These days, there are more online stores than one person can check. However, it is not like you can find everything you want on websites that you usually use for shopping.
In case you need to purchase something you never did before, you will likely look for a new online store or ask someone to recommend it to you. A recommendation from a friend, family member, or even a stranger online should not be random. If anything, it is the opposite.
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People are unlikely to recommend a store that has a poor customer experience. They will instead mention an online shop that they were happy with themselves. The question is, what do some online stores do better than others? There are multiple factors that can make or break a customer's experience.
Provide Prior Customer Feedback
It is easier to make decisions while shopping online when you have prior customer feedback. More online stores should import product reviews or encourage customers to leave reviews. It benefits both new customers and the store itself because testimonials build authority. Not to mention that a written review is a piece of content on a website, and it helps with the overall SEO results.
Optimize Your Website
Poor website optimization is another mistake that happens more often than it should. First of all, it is important to select a website theme that is mobile-friendly due to how many shoppers use smartphones and tablets.
Next, there could be issues with the loading speed. If you have a poor hosting provider, switch so that the website's pages load at an optimal speed and the website do not go down.
An online shop should also have certain elements implemented, like the search bar, social media icons, and so on. You want to offer the best possible shopping experience, and a properly optimized website is one of the cornerstones for that.
Have Flexible Return and Refund Policy
Returns and refunds are a hindrance to profits, but they are inseparable parts of eCommerce. Some shoppers are bound to ask for a refund and return the goods they purchased. For example, if you sell shoes, expect some customers not to bother checking size charts and purchase the wrong pair of shoes.
While your money-making efforts slow down because of returns and refunds, you should still accommodate customers who follow the rules and return products the way they should.
For one, there are customer rights, and law works in favour of a consumer when it comes to returns and refunds. Also, not accepting returns and issuing refunds will lead to negative feedback from shoppers, which will damage a store's reputation.
Create Informative Product Pages
Informative product pages should be one of the priorities when coming up with customer experience improvements.
From high-quality photos and reviews to video instructions and detailed descriptions, a good product page will help an online store make more sales and reduce return rates.
Customers will appreciate the provided information and will not think twice the next time they need to purchase again or recommend a store to someone they know.
Make Checkout Process Simple
A simple checkout process should also be one of the keys to improving the overall online shopper experience. It can get annoying when you need to go through multiple registration steps, confirm your email, agree to store policies, confirm GDPR policies, and all that.
Modern customers do not have the time or patience to deal with a complicated checkout process. If they encounter it, the odds of another abandoned shopping cart are quite high.
Instead, online stores should have as few checkout steps as possible to make things easier for customers.
Pro tip: offering flexible payment options is also a good piece of advice if an online store wants to reduce abandoned shopping cart numbers.
Avoid Being Too Annoying to Your Customers
In addition to selling goods and services, some online stores go the extra mile to monetize the site and run ads or promote affiliate links. It is fine if these advertisements are not too noticeable or preventable by adblockers, but what if there are random pop-ups and other aggressive approaches that ruin a site visitor's experience?
It will not take too long for customers to leave the website and shop elsewhere. While pop-ups and other ads might net a store some extra money, they are usually not worth it because these marketing methods cause customer loss long term.
Offer Great Customer Support
The last bit of advice is about having a reliable customer support department. There should be reps on the website's live chat, social media, emails, and other communication channels so that customers can get a reasonable response time and solve potential issues they might have.
It is also important to note that some customers are not so keen to interact with customer support and would rather seek answers themselves. For this demographic, online stores should prepare in-depth FAQ pages with all the relevant information.
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