How retailers improve the online shopping experience

Omnichannel Commerce

An online business starts with a great online shopping experience. It does not matter if merchants offer the widest product selection or the lowest prices, if people can not quickly access a retailer’s website and purchase the items they desire, all of those offers go to waste.

While there may be no precise guide that will lead an online business to success in today’s competitive landscape, offering customers an effective, visually-appealing, easy-to-use website is a critical first step towards a seamless shopping experience. Here are three tips for retailers looking to improve the shopping experience of their websites:

1. Eliminate distractions

Merchants can accomplish various objectives using different visual design elements. Merchants can utilize different colors, images and font size to draw attention to specific sections of a page. At the same time, if these visual elements aren’t used correctly or presented in a visually appealing way, they may overwhelm and confuse customers.

By constantly A/B testing, retailers will be able to determine the best design of their check out to optimize the shopping experience.

When it comes to the checkout, retailers should try to eliminate any distractions. Some merchants try to use these conversion pages as upsell opportunities but it is incredibly easy to deter a purchase that way. The best course of action is to test a check out experience with up-sell opportunities and one without. By constantly A/B testing, retailers will be able to determine the best design of their check out to optimize the shopping experience.

2. Bolster transparency

No one likes last-minute surprises, whether it’s unexpectedly high shipping costs or an item that went out-of-stock right before customers were about to buy. Retailers should strive to make their websites more transparent in that regard.

To do this, merchants should use inventory management and order management systems to reserve stock for orders and increase transparency of inventory availability. When a customer views a product, he should know how much is available for sale so he can expedite his checkout to ensure stock will not be depleted by the time payment is processed. Some retailers may even want to use an inventory management system to reserve inventory as soon as a customer places an item in their shopping cart. This ensures the customer does not feel rushed through check out. It’s simple changes like this that can improve transparency and the shopping experience as a whole.

3. More value is always better

Customers like value and an online business should give it to them.

“The challenge isn’t to give value but to give more value than you feel is necessary.”

“The challenge isn’t to give value but to give more value than you feel is necessary,” explains MarketingProfs contributor Bryan Lovgren. “What tools, template, and e-books can you provide for free to your customers? Give until it hurts and your customers will love you for it.”

Following these three tips can go a long way in helping retailers grow their online business and improve the eCommerce shopping experience.

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