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Hackernoon logoWhat Your Customers Want out of your eCommerce Store? by@ashely-john

What Your Customers Want out of your eCommerce Store?

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@ashely-johnAshely John

Entrepreneur

It’s not always an easy job to run an eCommerce store. There are different B2C and B2B relations involved. You have a store to set up, products to upload, a business to promote, orders to fulfill, payments to manage securely.

It might seem very simple, but you might just not agree while on the ground zero though. Look at your eCommerce store (app or website) from the shopper’s perspective, and you might find that everything is not as perfect as you assumed it to be.

Especially, when it’s an online retail business –the most competitive business market on the planet, you have got a hell lot of competition. You need to plot-up everything like a pro. You can’t just step away or ignore even the minute details and its perspective from the actual customer’s viewpoint.

We are going to discuss the same in this article. We will go through how your eCommerce store can secure an upper hand at almost every stage of the setup by laying a strong foundation. We will try to cover everything in the simplest and briefest way possible.

I assume, you run an eCommerce business and already using some eCommerce platform. We will look into how you can set up the stuff from here and convert your existing eCommerce platform into an impressive destination for the shoppers. So let’s begin.

The eCommerce store design

There is a saying- It’s hard to love people who don’t love themselves. I know, I am not a love guru, but I can relate the same saying to your eCommerce business.

‘It’s hard to trust an eCommerce website which doesn’t care about its exhibition’.

I mean, visitors in the Apple stores don’t appreciate them in vein. They know, it’s a trustworthy brand, and what to expect from a brand like it. The presentation of your e-shop influences the following attitudes in your customers-

· How much do you care about your business?

· How serious are you about its success?

· How much do you care about your customers?

The design of your eCommerce platform or website gives out an impression of how gravely you care about your business. If you care about your business, then you certainly care about the customers who bring revenue to it.

So yes, your eCommerce store design matters and good design do help you make good sales. Be advised that an eCommerce store design doesn’t only make the layouts. It also constitutes every picture, every CTA button, and every word you write on it.

So hire a good website designer and tell him/her how much you care about your business, store and its design. Leverage the skills of a content writer and describe every word in the most pleasant way possible.

Speed of your web store

When it comes to visiting a website, a delay of every second count. Did you know that 47% of the eCommerce shoppers expect an eCommerce store to load within 2 seconds, and 40% just abandon if it takes one more second to load? A delay of every second result in a reduction of at least 7% in your overall conversion rate.

Could you interpret what it means?

If you are making $100,000/day, a delay of 1 second in your site’s loading time will result in a loss of at least $2.5 million in a year.

So, if you think you are lagging on this front, make no mistake and optimize your eCommerce store’s speed today. Here are a few tips and tools you might consider using:

· Analyze your website’s speed using Google’s page speed insight tool and implement the suggestions given by the tool.

· Analyze your mobile site’s speed on think with google tool and optimize as per suggestions of the tool.

· Ensure that you are using a mobile responsive eCommerce platform.

· Consider getting a good CDN service like Cloudflare or AWS. They make even bulky websites faster.

The product catalog

Conventionally, we believe that customers already have something in their minds when they visit an eCommerce store. However, it’s also a fact that significant sales occur when customers are simply window shopping and something strikes their attention.

There are two things you must consider while working on your product catalog:

· Make it easier to find a product already in their minds.

· Present the catalog strategically to the window shoppers.

You can implement both the optimizations by simply employing further two optimizations:

1. Implement an unambiguous categories skeleton: Keep things simple and present an easily understandable category tree on the home page. For example, Amazon has a massive catalog of products, but its simple category tree makes it so meek to navigate to the products one have been looking on the site.

Or you can take a cue from Zappo’s home page. It uses a simple header menu instead of a category tree to give different ways to find a product.

2. Implement an advanced search box: Product search box is as important as the category tree. In fact, most of the prospects who are more likely to make a purchase, directly search and navigate to the desired product pages. The search box must not only return the search results but also provide an advanced filter to refine the results.

There could be many ways to do it. Here are two examples of how Amazon and Asos have done it:

Amazon provides a category filter that limits the results to a specific category alone.

Or, you can go the Asos’s way, which gives out search results suggestions from all categories, and you can select from them.

Getting your product pages right

How do you persuade a customer to purchase from your store in 10 seconds?

Yes, 10 seconds, or probably even shorter than that. You know how tough the eCommerce competition these days is. You get only a few seconds to make an impression, and if everything goes right, people land on your products pages.

Now, it all depends on your product page to make another impression and persuade the customer to make a purchase. Product pages are nothing but the salesman of your store. It’s upon them to present a product, serve relevant information, amuse customers with a USP, and clarify every doubt raised by the customers.

How do you do that? Look no further than Best Buy’s product page. It’s all you need for creating an inspiring product page. It answers every possible question you might think about asking a salesperson in a showroom.

The efficiency of the description part below-the-fold depends on how much details you can provide the product.

Though I haven’t talked much about it here, it’s still an important part of your product page. One suggestion I would give is to make sure your eCommerce store builder is using an HTML editor to write product descriptions. A WYSIWYG editor can be extremely useful for designing beautiful descriptions.

The virtual shopping cart and checkout process

When customers come this far, the only thing that is left now is making a purchase. So how could you screw up the things from here? Well, let me tell you that the trickiest part starts exactly at this time. In fact, out of 7 reasons for shopping cart abandonment, 6 are directly linked to faults in the virtual shopping cart and checkout process.

Unexpected shipping cost, limited payment methods, limited shipping options, unsecured payment system, compulsory sign up required, long checkout forms, unhelpful shopping cart, everything is linked to your shopping cart and the checkout process itself.

Let me tell you what experts suggest to optimize your shopping cart and checkout process:

1. Let not the shipping cost comes as a surprise. Maybe you can just include the shipping cost in the retail price and offer to ship free of cost. Alternatively, you can also offer multiple shipping options, something like free regular shipping, premium quick or scheduled shipping.

2. If you are offering free shipping, declare it on the product page itself.

3. Declare accepted payment methods in the footer of the site.

4. Offer a cart review option with all the details of the purchase declared before going for the checkout.

5. Offer guest checkout and social login on the checkout page. Asking for compulsory sign up before completing the checkout process is definitely a deal-breaker.

You can ask them to just enter their email address, which you can use to sign them up after completing the checkout. Something like this-

6. Pre-fill all possible detail in the checkout form. For example, if the user is already signed in, no need to ask for email, name, phone number, etc. again. You can fetch them from the records. However, you can still give an option to edit the auto-filled details.

Besides this, there are several other things you can auto-fill. For example, Autofill City, State, and Nation once the user enters zip-code in the Address form. Give the option to select the same shipping and billing address. Don’t ask for unnecessary details if you have enough information. For example, Landline number is of no use if you already have a user’s mobile number.

Post-checkout optimizations

Well, the journey doesn’t end after making a sale. It, in fact, starts from here. Did you know that Repeat customers make 40% of a store’s revenue? After all once a customer, 27% of your users are more likely to return to your store. It’s not bad, considering there is a 54% chance that they will make a purchase.

So yes, things do not end after making a sale. You need to repeat sales to make 40% of your further revenue. For that to happen, you have to start from the very beginning itself –i.e. the thank you page.

Once a customer completes a purchase, present a strategic thank you page, which is more than a mere thank you message. You have got several ways to make the most out of your thank you pages.

You can encourage them to share their purchase in return for an award.

You can enroll them for your customer loyalty program and offer loyalty rewards.

You can up-sell other relevant products along with some rewards for the purchase.

Is it everything?

Not yet! You still have something more to do. Don’t forget the order status update. You now have to let them track their orders from the order history page. Apart from this, trigger regular status updates using SMS, email, or Push notifications. You can start the series of messages as soon as they complete the purchase. Something like this-

· First- Thank you message for making a purchase

· Second- Order’s Confirmed Status update

· Third- Shipping update from time to time

· Fourth: Confirmation of the delivery

· Fifth: Asking delivery feedback

· Sixth (after a week): Requesting a product review

· Seventh (2–3 months, if the customer has gone inactive): A follow with an offer or a discount code.

Over to you

Of course, running an eCommerce store is not an easy job; but easy stuff gives no rewards. Only a complex business like eCommerce could dare. You need constant advancement in your strategies. What works today, may turn vague tomorrow. If you have dared to enter a market where likes of Amazon and Alibaba are ruling, you cannot afford to ignore even the minute details of your business.

From choosing an eCommerce platform to going live with your online store, and from getting website traffic to making repeat sales, you need exceptional strategies to make remarkable profits.

What’s your best foot for running an eCommerce business? Anything you might want to add in the list? You are most welcome.



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