Retail is a multi-trillion dollar global industry in the U.S., a force that has continued to prove its unprecedented growth over the years. One reason behind this is the growing eCommerce industry, which paved the way for online shopping trends.
Stepping inside a retail store is like being transported into a world filled with branded displays and actual interactions with services and products of interest. But as companies provide customers with more ways to shop, shopping has become more instant and convenient than ever.
Visit an online store and you’ll encounter a similar experience converted into a digital format. Although nothing can compare to the fun experience offered by traditional shopping, the rapid adoption of smart devices has allowed eCommerce platforms to provide immersive online experiences to customers. One example is the eCommerce support through augmented reality, an immersive technology that overlays digital lifelike images over real-life environments. This allowed online shoppers to have a better shopping experience even online.
Given the continued success of the eCommerce industry, it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity to increase customer flow and boost online sales. To ensure customers will keep coming back to your store, here are ways to provide a better online shopping experience.
A user-friendly and functional website
The easiest way to put off online customers is to give them a slow-loading website. Since customers have increasingly shorter attention spans, you need to attract their attention in the shortest time possible.
Customers should land on your website with ease using any device. Regardless of the device customers use to access your website, it has to look great, functional, and user-friendly. The website load time should only take less than a few seconds. Remember, your greatest threat isn’t your competitor, but it’s the loading time. If the website is too slow, customers will leave you in a heartbeat.
The same goes for mobile users. Since more people rely on their smartphones to access the internet, you have to expect that users will shop on your website using their smartphones. Thus, you have to optimize the website for mobile users so that they can shop with ease wherever they want.
First impressions still matter when it comes to website appearance. No customer will waste their time browsing a plain-looking website. Keep in mind that there are plenty of competitors out there investing in website aesthetics to grab everyone’s attention.
The website serves as your virtual storefront, so it makes sense to make it look inviting. When choosing layouts, fonts, and color combinations, make sure they will reflect the brand identity. Emphasize website appearance through the right visual balance and informational content.
Never underestimate the power of quality photographs. Besides customer reviews, a product image is what encourages customers to make a purchase. In fact, images give online shoppers a reassuring feeling about the quality of the product they will purchase.
Humans are visual creatures. A website with poor images will not encourage customers to check your lineup. Quality photos give customers the exact feeling as if they’re inside a brick-and-mortar store.
Make the online shopping experience as engaging, real, and immersive as possible by uploading photos and videos of every product. Make it realistic by hiring models to demonstrate the product so customers can easily visualize its size and appearance once worn or used.
For most retailers, customer reviews are scary, especially if a random customer leaves a hurtful comment against your brand. Some even choose to hide comments to prevent bad reviews from casting a shadow on the brand image.
As an entrepreneur, you have to accept the fact that you cannot satisfy all customers. The value of a bad review depends on how you use it to your advantage: you can respond quickly and provide a solution while building trust and brand image or use it to improve the quality of the product. After all, if you’re confident about the quality of your brand, why should you be scared of a bad comment?
Shoppers trust customer reviews 12 times better than any marketing piece because they view it as a vital resource when making a purchase decision. Allow shoppers to post their comments, leave ratings, and upload photos to encourage others to buy your product.
These three strategies will give your customers the most meaningful experience possible on your shopping website. To summarize, the online shopping experience is all about making the buying process convenient for shoppers. Follow these tips and shoppers will certainly think highly of your brand, making them come back for more.