E-commerce store provides a great opportunity for retailers to expand their business and increase customer base. Doing business online has many advantages. For instance, the E-commerce store is open for buying/selling 24/7, 365 days a year. You can buy products from the comforts of your home. Although the future of e-commerce looks promising, the e-commerce site needs to have certain characteristics or features that will make the customers want to visit your site again and again. In other words, the customer should feel that this site is the best choice for buying products online. Following are the traits of an e-commerce site that make it perfect for customers.
Fast Page Load Times
It is observed that yearly the e-commerce industry loses $1.1 to $1.3 billion on slow load times. Visiting a slow-loading website is quite frustrating for customers, which compels them to move away to some other website. So, if you want to make your website e-commerce friendly, you got to make your site insanely fast. Making a visually appealing website will not attract customers, unless you create a fast loading website.
The point is shrinking page load times is crucial for the success of any e-commerce business. Ideally speaking, a web page should have a loading time of fewer than 3 seconds. High web page load times substantially increase the risk of losing customers. So ensure that you make your website load faster.
No Issues Related to Product Findability
Product findability is another aspect that cannot be ignored when starting an E-commerce store. One cannot forget that the ‘find’ feature is the first step in the buying process. So facilitating easy findability is one of the pre-requisites for making an online store platform perfect for customers.
If the customer is unable to find for what he is looking for, then starting an e-commerce site is a big waste of time and money. So the e-commerce navigation should be as customer-friendly as possible, which will ensure that your online shoppers are able to locate the desired product quickly. In short, customers should be able to access relevant product page as easily as possible. Improving product findability can contribute immensely to increase conversion rates. On the whole, the products should be easily searchable and manageable.
Mobile-Friendly e-commerce Site
According to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, 50% of overall online U.S. retail traffic comes from mobile devices. Also, Google on April 21, 2015, has rolled out the mobile-friendly update, according to which non-mobile sites will be severely penalized and lose their rankings in search results. Considering the increasing use of mobile devices for online shopping and to prevent sites disappearing from top search results, it is imperative that your e-commerce has a mobile-friendly design.
Also, there has been a drastic change in shopping habits of online customers. Today a customer wants to purchase items any time they want and a smartphone with an internet access provides an easy opportunity to fulfill it. So make sure you develop a mobile responsive version of your e-commerce platform.
Offer Different Payment Options
If you want to make your e-commerce website perfect for customers, make sure your website integrates with different but secure payment processing services. However, in case you offer just one payment option during the checkout process, there is a high probability that you will lose the customer. Although the credit card is a common payment method in e-commerce store, you should provide other payment gateways such as Debit card, online payment services such as PayPal, cash on delivery, cheques, and money orders. Make sure your customer knows the different payment methods your website is offering. For that, you need to display icons that reflect the payment methods you are providing on every web page.
Effective Site Search Function
If you want to improve sales and ensure high conversion rates, you need to provide a site search option that allows visitors to easily find for what they are looking for. Effective site search functionality that gives results quickly contributes immensely in improving customer experience. A fast & intelligent e-commerce site search will surely improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. All this results in increased site usage as customers are able to search products more easily.
Also, visitors should not face a hard time in finding the search box. The search box should stand out and be placed in a noticeable location near the top of the page on the right or left side of your e-commerce site.
Offer Online Chat Assistance
Many times customers browsing through the e-commerce site have questions regarding the product and payment process which if unanswered often causes abandonment of shopping carts. In order to answer their questions immediately, your e-commerce website should provide an online chat support. This acts like an immediate help and studies also show that customers tend to purchase more after chats.
According to Kyle Therriault, VP of Internet Strategy & Business Development at AutoAccessoriesGarage.com, from the sales side, customers who use LiveChat on our site are 4.85 times more likely to make a purchase and their per-session value is almost 400% higher than the site average. Considering this fact, it makes sense to add a live chat service to your e-commerce site.
Lower Shipping Charges
Customers will always look for e-commerce sites that have lower shipping costs. So you need to keep your shipping charges down in order to attract customers. No matter how customer friendly your e-commerce site is, your customers will turn away if you are providing services at high shipping cost.
Registration should be Optional
Your E-commerce Store Software should provide the option of purchasing items without registration. It’s a fact that customers don’t like to create an account when purchasing products. Forcing the customer to register will increase the rate of shopping cart abandonment, which is a cause for great concern in the e-commerce industry. So your e-commerce shopping cart software should provide the facility to your customers to checkout as a guest. Providing this option will definitely improve the checkout experience and reduce cart abandonment.