Before e-commerce, it was safe to say that customers who walked into your store with intent to buy something would, more than likely, walk out with something. Now, that’s not so certain. Customers can get whatever they want, whenever they want, and they’re not afraid to look around for the best deal to get it.
They know you’re not the only store on the Internet that sells what they want and there’s very few times that customers are willing to pay more for the things that they want, that’s why the majority of customers will visit several shops online before choosing on the vendor that meets their needs best.
If you’re not the vendor that meets their particular needs, they will abandon your site without a second thought. But, the good news is that you can buffer yourself from being left by customers through smart designs, worldwide accessibility and functionality, and a great hosted shopping cart.
Store Design and FunctionalityEcommerce Store Page by Jeffrey Kam)
The first thing your customer sees of your site could be the last impression that they get if they decide that your site is too cluttered or frustrating. Many of the best responsive sites make sure to avoid this problem by using big fonts, contrasting colors, instructions to guide the shopper, and navigation features to the top and to the left so that the customer can navigate the site with ease. By designing your site with these qualities in mind, you can ensure that your customer knows exactly what is clickable versus what isn’t as well as guiding their eyes from top to bottom and left to right.
Additionally, your site should utilize design tactics that are not directly interactive or functional, but are used to attract the customer and engage them in your site. Using large pictures on your front pages will allow your site to avoid feeling cluttered as well as send a clear message about who your business is and what you offer that others don’t. The large pictures have the added benefit of increasing your sales by nine percent. Along with the pictures should be clear product descriptions, option previews and prices (including shipping), but using the least amount of words possible, again, to avoid cluttering.
While searching around your site there are three things that the customer should easily be able to find: your call to action buttons, social media buttons and contact information located in an obvious place. These features ask your customers to engage with your product, engage with their friends and family and engage with you directly.
Cart DesignGlassware Order Checkout by Alek Manov)
You may think that once your customer’s cart is full and they click the “checkout” button you’ve, for sure, made a sale. You couldn’t be more wrong. Frequently, with poor checkout and cart design you’ll lose more customers than you can imagine (frequently to competitors). By making sure that your customers have a positive experience from beginning to end, you can make sure that they stick around long enough to buy your product or service.
Make your cart and checkout process as simple as possible with everything listed up front. There are very few things that make customers angrier than overcomplicated sites and fees that they feel are being hidden from them. One of the biggest over-complications that customers hate is forced registration. If the customer wants to register, they will. If they decide to register, make sure they are able to do it in one click with their social media account.
Even if they decide not to register, many customers will still want to search around and will usually use the “checkout” button as a way to price check and comparison shop. Be prepared for this inevitability by allowing your customers to come back and immediately continue checking out, if need be. This can shorten the shopping process, which to some customers, is worth a slightly more expensive price.
Make sure you’re paying attention to how your customers shop and using analytics to check what they look at, what they get stuck on and when they leave the site to hone your store. If a customer’s experience isn’t satisfactory from beginning to end they know that you’re not the only game in town and they will find an experience that they enjoy elsewhere.