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Is Your Online Store Giving Customers What They Want?

There is nothing standing in your customers’ way when it comes to shopping around for the best pricing and value. In times gone by, you know, pre Internet when you had to walk to school through the snow and bread cost a mere 5 cents, you could charge more and who would ever know? I mean, who was going to trudge through the snow to the next store to see if your pricing was competitive?

The Internet has changed how we live and how we shop. Just setting up an online store is not enough. There are steps you should consider to optimize the customer experience to help boost sales and customer experience.

1. Reviews1

Reviews are a must. 64% of online shoppers read online reviews before making their purchase decisions. However, creating an online store that delivers reviews that truly help the customer make a decision can be a challenge. About 57% of online shoppers trust those reviews only as a means of supporting other information. When asked to name which issues tend to lower their trust with reviews, shoppers named the following:

  • Not enough reviews: 50%
  • Doubts that they are written by real customers: 39%
  • Lack of negative reviews: 38%
  • Positive reviews always positioned first: 25%
  • Lack of information about reviewer: 23%

2. Make Everything Easy 2

Your products need to be simple to find. This means taking into account that not all people search the same so put your products in different categories and keep the navigation and checkout process simple. It’s 25% harder to read on the Internet vs. offline so use these guidelines for readability:

  • Headlines – 8 words or less
  • Aim for 9-12 words per line
  • Short sentences – 15 – 20 words
  • Summaries – under 30 words
  • Paragraphs – 40-70 words

3. Pricing 3

  • Give Total Price Upfront

Potential buyers will sometimes begin a purchase just to find out what the total cost would be with shipping. It’s good policy to give them all costs upfront – including shipping – prior to asking for any personal information.

  • Shipping 3

Customers don’t like paying shipping charges particularly when it adds a large percent to the total price of smaller items. This can make a customer feel like you are taking advantage of them. Consider shipping larger orders for free. When you offer to absorb shipping costs for the customer when they order a certain amount, you give them good reason to buy more.

4. Provide Complete Information 3

When you provide informative and complete information you become more of an authority site and this makes customers feel more comfortable making a purchase. The following graph will give you ideas on which areas (beyond reviews) you should focus resources in order to provide a site that gives customers the information they’re looking for.

Creating and running a profitable online store may seem difficult with the ability of shoppers to compare various competing retailers. But think of the flip side – potential customers can more easily find you, too. And when you provide them with an informative, easy to use, complete site, you have a good shot at converting potential customers into actual customers.

Resources

  1. Online Shoppers Value Reviews, Ratings, Search
  2. eCommerce Tips: The 5 Habits of Highly Effective eCommerce Stores
  3. Ecommerce Tip: 7 Ways To Increase Your Online Sales
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