Ecommerce – Make it Easy to Buy
When it comes to making purchases online, web users are looking for a safe, quick, and easy experience. If it becomes difficult or time consuming for people to purchase what they need, they will not hesitate to search for another website. The following tips will help you create a shopping experience that will lead to happy repeat customers.
1. Make your products easy to find. Search capabilities make it easy for users to find exactly what they want. To make the shopping experience even easier, consider adding advanced search features that allow online shoppers to search by category, price, or other criteria. Detailed navigation menus are also a must. Users should be able to locate all products within a few clicks.
2. Don’t ask for too much up front. Many shoppers will be turned off if they are asked to fill out a registration form as soon as they begin shopping. Allowing users to add items to a shopping cart without registering will make for a more pleasant shopping experience. Registration information can be gathered at checkout.
3. Clearly identify actions. All buttons (such as add to cart, continue shopping, and checkout) should be obvious and easy for users to locate. Make sure these items do not fall below the fold and consider using both icons and text to make actions easily identifiable.
4. Include plenty of product details. Give online shoppers a product description as well as a product image. Also, clearly communicate price and stock quantities early in the order process so shoppers are not surprised or disappointed during checkout.
5. Always display shopping cart items. During their shopping session, users will want to be aware of which items they have already selected. Many successful ecommerce sites have implemented small shopping carts that display on every page. These mini carts are usually located at the top of a web page or in a sidebar and may include a number of selected items, a list of the selected items, and a running total. Once shoppers proceed to checkout, a detailed full-page shopping cart is displayed.
6. Don’t forget to cross-sell. Shoppers may not know exactly what they want. Think about how traditional retail stores group items together so that shoppers can compare similar items or purchase related products. Ecommerce stores should duplicate this practice by displaying alternative and complimentary products to those that a shopper has selected.
7. Give them options. To accommodate each shopper’s needs, you should offer multiple payment and shipping options. In some cases, it is also a good idea to give shoppers the option of adding items to a “wish list.” For various reasons shoppers may not be ready to buy during their first visit, but with a wish list shoppers can save their desired items to purchase later.
8. Keep the checkout process simple. Remember that people enjoy shopping online because it is fast and easy. Don’t overwhelm users with required information fields and numerous unnecessary steps in the checkout process. If checkout does require several steps, use proper headings or breadcrumb navigation to help shoppers identify where they are within the checkout process.
9. Remember customer service is key. Make sure your contact information, including a phone number, is easy to find on every web page and email. Also, at the end of the checkout process, include a verification page where shoppers can confirm or edit their order. Once the transaction is complete, send a confirmation email as well. These steps will reduce order errors and give customers peace of mind. To consistently improve your service, you may even consider asking customers to provide feedback about their experience by completing a short survey.
10. Make them feel safe. When it comes to sharing information over the internet, fraud and identity theft are always a concern. It is important that your site uses security encryption measures, such as SSL or TSL, to ensure the safety of customer information. You should then display security badges on your web pages so shoppers know that they are protected.