December 7, 2015
To indulge or not to indulge? That is the modern question. Whether it is a coffee or a coat, the materialism that lives inside most of us can’t help but to splurge on gifts and products for ourselves and others.
The introduction of computers and eCommerce witnessed the birth of a newer and more modern alternative to getting down to the town centre and spending hours perusing a multitude of shops and stores. eCommerce has remodeled the way in which we shop, in most cases for the better. There’s no cold weather or rain to contend with or watching somebody grab that last item you were after.
If you run an eCommerce business, you must ensure a smooth and easy experience for customers if you don’t want to drive them away. If you run an online shopping service, consider these tips to help customer experience.
• Mobile Optimization: Think about the last time you met somebody who doesn’t own a mobile device; go on, I’ll wait. Chances are it was a good few years back or the person was very young. Desktop eCommerce grew a steady 13 percent in 2014 but mobile eCommerce eclipsed this figure with a 28 percent increase. Over half of all online browsing and shopping sessions now take place away from a PC. It’s pretty safe to assume that a site that isn’t mobile-friendly is going to lose customers. In fact, some search engines demote sites that don’t incorporate a mobile-friendly version. Optimize for mobile and you should see a boost in sales and not a drop in SERPs.
• Traffic Management: How likely are you to purchase a product from a slow loading website? Probably not very. The world is littered with menial and time-consuming tasks and online shopping doesn’t need to be one of them. In fact, 40 percent of shoppers will abandon your site after just three seconds of inactivity. Make sure you’ve set up traffic management tools to inform you of slow performance and non-responsive instances and that your site is able to deal with a large volume of simultaneous visitors without suffering lag or slow speeds.
• Simple Checkout: Sixty-nine percent. Sounds a lot doesn’t it? That’s how many people give up on online shopping at the checkout or after adding products to their basket – the intention to purchase was there at some point; something must have put them off. Perhaps it was a long registration process or an inability to accept desired payment methods. You don’t want such a high abandonment rate, so think about shortening and streamlining checkout processes as well as instilling support and trust across your site. Guest checkout, visible payment progress status, varying payment method acceptance and security badges will all help you and your clients.
• Don’t charge extras: If the price you see is the price you pay, you won’t be stung by additional costs such as VAT and shipping charges. If possible, provide a post VAT or clearly state “excluding VAT” or “plus VAT” so shoppers aren’t surprised by price hikes at checkout. Many consumers actively seek free shipping and some are even willing to buy more products to qualify. Unless you’re absolutely desperate for an item, an extra two days or so waiting time is nothing. Of course you could still offer an expedited shipping service at extra cost, but standard shipping should be free of charge.
• Don’t forget SEO: Never overlook content marketing strategies – they probably got you to where you are now. Use your knowledge of your industry to your advantage. Get together blogs and articles detailing gifts, products, tips and more. Customer can see these and use them to help choose which of your products to buy. Not just that, search engines will be able to recognize you’ve got a fresh cycle of content coming through and will rank your site accordingly.
Andy Morley is the managing director of The Web Design Group. A digital agency based in Derbyshire in the U.K. The Web Design Group specializes in eCommerce website development and search engine marketing.