Unfortunately, a successful eCommerce site is about more than just your products. Let’s take a look at how you can improve the customer experience on your eCommerce site.
Include some personal info about your brand – customers care who they’re buying from
The first thing you need to look at when improving the customer experience on your eCommerce site is the connection your brand has with your audience. Your brand shouldn’t be a faceless entity to your customers. You need to build a rapport and establish some trust. An easy way to do this is to include some personal info about your brand, such as who the people are behind the business, how you got started, and what your ethos is.
Categorise your products in a clear and logical way
Making your site easy to navigate is going to improve your customer experience massively, and this is especially important when it comes to categorising your products! Some customers may want to idly browse whatever is featured on your site but most of us come looking for something specific, and it is up to you to make this easily achievable.
For example, if someone is looking for a woman’s coat, then a logical path could be Clothes – Women – Coats & Jackets – Coats, or Clothes – Winter – Women – Coats. You should also provide the functionality to filter results by price, popularity, sale items etc.
Not only will this improve customer experience, but it will also help your website be understood and contextualised better by search engines.
Make a feature out of new and trending products
You should also consider having a new/trending products section on the homepage and related category pages. You can further improve your customer’s experience by making easy and logical links to similar or related products, such as the ‘customers also buy’ section when an item is added to the shopping basket. This personal touch can really make an impression and even result in extra sales … Ka-ching!
Personalise the experience for loyal customers
One aspect of shopping that customers often find lacking in eCommerce is the personal touch, but you can provide this for customers who have an account with you and massively improve their eCommerce experience! You can provide your devoted customers with recommendations based on previous purchases, greet them with their name when they log in, offer loyalty rewards such as discounts, early access to sales, or even free next day delivery.
Incentivise customers to sign up for your newsletter
For those who don’t have an account, you should include incentives to make one or to sign up for your newsletter, such as a discount voucher, with the promise of further rewards in the future. You can read our previous blog on creating an unbeatable customer loyalty program.
Keep items in the basket for customers who are browsing
Nothing ruins an online shopping experience like accidentally clicking the back button or an unintended link only for your basket to be empty when you return. If you can, include the functionality on your site to save any items in the basket until the next time the customer visits using that device.
Some customers may spend an extensive amount of time browsing and researching, but for whatever reason aren’t able or don’t want to pay yet. Having a saved basket prevents that being wasted time and might even remind them of items they’d forgotten next time they visit.
Clearly indicate delivery options and highlight free delivery if it’s an option
No one likes delivery fees. Most of the time, if a customer desperately wants a product, they’ll fork out for the next day/express delivery, but if they have to pay shipping costs for a £10 product to arrive in a week’s time, you could well lose the sale. Clearly indicate all the options you offer for delivery, with their respective costs.
If you can afford to offer free delivery (however long it takes), highlight this option to show that you understand, and if you can’t offer it, be transparent and include it in the basket total from the off.
Have a clear and fair returns policy
It’s difficult to know if the products you buy online are going to meet your expectations. Without holding the product in your hand, trying it on, whatever you need to do with it, there’s a good chance item are going to get returned. If your returns policy is easy to find and provides a fair window for returns (preferably with free postage), then customers are far more likely to take a chance on your store, and even buy alternative sizes or colours for the items they return.
Streamline the checkout process and allow checkout as guest
No one enjoys filling out extensive forms every time they go through online checkout. You want your customers to make accounts and give you their email but sometimes people just don’t have time and there’s no point potentially sacrificing a sale just for a bit of data capture. If you make the checkout experience a good one, they’ll be back. And, if signing up provides extra benefits and makes the process even quicker next time, then they’ll probably do that too.
To improve the eCommerce customer experience, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Which eCommerce sites do you enjoy using? What annoys the hell out of you when you visit a site? What impresses you? If your customers have a good experience shopping with you, they’re sure to come back.
If you’re in the market for a revamp, why not take a look at some of the eCommerce sites we’ve built?