The human mind is filled with ideas and imaginations. While ideas do not cost anything, the implementation demands a lot of time, effort and money. This is why not many e-commerce entities get to taste the success in the e-commerce race. And, with already existing competition in the e-commerce market, the journey to the success of online businesses has become even more challenging.
In this article, I will be sharing my thoughts on how one can meet the customer’s expectations along with highlighting what’s required to stand out in the e-commerce market.
So, let’s begin.
How to meet customer’s expectations?
Customer is the king they say, and it is completely true. Their requirements, their experience with the website are everything that matters. To help you out with offering what your customers want in an e-commerce website, consider the following points.
1. Pay attention to the website appearance
You would have often heard “First impression is the last impression” and I totally agree with that. When you first interact with someone/something, you get a glimpse of how things are and form a mental image of that. This is exactly what happens when a visitor enters your e-commerce website for the first time.
Your website appearance holds vital importance to create an everlasting impression. When the design looks good, the rest of the things automatically start looking appealing. People feel the hard work that has been put behind to make them worthy enough.
For this matter, my suggestion would be to keep the website design simple, nice and clean. Avoid cluttering on your website. Use quality pictures, have a simplified navigation bar, an easy-to-spot search bar, etc. Ask a web design company, if possible, to do the needful.
2. Optimise product pages
Okay, so you have taken the first step. Now is the time to introduce the user to products by having a self-guided approach to the product page. So, what should be kept in mind for an optimized product page? Take a look below.
- High quality product images
Do you know what the major drawback in online shopping is? It is the inability to touch, hold or feel a product which is why online stores face excessive returns as compared to brick-and-mortar stores.
Customers rely on product pictures &assume it to be a perfect fit. So, the first thing is to use high-resolution pictures, covering the product with every angle, with a zoom-in facility. You need to assure your customers that it is everything they are looking for.
- Precise product description
You can’t expect sales without letting your customers know about the details of the product. They need to know the product’s features or benefits.
Provide a crisp and accurate product description. Stick to the point and avoid writing lengthy theoretical descriptions.
- Ratings and reviews
Include the option to rate a product and leave a review. This helps a prospect in his purchase decision. And most importantly, reviews build credibility.
Do not worry about the negative comments. There are always two sides of a coin. So do not get frightened by a few bad reviews. If they are more in numbers, then it’s a clear signal for some immediate action.
3. Simplify checkout
The journey of the visitor approaches an end at the checkout page. After a prospect has added an item to the cart, take the onus of making them go through a hassle-free checkout.
But! There’s a problem. In fact a few, that troubles online shoppers and forces them to abandon the cart. Let’s have a look at some of those hurdles and understand how you can counter them.
Hurdle 1: High shipping cost
If there’s one thing that kills the purchasing mood instantly, it is the shipping cost. While customers look all set to make a purchase, the introduction of the sudden additional shipping charges forces a customer to abandon the cart.
Solution: Either offer free shipping or highlight the shipping price on the product page so that customers do not get surprised at the checkout.
You can adjust the product price to cover the shipping cost. A slightly over-priced item with free shipping can bring you more conversions than a normal product price with high shipping.
Hurdle 2: Mandatory sign-up
When the road to the successful checkout seems clear and straight, a pit comes in between in the form of mandatory registration, and it is enough to restrict the customer from going forward.
Solution: Offer the Guest checkout facility to your customers or if you are still hell-bent for the sign-in process, introduce the social login option, at least.
Hurdle 3: Limited payment options
The last-minute hurdle for a customer is the unavailability of the desired payment options. And believe me, there cannot be anything more frustrating than taking the user this close to the purchase and then not seeing him converted.
Solution: Cover all the major payment options on your checkout page. Apart from the Debit and Credit Cards, introduce digital wallets as it is a highly preferred option nowadays.
You can also try having a One Page Checkout.
Hurdle 4: No trust signs
People do not trust an online website easily, and it is quite understandable with the number of frauds taking place in the online world.
Solution: Display Security Badges so that your customers do not hesitate while putting their card information. Security signs like Norton Secured, McAfee secure, etc. build the trust factor.
So, that’s all, the must-have for your e-commerce website to deliver amazing user experience and grab higher sales.
After all this, now comes the promotion part- Marketing Products and Acquiring Customers
E-commerce brand promotion
Leverage the power of Social Media
Social media is the key to mark your brand’s online presence. It has the potential to provide you with a wider reach and popularize the brand.
Today, e-commerce retail brands miss no opportunity to be the centre of attention for the netizens, either through announcing some enticing offers or displaying their creativity.
The reason why social media is helpful is that it offers free marketing, though you would have to spend a little amount in running ads initially, to get highlighted.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can prove to be a major boost for your online business. Take the help of Facebook ads and Instagram ads, and shout out to the audience. You will start witnessing the traffic on your website.
Run a referral program
Referral Program is one of the smartest techniques that online businesses use to grow brand awareness and acquire more customers. You can follow the same approach.
Ask users to share your website with others and reward them for every successful referral; which can be a successful user registration or order creation.
The bottom line
What you bring to your audience and how well you tackle your hurdles ultimately decides your e-commerce outcome.
Put your feet in your customer’s shoes and work accordingly.