Even when shopping online, the customer experience still matters, which is why you need an e-commerce strategy.
While e-commerce has opened up new opportunities for retailers, it’s also created more competition. It’s easy for consumers to jump from site to site while shopping if something doesn’t meet their needs.
As e-commerce becomes more and more popular, so too must your brand’s e-commerce strategy evolve. Just like you would focus on the customer experience in-store — fast checkout speeds, attractive displays, products kept in stock, etc. — the same needs to be true online.
Use this checklist to make sure your e-commerce website is on track.
- Shipping Speed
When shopping in-store, customers can walk out with a purchase in hand. E-commerce obviously isn’t quite that fast (yet!) but many consumers still expect speed. Products that take five weeks to arrive is too long. At most, a week or two is the general standard — and preferably sooner. Remember, when you’re selling online you’re competing with digital giants like Amazon who have next-day shipping (or in some cases same-day shipping). Even if you can’t make that guarantee, the sooner it ships, the better.
Have you ever been shopping on a U.S. site and wanted to know what you were spending in Canadian dollars? The same can be true in reverse. The beauty of e-commerce is that your customer base isn’t limited. Anyone from anywhere in the world can shop, so make it easy to do so. Providing the option to see totals in different currencies can create a smoother experience for your customer.
- Shipping Presentation
How do your products arrive in the customer’s hand? We don’t just mean what shipping provider you’re using — we mean the actual look and feel. For instance, Canadian retailer Melanie Lyne ships their clothing in corrugated cardboard boxes or heavy gauge plastic, and the clothing arrives on the hanger, not crumpled up and stuffed in a bag. The little details make a difference.
- Competitive Pricing
A study by Shopify showed that 80% of respondents consider pricing a decisive factor before buying a product or service. This comes down to understanding your consumers. What are they willing to spend and what is the competition doing? If you’re selling the exact same product that is featured on another site at a higher price, which site will a customer go to? Retail data can really help you hone in on your pricing, and online exclusive deals can also go a long way. For instance, offering a discount to newsletter subscribers, or a 24-hour flash sale and having a limited-time discount can drive sales big time.
- Website Specifics
Navigation and search, an attractive design, loading speed, enough bandwidth to keep your site up and running… These can all seem like minor details, but they are the backbone of your e-commerce website and need to be in place for the site to run effectively. If your online retail site won’t load, the majority of customers might not hang around or hit refresh — they might just go to another site.
- Easy Checkout
It can be frustrating to say the least when you’re shopping online, you have been putting items in your cart, you go to check out… and you can’t find your basket. Or you go to your basket and your selections are gone! Even if those things are in place, other items can easily trip customers up. A hard-to-enter coupon code. Unexpected shipping cost. Having to create a new user account (rather than just using a guest account). These can all contribute to an abandoned shopping cart.
- Take In-Store Tactics Online
In Shopify’s study, 54% of respondents look at the availability of stock and 43% base their decision on whether there’s an easy return policy. After-sale care ranked highly too, meaning following up with the customer, answering any questions they have, responding to criticism, etc.
Even though they’re shopping online, customers still expect a great experience from e-commerce merchandisers. A well-rounded site can take just as much work as maintaining a bricks-and-mortar location, but it can also create more opportunities for revenue growth.
Do you need help fine-tuning your online shopping experience? Storesupport Canada is here for you. We can make your e-commerce strategy consumer friendly and help you get the results you want. Contact us today to learn more. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.