Tips to Improve Your eCommerce to Meet Consumer Demands
If your business has an eCommerce website, you are likely aware of what a large investment it is for your organization to create and now manage the site. A lot of time, money, and resources go in to keeping your website up and running, and it’s incredibly important that the proper items are in place to get results. Results meaning, growing sales and maintaining customers to help reap the benefits of hosting your business online.
eCommerce has reached a new high in the consumer purchasing market. As of early 2018, studies show that more than half of consumers now prefer to shop online as opposed to in store.
For anyone who is not an eCommerce expert but helps manage their company’s online store, it can be overwhelming to understand what needs to be done to make your website effective. Technology is changing faster than ever before and keeping up with consumer trends can be exhausting. Any business that hopes to thrive – or even survive – must make an instantly appealing impression online, which requires a laser focus on the user experience.
There is no cookie-cutter way to improve the user experience. Rather, companies must explore the present strengths and weaknesses of their eCommerce sites and make the kinds of improvements that matter most to today’s users. To help you get started with updating your site to fit consumer demands, we’ve developed a list of steps to follow:
1. Show your website some needed attention
Audit your website and spend time running through each page to look for problems, issues, and areas for improvement. Create an immediate list of problems you find (i.e. broken links, missing images, misspelled words, or outdated content) and a long-term fix list of items that are not immediate, but you want to change eventually (i.e. new images, design changes, updated copy). Creating these lists will help keep you organized and aware of what needs to be done to clean up your site.
2. Ask for feedback
Enable customer reviews on your site for a positive effect on your company’s online sales. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation – and only 12 percent of the population do not regularly read reviews for consumer products. When actual customers endorse a product in the form of a review or rating, it validates that product more than any piece of advertising could. Accommodating feedback in all forms will help your company appear open and authentic.
3. Utilize video
In 2018, video is more popular than ever before. Not only do consumers love it, but they expect it – and that is something that you can use to your advantage. According to recent statistics, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it, and 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. By including video on your product pages, you’ll appeal to all generations of buyers and increase your chances of making more sales.
4. Provide virtual assistance
Providing around-the-clock support may be unrealistic for many online stores, but in most cases it’s what users expect, thanks to big brand names like Amazon. For a small to mid-sized business, an easy fix to help keep customers satisfied is to implement chatbots and other AI-enabled tools that are available for on-demand assistance 24/7. These bots can take requests, respond back to questions, and point customers in the direction they need until an actual employee is there to help.
5. Optimize for mobile
In today’s mobile-driven world, if your eCommerce website is not mobile-friendly, you are quickly losing sales. By 2020, mobile commerce will account for 45% of all eCommerce activities — compared to 20.6% in 2016. This trend is only growing as incoming generations of buyers are increasingly using smartphones to make purchases online.