Cart abandoned! That is the action no e-commerce seller wants to see at their online store.
Many business owners believe they have done their best by releasing a mobile website or online store. However, more goes into creating a riveting online shopping experience that attracts the right customers, converts casual browsing to sales, and engages shoppers long term so they are drawn to an e-commerce store and keep coming back to buy more.
Successful e-commerce operators continually identify and cure potential sources of frustration that diminish the customer’s online shopping experience.
To understand what these issues are, it’s important to examine your e-commerce store from the customer’s point of view.
Following are five major pain points where e-commerce efforts often suffer or fail. Focusing on these can help sellers fix critical mistakes, delight online shoppers, and increase sales.
1. Poor Shopping Experience
A customer’s shopping experience includes everything from the website’s speed to the design, quality of photographs and content, ease of finding information, and navigating the store.
An e-commerce store with high-quality images, engaging text, search features, and all the relevant information a customer needs to make a decision is the gold standard.
If your offline store has a unique aesthetic and brand identity, ensure that your e-commerce store reflects that and goes the extra mile. While many business owners can find it intimidating to recast their retail experience for e-commerce, not doing so is a lost opportunity.
Fortunately, there are several tools and apps now available to create a great online shopping experience without any programming or graphic design skills.
2. Low User Engagement, Retention
An e-commerce website must engage customers from the instant they visit the store online. This involves taking all the possible steps to guide a customer from the browsing stage to the buying stage; not too different from what shopkeepers do offline.
The most potential often lies with customers who have made past purchases. While your brick-and-mortar store may have a friendly policy toward your loyal customers, e-commerce stores can completely overlook existing users who come back to see what’s new.
Offering online-only discount codes, highlighting new products, encouraging users to share their own shopping images, social media feeds, and customer reviews are some basic ways to reward and engage regular visitors.
A dynamic e-commerce store that offers a good mix of familiar and novel content will help retain and upsell regular customers.
3. Mobile Deficiency
Roughly two out of three online orders are made on mobile devices. Clearly, brands cannot afford to ignore the power of a mobile-ready shopping experience.
Using a mobile app results in three times more conversions than a mobile website. An e-commerce site that provides a superior experience on mobile phones immediately gains a competitive advantage.
Today, it is easy, low cost, and low tech to get a mobile app that has a great user experience (UX) and offers all the functionality needed for your store.
Tools like live selling, linking social media content, push notifications and mobile-app-only offers can radically upgrade any e-commerce business.
4. Inadequate Access to Customer Service
An e-commerce store must not become a cold virtual shop front that does not offer a sense of human interaction.
While a clear display of pricing, sizing, information related to shipping and returns, etc. is vital, an e-commerce store must also offer a simple and easy way of connecting the customer with the business, for any kind of query.
Millennials and Gen Z customers are more likely to prefer to chat or text versus making a phone call to customer service. The presence of an active and responsive live chat adds to the credibility of the store and helps in sales conversions.
Including comprehensive product FAQs, an intuitive customer service menu, and setting a service standard for time to respond to customers are a few ways to improve the service experience.
5. Unfriendly Checkout Process
A complicated or inflexible checkout process is one of the major reasons why customers abandon shopping carts just when they were ready to checkout.
Ideally, an e-commerce store must have transparent pricing, not add unexpected taxes or fees, and be as uncomplicated as possible.
Offering various methods of payment is essential so customers can always find a suitable and simple method to pay. Making it easy for customers to make repeat purchases, rewarding customers at the point of checkout, and partnering with trusted payment facilitators are some ways to ensure that your store does not lose customers at the most crucial moment.
Final Thoughts: Social Media, Emerging Tech
In addition to solving these pain points, it’s important to remember that to bring customers to your e-commerce store, you need a social media marketing strategy. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Ensure that you have interesting and fresh social media content and ad campaigns that connect your followers to your online store.
You can also utilize influencer programs and live video across your social media channels to capture the interest of your target audience and bring them to your store.
Today’s customers expect more personalized and interactive experiences online, are interested in integrating technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into their shopping experience and, in general, have high expectations from online sellers.
Luckily, it doesn’t take a technology whiz or even coding skills to create a successful e-commerce store. All you need is a clear vision of what you want to offer your customers and the tools that can help you get there.