In the glory days of department stores, a great retail experience meant an attentive salesperson who was willing to tell you how wonderful your new shoes would look and, after you make a purchase, beautiful shopping bags filled with neatly wrapped items. Online, there are no glistening window displays or fawning sales associates. But it’s still possible to make purchases glamorous, seamless and recurring. Here are a handful of moments that can turn an online purchase into a great customer experience.
1. Product Browsing
The detail page of a product should be simple, right? A few nice pictures, all the salient specs and a logically placed buy button will do. That might be OK if you’re selling a rake. When it comes to displaying discretionary items, however, more will be expected.
For instance, a handful of beautifully lighted product shots from several angles is a must. Buyers should also be able to zoom into the photos to get a sense of the material’s texture and pattern. In addition, photos should have extra padding to allow for the condensed mobile layout. Emotionally compelling copy will help a browser connect more personally with a product.
80 percent of millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000) think videos are helpful when making a purchase.
2. Clicking to Buy
When a user clicks the buy button, a sale is far from definite. Baynard Institute has found that the cart abandonment rate is as high as 69 percent. That means the purchase funnel needs to be as frictionless as possible. In addition, mobile phones now account for half of all ecommerce, which means website layouts need to be responsive to ensure that it’s easy to type in the required info.
Test the placement and readability of buttons and links. Colors, fonts and location can all make a big difference in the usability of forms on desktop and mobile. Many user experience designers will insist on A/B testing different mockups and/or using a focus group to help pinpoint the best layout. Phone numbers for assistance should be linked text so phone users can easily tap to call. Contact forms must have fields that make typing out a message on a phone or tablet a comfortable experience.
3. Typing in Buyer Information
Don’t take any aspect of a shopping cart’s usability for granted. Even if your site integrates a third-party cart, you’ll still need to inspect small elements of the checkout. Can the amount of items in the cart be easily adjusted? Are the form fields for the billing and shipping information readable and in the order you would expect? Small frustrations about the shopping cart can easily lead to abandonment, especially when a product can be bought elsewhere with a couple of clicks. The option to save customer information will definitely be a plus for returning users.
4. Reconsidering the Purchase
Can your site monitor how long a customer has been on the site? If you know a shirt or dress has been sitting in the cart for longer than average, it may make sense to send a push notification as a reminder. Afraid you might lose the sale altogether? Consider sending a discount code in a push notification to nudge the interested customer into completed buyer.
5. After the Purchase
While many retailers may pine for the days of shopping malls and department stores, there are ways ecommerce can be more effective than an in-person purchase. Follow-up purchase emails can turn the impulse buyer into a regular customer. A receipt and tracking information are expected. Writing with a personal tone can make a customer feel more like a friend and that emotional connection can lead to increased sales and positive word of mouth. Tracking purchase intervals can also help identify loyal customers who may be back in your market. Sending this segment of your customer base well-timed updates on preferred products can help foster repeat business.
Onestop Internet is an end-to-end ecommerce solutions provider, combining web development, business intelligence, creative, photo and video studio, and a full-service digital marketing agency to guide brands through the constantly changing world of digital commerce with best practices proven across a portfolio of successful merchants. Contact us to see how we can help your ecommerce enterprise grow.