How to Improve Your Customer’s Online Shopping Experience

May 22, 2019

It is projected that in 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide will purchase goods and services online. Yes, you read that correctly, billion with a b. Of those billions of online shoppers, only a small fraction will ever come across your site. Of those that reach your site, an even fewer amount will actually purchase from you.

To help you maximize your eCommerce site, I interviewed three of my coworkers to get their take on how to improve a customer’s online shopping experience and this is what they had to say:

Provide All the Information Up Front

When I asked our senior copywriter, Heidi, what the most important aspect of online shopping was to her, she immediately responded with “have ALL the pertinent information in the item description. Nothing fluffy, just the facts. This includes dimensions/sizes, cost, materials and when it can be delivered.”

Make it Personal

Shannon, one of Commit’s web developers, says “it’s hard to compete with Amazon, but one way to gain referrals and get repeat business is to make every transaction a personal experience. Every time a package is sent out, add a special something that will make it an even better experience than what they expected. Some people include handwritten notes, a special ‘surprise’ gift or just package their product very nicely creating a unique unboxing experience.”

Site Speed Matters

Kaitlin, another one of our fantastic web developers, says “when it comes to loading times, your biggest threat is the back button. If your site loads too slowly, chances are your customers won’t wait around.”

Show Real Product Reviews and Ratings

Shannon states that “reviews are really important for product based websites. It is hard to know if a product is just the right fit or the quality you are hoping for [just by looking at your computer screen]. Reviews give your potential customers a way to see honest feedback and feel more confident in their purchase.”

Heidi also finds that ratings and reviews are a big deal for her. She states that “multiple images of the item from all angles is also key.”

Less Clicks the Better

There’s nothing worse than having to navigate a website that makes you jump through hoops just to check out. This is especially true when using your cell phone. Shannon points out that “mobile phones now represent half of all online traffic. You need to make sure a customer’s experience on their phone is just as good if not better than on desktop. Make your site easy to navigate and check out on mobile. The easier it is, the more likely they are to complete a transaction.”

Have an On-Site Search That Works

Kaitlin thinks that “on-site search is a very important part of the customer journey that is often overlooked. By implementing the right search functionality, you are providing an easier way to connect the user’s intent with the right content.” This is especially true for sites with an abundance of products. If a consumer visits your site for a specific foundation brush, but there’s no place to type in the product name, they’re likely to purchase elsewhere.

More (Trusted) Payments Options

Let’s face it, there’s fraud happening every moment of every day. “If you aren’t necessarily well known, some people are hesitant to give you their credit card information. By having a trusted third party like Paypal or Google Checkout as a payment option, you are associating your brand with the reliability of these bigger brands and people are more likely to feel safe pulling the trigger” says Shannon.

Simple Checkout Process

Is your checkout process simple and easy to use? “Checkout abandonment is one of the biggest obstacles that eCommerce sites face. Things like unexpected shipping costs, forced account registration, and a lack of customer support are just a few of the reasons your customers aren’t checking out. Make sure that you have provided all cost information upfront, offer a fast guest checkout process, and have provided a way for your customers to have any of their questions and concerns addressed” Kaitlin suggests.

Offer Free Shipping

Have you ever filled up your cart with items just to find out there’s a $10 shipping fee? With many of the leading competitors offering free shipping, it’s hard for customers to justify paying additional fees for something they’re used to getting for free. Shannon advises to “include shipping in your prices or set up promotions for free shipping over a certain price.”

Ultimately, removing friction from the customer journey is the main aspect of improving your customer’s online shopping experience. For help getting your site up to speed, drop us a line.