.
As most buyers both in-store and online are amenable to casual browsing, optimize the pre-purchase experience by learning the individual consumer’s behaviors, interests, and former browsing history, and use this data to tailor a personalized queue of recommended items.
This is precisely what Best Deals Today does by analysing user data and suggesting items that will best suit a specific user’s interests and needs. By suggesting specific recommended items that will catch the user’s eye from the get-go, he or she is more likely to spend increased time on a site, and purchase suggested products.
Test and Test Again
A winning e-commerce strategy can’t be built overnight, so as always, it’s key to test and then test again. However, once you get a little more acquainted with consumer behavior and psychology, you’ll begin to understand what makes users more amenable to completing online purchases so you can meet them halfway.
Never neglect to keep the customer’s interests and propensities at the fore, so that you’ll consistently offer an online shopping experience that will provide value for the consumer and more lucrative conversions for your business.
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