Making money for many is hard enough, spending it shouldn’t be. And speaking of spending, online shopping or shopping online is one way many choose to spend their money.
In fact, last year alone, 1.66 billion people reportedly shopped online contributing over $2.3tr to global retail revenue. This figure is further expected to more than double to around $4.88tr by 2021.
Similarly, during an April 2017 survey, 40 percent of internet users in the United States stated that they purchased items online at several times per month, and 20 percent said they bought items or services online on a weekly basis.
Now, wouldn’t you love to know what shoppers expect from retailers or how to help these shoppers spend their hard earned money happily when next they visit your dropshipping or online store?
In this post I’ll highlight 7 practical ways to enhance online shopping experience and make it easier for shoppers to shop in your webstore.
But before that here’re
3 Benefits of a Great Online Shopping Experience
- Happy Customers
A good shopping experience makes good first impression and can nearly guarantee repeat purchases which over time can increase customer average order value and lifetime value.
A good shopping experience will earn you commendations and positive reviews in-store, on-site and even off-site on third party review sites like Yelp and TrustPilot.
Beyond positive reviews and commendations, happy customers are highly likely to recommend you to their friends, family and followers.
A poor shopping experience on the other hand will create dissatisfied customers who will abandon cart, complain, tell on you, write bad/scathing reviews, shop with your competitors instead and may never return to your store.
That said, here are
7 Ways to Enhance Online Shopping Experience
- Pick a Good Store/Domain Name
Are your store/domain names simple enough and easy to spell? Most new shoppers try to find you via Google search or by typing directly into their browser’s address bar.
If your store or domain name is too complicated, long or hard to spell they’ll get error messages. After a few tries they may give up the search and instead shop somewhere else.
A good store or domain name is:
- easy to spell
- easy to pronounce or articulate
- not too lengthy, among others
- Finish their (Search) Sentences
When browsing or searching for products on-site many shoppers use your site search function. Many of these searchers do not know how to correctly spell what they’re looking for.
If your dropshipping business or e-tail site lacks autosuggest capabilities such shoppers may never find what they’re looking for and may conclude they’re out of stock or not in stock.
However, with autosuggest their search terms are completed or predicted for them and they go “aha, that’s what I was trying to type!”, and they add it to cart.
- Use Great Product Photography
Pictures are powerful, they say one is worth a thousand words. Even after a successful product search a potential sale can be scuttled by poor product photography screaming a thousand negative words to shoppers.
One of the messages they get from poor product photographs is that the product is bad or of inferior quality. If this is a storewide phenomenon they may consider your online store as generally or completely low quality. Smart retailers consider product photography as part of their sales funnel and spare nothing to nail it.
Aim for crisp, crystal clear photography showing different angles. Also avoid over touched pictures as they may fool buyers and eventually skyrocket your return rates.
- Great Product Descriptions
A good product description is like a competent retail associate or sales person, who is able to effectively and correctly explain the features, benefits and uses of each product.
This is very important. A good product photograph is great, but experience has taught many shoppers not to buy photoshopped product images. They want something extra to convince them. A great product description can be that something extra.
Combined with good product photography, a good product description can seal the sale for you by giving shoppers a surreal mental picture of features and functionalities like size, texture, power rating, output, etc.
- Provide Size Guides
Size issues are responsible for a great portion of all fashion apparel returns, which costs retailers millions of dollars to deal with, especially during holiday sales.
Lengthy returns processes from cross-border sales can also hurt customer satisfaction and your store’s reputation. You can reduce this by providing size guides to help shoppers figure out the right sizes before they order.
Additionally, there are apps and virtual reality tools like VirtuSize that can give shoppers a more realistic sense of size.
- Provide Customer/Product Reviews
Customer or product reviews are powerful tools that can convince shoppers to close or conclude the purchase.
These user generated reviews are powerful word of mouth tools that you can use to convince shoppers that others have bought and enjoyed same products.
Many online shoppers rely on product reviews to make a purchase decision. Honest reviews with a good mix of positive and not-so-positive reviews tend to look more convincing and realistic.
- Provide Exchange Rate Calculators
Even after implementing 1-6 above some shoppers, especially cross border shoppers want to know beforehand what it would actually cost them in their local currency. Exchange rate calculators can help here.
This is because most payment processors or gateways use different conversion rates from official or parallel market rates. Some of them charge way more and may scare shoppers.
Smart retailers shop around for payment processors with low fees and wide payment options to cater to a large audience.
Implementing these could enhance online shopping experience in your online dropshipping or retail store and bring you returning satisfied customers.
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business/Ecommerce B2B/B2C Copywriter, featured in scores of blogs including Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, SmallBusinessBonfire, SmallBizClub, Successful Startup 101, Business Partner Magazine, RabidOfficeMonkey, etc.
He’s available for hire.