The eCommerce business is rising in popularity, but not every online business endeavor is successful. Just as in the operations of brick-and-mortar businesses, success in eCommerce requires a careful strategy, technical expertise and an ongoing dedication to keeping customers satisfied. But what exactly do customers want from online businesses? The following are some of the most important ways to enhance customer experience when part of an eCommerce strategy.
1. Shopping Cart Functionality
Online business is all about instant gratification. Customers want to be able to update their shopping carts in a matter of seconds and get back to shopping. However, without an efficient shopping cart platform, it can take several minutes for the cart to update and reload, which can be very frustrating. Your company can avoid this problem by choosing a shopping cart platform that offers plenty of options for consumers and that can update quickly after a product is chosen.
2. Page Loading
Customers aren’t patient. Website load times have become incredibly quick and people expect to have instant access. If your pages don't load fast enough, or if they fail to load at all, customers are likely to move on to a competitor's website without a second thought. If you want your online endeavor to be a success, make sure your eCommerce hosting provider is capable of delivering your content to consumers in the blink of an eye. Nothing will drive traffic away from your site faster than poor load times.
3. Multiple Payment Options
Although some consumers prefer to use credit cards on every site they visit, others would rather use a processing platform such as PayPal to avoid credit card fraud. For this reason, it's important to include multiple payment options for your customers to choose from. Otherwise, you may lose sales simply because a consumer wasn't comfortable with your chosen payment method. You’ll want to make purchasing as easy and straightforward as possible. Offering multiple options to customers will open your opportunities for a larger audience and help increase your chances at profitability.
4. Product Images
One of the primary disadvantages of online shopping is the inability for consumers to see the item they’re purchasing in person. This lack of visualization leads to consumer anxiety, which can decrease sales. Yet you can combat this problem by providing consumers with clear, distinct images of each product you offer. Whenever possible, take high-resolution photos of the product from multiple angles with a quality camera and upload them to your site.
To ensure that the focus remains on the product, take pictures on plain backgrounds. You should also display product images so that consumers can view them easily without making browser adjustments. You should also allow consumers to zoom in on each image to see more detail and it’s been proven that large photos of products will increase sales. Putting some effort into your photos will go a long way toward making your online transactions successful.
The eCommerce market represents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs everywhere, and it will only continue to grow as more consumers become comfortable with online shopping. The key to success in eCommerce is to understand the needs of your online consumers. They’re much like traditional consumers in that they want to be able to clearly see what they’re buying and have a quick and easy way to purchase it. However, they’re also more selective, less patient and more likely to move on to a competitor when your website can't deliver the level of service they’ve come to expect. The more you consider online consumers' desires and cater to them, the higher your conversion rates and overall sales will be.