Online shopping is the fastest growing and the most preferred mode of shopping nowadays. The convenience coupled with the price, the range and diversity of the products available for the research, comparing and purchasing all done from your own home, drives and strengths greatly consumer’s online purchasing habits. However, this is also highly competitive market, where just good pictures of the product with a checkout function is not enough to succeed. There are decisions to be made in how do you want to introduce your company to the potential customers, the journey that you take your customers on, once they are down the purchasing route which components are crucial for a successful conversion. In order to succeed, you need to be aware of some of the following website components.
Desktop vs. mobile experience
People are increasingly relying on smartphones for making decisions more so than on their laptops. By 2019, the number of mobile users is expected to exceed 5 billion. Consider the mobile as a primary tool for your revenue and business growth and utilize it for allowing people to research and buy your product. Key points are summarised below, for the full review check our blog on mobile first experience.
- Given limited screen space, feature large and high quality product images with easy zoom in functionality
- User friendly search and easy filtering options
- Consider shortening the checkout process
- Utilising some of the mobile phones authentication or digital wallet functionality
- Stay in touch with your customer via push notifications.
High quality visual content
For 93% of your customers the first impression of your website is through visual content not a text. Moreover, 52% of visitors can abandon the site, if it does not look aesthetically pleasing. High quality and clear images of the product are key for triggering purchasing decision-making process. Some of the factors to be considered when compiling a visual content.
- High quality and clear images with good lighting is a must
- Include more than one image to show all the details of the product
- Allow intelligent zoom in function that displays a larger version of the high-quality image
- Provide a shot of the product in the context where it is being used in order to create a further emotional bond where the customer can relate to the experience.
Large product catalog vs. better filters
For retailers who have large product ranges, filters are an essential part of improving online shopping experiences. The more choice you offer, the better filters you need to provide for the customers. Below are top five points you need to know, for more information check out our blog on how to enhance your website’s navigational experience.
- Locate the filters on the left-hand side of the screen
- Deploy and promote filters that are genuinely useful
- Use category-specific filters for easy check of product specifications
- Allow multiple filter selections that do not restrict your visitor of customizing your product catalogue
- For the long specification lists, do not use scrolling in filters, just truncate and provide an expansion option.
If you are aiming for a success, an intuitive navigation is the critical element that you need to execute correctly. The website should be designed and structured in such way that it allows your customers traverse from one web page to another with least mental effort. Take your time to organise the products into categories with the relevant attributes and labels that all make sense for your targeted audience. Some tips below and on our blog.
- The menu bar should include and reference all the important pages
- Use clear labels and visible clickable buttons
- Introduce hierarchy by visually distinguishing between categories and attributes
- Pin the important navigational elements fixed on the screen, maintaining the visibility as user scroll downs the page
- User test the design with a relevant audience to see how they navigate through the website and their perception of categories, attributes and labels.
Efficient check out flow
7 out of 10 shopping carts are abandoned, majority is due to so called window shopping habits, where many will be comparing prices and saving for later. These are a common consumer behaviour and they are unavoidable. However, the other cases are due to customer did not want to create an account and the check-out process was too long. Some of the points are summarised below, for the full review check our blog.
- Display the most important information that you want to gather about your customer first
- Offer alternative forms of login to your site, such as guest login or social login
- Make the entire check out process visible to your customer
- Provide multiple shipping options
- Don’t forget to thank your customer for completing the purchase.
Clear and visible on the website return policy enforces confidence in buyers. Even if the customer is disappointed with the product, having an easy to find return policy coupled with providing professional customer service can actually increase the likelihood of them returning to your website. However, in order to prevent return at the first place, provide clear and accurate description of the product including all the specifications and a good quality image.
- Make your policy easy to find both on the website and even with the despatched product
- Write in plain English without any legal jargon
- State explicitly if there are any cost associated with returning an item
- Provide a deadline for an item to be returned
- Be clear on return options, such as for cash, exchange or store credit.
The state of retail has changed; today, purchasing habits include going not only to the shopping centre, but also buying it online. An online store that is focused on user experience and allows shopping across multiple devices is a must. Once you have mastered the essentials, you could start looking into how to track site performance and how to connect with your customers even more.