April 19, 2021 | By:

5 Ways to Improve Your E-Commerce Store’s Online Shopping Experience

Brands have greatly shifted how they do business since the pandemic. Even as restrictions have eased in many areas around the world, there have been changes that are becoming more or less permanent.

In fact, in a report recently released by Google, they’ve noted key changes brought about by the pandemic that are more than likely to stay in the long term. One of these is that online shopping is now the new norm.

For businesses, this means it’s important now more than ever to ensure that your e-commerce store offers a seamless online shopping experience. Here are ways that you can optimize the online efficiency of your e-commerce website:

1. Personalize the shopping experience

Today, it takes more than adequate service and fair prices to make a customer stay loyal to your brand. In a study, it has been found that 71% of customers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is not personalized. Another study by Accenture also revealed that 91% of consumers report they prefer brands that provide recommendations and deals that are relevant to them.

How can you integrate personalization in your online store?

  • Make use of smart technology. Machine learning, AI, and many more smart technologies are ideal to use in e-commerce so that you can automate personalized product recommendations and marketing offers.
  • Provide incentives when asking for personal information. Customers are willing to provide personal information, which you can use for personalization if they see tangible benefits for doing so. Incentives can be product/service discounts or other special offers that make sense to your brand.
2. Manage your supply chain better

There’s nothing more frustrating with e-shopping than having to realize too late that the product your customers have checked out is actually out of stock. Make sure to at least address these gaps in your supply chain:

  • Use smart technology and analytical tools to manage your inventory and track fast-moving and/or near-out-of-stock items, as well as automating stock replenishment.
  • Provide greater inventory transparency to customers. You can integrate technology that allows shoppers to check the availability of items in your physical stores (if you have one) should the item be out of stock in your e-commerce store or from suppliers, and provide options to pick up items from the nearest store locations. Another benefit of inventory transparency is that you as a business can easily determine which warehouse (if applicable) can provide the least expensive and faster order fulfilment.
3. Smooth out the checkout process

It’s been said that the checkout page is the crown jewel of an e-commerce website or app, and for good reason: how smooth your checkout process is can make or break conversions and sales.

What can you do to smooth out the checkout process?

  • Be transparent with shipping costs. One of the most common reasons for cart abandonment is when customers realize that the shipping costs or extra fees are too expensive. Be upfront with your shipping fees. Make sure that when consumers are adding items to their cart, the shipping fees are automatically calculated based on their chosen shipping address, taking into account as well from which warehouse it will come from. This is where smart technology comes in handy.
  • Offer guest checkouts. Another reason for cart abandonment is that some shoppers prefer not to create an account. The easy solution is to offer guest checkouts and make form-filling easy, quick, and straightforward.
  • Make it easier to add/remove items from the cart. This is an often-overlooked functionality but it can greatly affect the checkout process and buying experience. Allow your customers to easily add, remove, or revise the quantity and variation of items in their carts. Smart inventory management is key here so that consumers can see in real-time whether any changes they’ve made are plausible for checkout.
4. Integrate safe and varied payment options

In addition to the previous point, payment options can also be a huge determiner for a successful checkout process.

  • Offer multiple payment options. One of the reasons customers abandon their carts is that they don’t see a viable payment option—not all customers have a credit card. If possible, consider offering varied payment options other than credit: cash on delivery, debit, or other payment vendors.
  • Ensure the security of payments and data. This should go out as a non-negotiable fact, but it can also be overlooked. Whether you have only a website, an e-commerce app, or both, make sure that the payment processor/gateway is encrypted. Customer data should also be safe and protected from hacking/data theft. At the very least, your e-commerce site should be using an HTTPS server (a must for SEO as well) and that basic security practices are well-covered (that is, ensuring regular updates of software, secure backups, etc.).
5. Ensure great aftercare services

The shopping experience does not end once the customer checks out. Aftercare service includes the shipping and delivery phase, as well as post-shopping customer service:

  • Carefully choose a logistics partner. What happens after shipping and delivery may be beyond your control, but what you can do from your end is to choose a trusted logistics partner who truly delivers. Late deliveries and damaged items through transit are two of the most frustrating things that might ruin a customer’s overall shopping experience.
  • Have a prompt and efficient return/refund process. In relation to the point above, it’s important to establish clear return/refund policies and to train your customer service team on how to promptly and efficiently handle customer complaints.

Optimize Your E-Commerce Website for the New Normal

An e-commerce website is one of the best investments you can make for your business, especially with today’s shifting consumer behaviors. If you’re just starting out with your online business, or if you’ve been in the industry for a while but need help in optimizing your e-commerce site, we’re here to help.

Ilfusion offers a full suite of services to help you with your digital marketing and creative needs, from website development and design, SEO, branding, socials, photography and videography, and more. Get in touch with us by calling 888-420-5115, or sending us an email to creative@ilfusion.com.

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