In recent years, there has been a boom in online shopping. This has drastically changed the way people shop for goods and services. Since customers can just browse online and shop for any product they are interested in and move on to the next site if their needs are not met, businesses have to adapt. To help interested customers transition into actual buyers, businesses need to offer an optimized and seamless customer shopping experience.
A far cry from traditional shopping
In traditional brick-and-mortar shopping, customers have to physically go to the store, browse the products, and then make a purchase. This process can be time-consuming and inconvenient, especially if the store is located far from the customer’s home.
With online shopping, customers can shop from the comfort of their own homes. They can easily compare prices and products from different retailers and make a purchase without having to leave their homes. This convenience is one of the major reasons why online shopping has become so popular.
Online stores also offer a vast selection of products for customers to choose from. In a traditional brick-and-mortar store, customers are limited to the products that are physically present in the store.
Finally, online shopping also offers customers the ability to save money. Due to the competitive nature of the online marketplace, retailers are constantly offering discounts and special deals to attract customers. This means that customers can often find better deals on the products they want to purchase.
Why a seamless shopping experience matters
When customers go online to browse certain products, they are already interested, to begin with. As a business, it is your job to ensure that when they land on your website, you can convince them enough to proceed to buy your products.
If somewhere along the buying process they feel that you are unable to meet their needs, they can easily exit your site and look for a different platform that can address their needs better. This is where knowing what constitutes a seamless customer shopping experience that will translate to actual sales matters.
First impression matters
Your website is the digital version of your business. As the first thing that people encounter when dealing with your brand, it needs to make a positive impact. This is where website design plays a critical role as a badly designed site is only going to lead to a loss of interest.
If your website is difficult to use or navigate, don’t expect potential customers to stay around. A website that is confusing or slow will lead people to likely give up and go somewhere else.
Businesses must invest in a well-designed and user-friendly website. If customers can easily find what they are looking for and check out quickly, they are much more likely to make a purchase.
Investing in a good online shopping experience is essential for any business that wants to stay competitive. With so many people shopping online, it is simply not enough to have a good product. On top of a sellable product, they also need to offer a seamless buying experience. This is the easiest way to convince customers to proceed with the purchase.
Provide all relevant product details
Once you start posting products on your website, your next step is to ensure that they come with accurate product descriptions. Ever seen those horror stories online of customers thinking they were buying something but ended up with something totally different?
There may be instances when the customers were not paying attention to what they’re buying. However, a lot of times, it had to do with sellers not providing clear, correct, and complete details of what they are selling.
This is pretty common with product dimensions. Some online sellers do not pay close attention to the numbers they are putting out there. Some might even forget to add these details. This leads to multiple queries from potential buyers clarifying the information.
You can save yourself and the customer from a lot of hassle by just being upfront with everything. Take the time to list down relevant product details. Include answers to frequently asked questions even. You’ll be surprised how much this will improve your conversion rates.
Add the necessary visuals
With online shopping, customers do not have a way to see the item they are interested in personally. This is why they will need to rely on the visual assets you put out there to decide whether they should push through with the purchase or not.
Quality images and videos are critical for this matter. You’ll want to make sure that products are accurately photographed and filmed as possible. This way, customers will know exactly what to expect when they finally get it on their hands.
It helps to use visual aids that will better illustrate the scale of the item too. And if you’re selling something which the customer is expected to use for certain operations or applications, having a corresponding video showing how the product is supposed to work can be most helpful.
Make checkout easy
Too many times customers click on an item, add it to their cart, proceed to checkout but end up abandoning the purchase altogether. While there are instances when this could be attributed to a change of mind, many a times, this may be due to the checkout process being too difficult, too long, or too much of a hassle.
It’s common for most businesses to use the checkout process as a means to gather as much relevant data as they can from customers. These details can be used to market them relevant products in the future. However, it needs to tread a fine line because dragging out the process too much will just lead to annoyed buyers that will just cancel the order altogether.
To make sure that you are getting the best of both worlds, upon checkout, be sure to:
- Give shoppers the chance to review their cart and to make changes if necessary
- Be transparent on the potential fees that customers may be subjected to on top of the item’s actual price
- Offer a variety of shipping options to suit the customer preferences e.g., slower but cheaper, faster but will cost more
- Ask for the customer’s complete details
- Verify if the customer wants to use a different address from the billing address
- Provide a variety of payment options
- Offer a final look at the order, complete with all the details, so the customer can review it before clicking send
A positive shopping experience makes your brand look good
When you strive to offer customers a seamless and hassle-free online shopping experience, you can turn them into loyal customers. On top of that, they can become brand advocates who will be more than happy to spread positive word of mouth about your business to other potential buyers out there. Considering how potential buyers always consider recommendations from people they trust when buying products online, you can be sure that this will bring about a positive impact on your sales and conversion.