2020 has been a challenging year for the business world. Many companies have been forced out of the traditional office or storefront and into an online setup. As an IT professional, you may have had to quickly adapt to the needs of a remote workforce. Now you need to help your company focus on online interactions with customers – and that means enhancing your business’s online store.
While pre-pandemic growth of U.S. eCommerce sales was projected to reach over $700 billion by 2023, this number is expected to grow at a much more rapid pace as more people are now shopping from home due to coronavirus concerns. This deepeds the need for your website and eCommerce channel to perform at a high level but also presents an opportunity to provide your customers with a positive user experience that enhances revenue and builds brand loyalty.
This begins by building consumer confidence in your business and creating seamless eCommerce transactions that customers appreciate and will encourage them to continue to support your brand. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
When customers are ready to buy online, they are looking for a frictionless and easy transaction. People who have a negative experience in an eCommerce store will typically not complain to you but will post negative online reviews. To prevent this type of outcome, think like your customers. Put yourself in their place when designing your online store and make it as simple as possible. The fewer the steps, the better.
Customers who shop online aren’t able to hold your product or fully experience it for themselves. That’s why it’s important to include photos and videos along with clear descriptions that convey product benefits and why they are the solutions your customers are seeking. Be concise but give them all of the necessary information to make a purchase decision during their online visit. When people leave a site to “shop around,” most of them do not return.
Website visitors are more likely to become customers when they can easily see and read about your products or services. Be sure to design your site in a way that includes fonts that are highly legible and easy to read. Keep your photos and videos organized on the page and include large navigation buttons and links that make clicking through to make a purchase fast and easy. Review your site as if you are a customer seeing it for the first time. Is it easy to navigate and understand? Make any necessary adjustments to ensure a great customer experience.
Over half of all customers consistently shop on mobile devices. That means your website store should be optimized for smaller smartphone and tablet screens. It should be easy for customers to find what they are looking for to compare items and make a purchase. Be sure your links download quickly and you don’t have to squint to read illegible type, and always keep your product and service descriptions concise and highly visible.
Of all the items on our eCommerce website checklist, offering convenient payment methods is among the most important. You should offer access to the most popular credit cards, of course, along with other online payment options like Venmo, PayPal and Affirm. Prominently feature these logos on your payment page during checkout to encourage website visitors to take that next step and make a purchase.
Build trust with your customers by using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate with your online store. This will help to protect personal customer information and data, including credit card numbers, home addresses, phone numbers and more, from unscrupulous cyber hackers. Using an SSL certificate also allows you to display a padlock logo in your navigation bar and throughout your website, indicating to buyers that your site is safe and secure.
Program your site to automatically send out a receipt and a thank you email when a customer makes a purchase. This will help online customers to have a point of reference should they need to make a return or discuss a transaction. More importantly, this also shows that you are running a well-organized online store and care about the satisfaction of your customers. In your thank-you note, ask for a positive review from your satisfied customers.
You need the right online tools to create an outstanding online buying experience for your company’s customers. That’s where Network Solutions comes in. From domain name registration and website builders to SSL security solutions and eCommerce stores, we have everything you need to stay efficient online. Our web builder “drag and drop” technology makes building an eCommerce site a snap. Trust us to help you convert website visitors into loyal customers and brand advocates.
Online sales are not just the wave of the future, they are important now and offer outstanding revenue-generating opportunities. By following these tips, you can improve your eCommerce experience and make life easier for you and your customers. Let’s work together to make it happen.