The fact that the e-commerce industry has been steadily growing is nothing new in the world of the Internet. A prediction by Internet Retailer claims that online spending in the U.S. will generate $355 billion in 2016 and this number will continue to surpass the $400 billion mark each year by 2018.
Because there is so much competition, consumers want a pain-free shopping experience that will match their in-person shopping expectations. As an online business owner, aim for that pain-free shopping experience. These 5 ways will prevent customer frustration from the start by providing an optimal e-commerce shopping experience.
1.Optimize Your Website for a Fast Sale
Be sure your e-commerce site loads extremely quickly across a variety of mobile devices including tablets and desktops. Because your customers don't have time, patience or even extra data usage, optimize the performance of your website that caters to the various mobile needs of the consumer whether they're on their mobile, tablet or desktop. Better yet, pay attention to the signs that tell you it's time to upgrade to a more integrated e-commerce platform that can offer an even wider variety of applications and software thus helping to bring up a quick sale.
2. Make the Check Out Process Super Simple
Provide a small visual letting your customers what stage they are in the checkout process. Just like an in-person shopping experience where the customer knows to proceed to a check-out counter, provide a small visual letting your customers know the stage of the check-out process. The right shopping cart software or software applications will automate your e-commerce customer service and streamline the e-commerce shopping experience.
3. Maintain a Strong Visual Appeal
Choose visuals that compliment your text. Images and videos are paramount in engaging an audience. The wrong visuals or irrelevant texts draw attention away from the valuable content and links you want your customers to pay attention to. Coupled with the fact that your customer are not able to try on items like an in-person store, the next best thing for them is identify that they are getting what they want.
4. Increase Conversion Rates by Providing Live Chat Support
Implement robust shopping technology that allows for instant customer connection which is also the growing trend predicted for 2017 and allows a greater online social reach while providing convenient answers that customers need and want. Installing live chat software can significantly increase conversion rates and appeal to the customers' need for answers in real time so they can ask relevant questions about products without having to wait for an email response or pick up a phone.
5. Offer Free Shipping
Because customers don't have the ability to interact, see, try and touch the products like they would in a real store, providing free shipping will win the hearts of your customers over and over providing you can absorb the cost. All the big box retailers offer this free service, and to stay on the top of your game, this is a service all B2Bs will be servicing. As we move into 2017, the new standard will be the Amazon Prime-Like Shopping Experience or an automated return processing system. Including integrated software solutions such as ReadyReturn provides a user-friendly portal for customers and retailers.
More than ever, it has become easier than ever for small business and companies to improve the way they communicate and serve customers from all over the world. The key is staying abreast of the technologies that will allow you to optimize the e-commerce shopping experience.