What Consumers are Looking For in E-Commerce
E-Commerce websites, while being a highly-effective tool for selling goods and services, are not always the easiest thing to run. Consumers tend to be very picky when it comes to browsing and buying online. This means it is extremely important for your business to have all of your bases covered online when it comes to your e-commerce website.
The following are some of the main pieces of an effective e-commerce website that consumers will be looking for.
Design and Navigation:
The biggest factor of your website that will either pull consumers in or drive them away is the design of your website and the ease of navigation. If a consumer heads to your website and feels like they were just transported to 1997, there’s a very good chance that they will find your business out of date and incredible. Design should be simple yet elegant with colors that complement each other, font sizes that are easily read, images that mach the content on the page, and annoying/distracting animations should be left out.
In terms of navigation, simplicity is the key. If someone has to search on multiple pages of your website for a product, chances are they will move on to another site. When designing your page layout, make sure it is in an order that makes absolute sense. An easy method to do this is to organize your products/services into broad categories and then list the individual categories within each of those pages. For instance, a retail clothing shop could categories products into Mens, Womens, Kids, and then into Evening Wear, Business Attire, Casual, etc, and finally list the individual products.
Easy Check-out and Payment:
Nothing is more frustrating buying online than having to jump through a million hoops in order to actually purchase your products. Consumers want to quickly buy their products, have various methods of payment available and have their products shipped as soon as possible. Here are a few tips for streamlining this process:
- Offer as many payment methods as possible: Not all consumers are comfortable putting credit card information online. This means if your business doesn’t offer payment methods such as PayPal, Check, Money Order etc. you could be missing out on a lot of customers.
- Allow consumers to create customer profiles: Allowing consumers to create profiles for themselves, save payment methods and shipping addresses is a great way to invite repeat business. In addition, make sure that you follow up with these consumers through Email!
- Be Up Front and Honest About Shipping Costs: Put yourself in your consumers’ shoes. You found a great product online at a great price. You go through the trouble of putting all your credit card and shipping info into the site only to find outrageous shipping prices. For a lot of costumers this is enough to drive them away from the business. Set reasonable shipping prices and make sure that the consumer is aware of them from the start.
Transaction Follow Up:
Consumers love personal touch from businesses they buy from. Even something as small as a follow-up email making sure everything was satisfactory with their purchase is enough to stand out from your competitions. Some other ideas can include offering discounts to previous customers, following up with newsletters and sending product suggestions. Any little bit will help.