The ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 have caused many businesses to rethink their operations. To better serve their customers and reach more people, even small brands that were once exclusively brick and mortar are beginning to shift to eCommerce.
However, it’s not enough to simply list your products on your website. Optimizing your online experience is essential for providing a great experience for your customers. Making things easier for your customers will also help you achieve more online sales.
Here are some of the top areas you should focus on to ensure your eCommerce efforts deliver a positive experience for your customers.
1. Streamline Search & Navigation
Start by making it easy for customers to find the products they are looking for. For best results, follow navigation templates used by other websites. This is what customers are already familiar with, so it will be easier for them to adapt to your new layout.
Rather than overwhelming your customers with countless product categories, use a system that nests subcategories under main categories. For example, women’s and men’s clothing are each main categories. Under these primary categories, you would include additional subcategories for shirts, dresses, pants, and so on.
Search filters can also make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for. Allow customers to filter their search by features such as product category, price, color, brand, and so on.
2. Fast Support
Many brick and mortar stores pride themselves on their customer service. While you can’t offer the same face to face contact online, you should still prioritize your ability to provide support at any stage of the buyer’s journey. Listing customer support phone numbers and emails on your site are a good start, but you must have staff available to provide a quick response to all inquiries.
Live chat is another popular option. Many eCommerce sites actually use chatbots, which are programmed to help with routine inquiries. This way, your human support staff only has to deal with more complex questions.
3. Simplify Checkout
The Baymard Institute estimates that the average online cart abandonment rate is 69.57 percent. While high shipping costs are a major contributor to abandoned carts, unnecessary complications in the checkout process are another leading reason why shoppers don’t complete their purchase.
The simpler you can make your checkout process, the better. Don’t require customers to make an account just so they can complete a purchase. Only ask for information you need to complete the order. Try to reduce the number of pages someone needs to click through after they add an item to their cart.
People shop online because they want it to be fast and easy. Make sure this most important part of the process delivers on that expectation.
Making eCommerce a Valuable Part of Your Brand
These days, your website needs to do much more than provide a basic overview of who you are and what types of products and services you provide. Allowing customers to buy directly from you through your website opens up a new revenue stream that can increase your profitability and allow you to weather challenging times.
By making the customer a top priority every step of the way, you will be able to deliver a great online experience and grow your brand.