In the first part of the article, we explored 5 things that people expect from a modern online shop. Time to dive deeper and get even more useful tips.
So what else do customers want when shopping online?
6. Easy returns or exchanges
Offering free returns is also a strong trend started by leading retailers, and embraced by the others.
No-questions-asked returns policy enables customers to eliminate the risk of paying for an unsuitable product and makes buying decisions faster and easier.
The study by UPS reveals that 66% of online buyers analyze the shop’s returns terms before purchasing. And 2 out of 3 shoppers are ready to purchase if a store provides a hassle-free returns policy.
You can deliver several items for the customer to choose, for example, different sizes. The customer will just give you back the items that don’t fit him/her. This will eliminate an item ping-pong and will speed up the decision making process and the deal closure.
An example from Topshop
7. Special offers
Again, this is something that is growing standard. Customers expect more promotions during their online shopping experience than when shopping in a physical store.
You can increase customer satisfaction with personal short-term offers, voucher codes, order volume or value discounts.
Consider big occasional or seasonal offers like January sales, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Some shops never let their customers check-out without giving some sort of reward, discount or contest entry because it’s a good way to keep them coming back.
An example from Bonobos
8. Mobile app, not just a mobile-friendly page
With the rise of smartphones, mobile commerce has become increasingly common. More and more shoppers research, compare and shop from their mobile devices.
In the study by UPS, 46 percent of consumers say they are less likely to compare a certain shop to other stores when using a mobile app.
At minimum, your e-commerce product page should be mobile optimized. The buttons should not be too close together, but at the same time the most important ones should be located within the “thumb zone”, i.e. easy to reach and click to purchase.
However, a mobile-friendly site is not what modern customers want – a mobile application is becoming not an extra but a necessity.
Unlike mobile-optimised websites, apps are built specially for an enhanced mobile user experience. Consumers are already used to a high level of user convenience offered by Spotify, WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, and Uber and now expect it from mobile shopping. In fact, mobile apps are more user friendly, quicker, more responsive and easier to navigate.
People spend 85.7% of their mobile time in app as opposed to only 14.3% in browser.
If you’re a web person and don’t know mobile app development frameworks – there are a lot of tools for developing native mobile apps with web technologies, like http://www.reactnative.com/, https://www.nativescript.org etc.
9. Payment options
Customers expect the payment procedure to be easy, secure, and smooth. Not accepting certain payment methods can be a serious downside – so be sure to provide several possibilities, i.e. by credit card, via PayPal, through a cloud account etc. Some sites even still accept checks and money orders for the sake of consumers’ convenience!
Know your target audience and consider their payment preferences when choosing your payment provider. For instance, in the Netherlands, the most popular payment system is iDeaL, in France it’s VISA/Mastercard and so on. Here’s a link where you can check popular payment methods by country.
An example from BetterWorldBooks
Another big sales blocker is requiring users to create an account before they place an order. Consider getting rid of that barrier to ease the purchase path and boost conversion.
10. Personalized shopping experience
Customers spend more if they receive a shopping experience that’s tailored to their needs and preferences.
A survey by MyBuys has found that more than a half – 53% – of consumers will place higher value orders with stores that analyze past browsing or purchasing behaviors to suggest suitable products.
Also, people appreciate the convenience when their shipping address and payment method are stored without having to log in every time.
Consider utilizing a good tracking, analytics, and communication tool that will allow you to custom tailor your customer service, sales, messaging, and offers to a particular customer’s needs.
What other strategies do you use to win over more customers online? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
If you have a small business, your perfect customer service tool is somewhere in the borderland between functionality and pricing. With that in mind, we compared 14 different customer service tools.