Big box shops such as Amazon.com have created a lot of sales opportunities for many vendors but they have also raised the bar very high for the customer.
These companies have very large budgets and are able to spend countless hours and dollars on perfecting the shopping experience on their respective platforms.
The consumer now finds it so easy to shop on these sites that they get used to it, and when they come onto your site and don’t see the ease and convenience they quickly abandon the cart.
While most of us small folks don’t have the limitless budget to spend on catching up to the big boys, they are a few things that you can do to at least stay within striking distance – remember it’s all about the shopping experience.
Mobile, mobile & mobile
E-commerce-driven mobile revenue will keep on surging, and your site better be ready to accommodate the mobile shopper. It’s already old news, but sadly many merchants still haven’t internalized this reality.
The importance of mobile is so great that some sites basically phased out the desktop site and are heavily focused on the mobile user instead, look @ www.target.com for a good example, their desktop site looks like a blown up mobile site.
Don’t spend thousands of dollars in developing a mobile app, instead, you should provide a mobile responsive website. In most cases, this can easily be accomplished and you are instantly rewarded with being able to tap into mobile shoppers.
Per inc.com, Amazon is so customer focused that it will literally send you a replacement for a lost package immediately without ever implying that the customer is at fault. The result is a consumer experience that is so optimal that Amazon is the only place where many consumers decide to shop online.
Your site needs to have a phone number prominently displayed in addition to an instant chat option. But don’t make the mistake of having an unanswered phone or chat, you need to actually answer these customer inquiries ASAP.
When customers see that you truly care about making the sale, they will reciprocate and buy from you – they’re now confident that you will take care of them.
Let’s face it, most people that land on your site never heard of your brand before. Having the right trust seals on your site will greatly increase the trust in your brand and the likelihood of a customer purchasing an item on your site.
You should have seals that have a good brand recognition, here’s an excellent article from the Baymard institute that will help you choose the right badge http://baymard.com/blog/site-seal-trust
One of the many reasons people return for a second purchase, is the ease of purchasing – they don’t have to enter all their information every time.
All e-commerce platforms will store the user’s addresses and billing information, few of them allow the user to save their payment information.
Depending on who you use to process your credit card payments and what platform you’re currently on, allowing the customer to save their payment information might be very easy to implement.
Customers are faced with the choice of purchasing from your site where it will take them 5-7 minutes or purchasing from amazon where it will take them less than a minute. You need to reduce the time it takes to checkout on your site and take away that dilemma from them.
There’s A LOT of avenues and ideas you can (and should) follow to try and increase the conversion rates on your site. The purpose of this post was merely to show you what steps you can take to make your site competitive with the big box stores that are spending fortunes on improving the customer experience.