Using an eCommerce Website – (from an online shopping addict)
I buy A LOT online and will be featuring our clients in my blogs moving forwards. Whilst I have been testing all their sites I have learnt a lot and I thought I’d share it with you to make your online business even more successful.
It is all about easy to use. The easier it is, the more you go back, the more you spend for the sheer convenience of it. If you are the same as me you get dozens of Amazon deliveries a month because of that fact – not because it’s cheap but because it convenient.
Tip No. 1 – Make paying VERY EASY
It’s a faff when you have to put in your address details, your bank card, your delivery address/billing address. The best websites either have Apple pay or Amazon Pay so it can be a one click payment experience. Trust me – online users are lazy and we notice multiple click sites – and love anything that makes it super easy to buy, buy, buy.
And if you cant or won’t do this then at least make sure that your payment choices are actually valid for your site. I recently went through the whole create an account palaver to use my Amex card for it to not work and get an error message saying “this card does not work with this site”, despite the fact they have an Amex icon displayed.
Tip No. 2 – Make sure your site works correctly
Multiple sites I tested did not have the shoppers basket updating. So I added numerous amounts of goods and did not discover this until checkout, which meant I had to go through an arduous process of deletion and basket updating, which was a bore. And hyperlinks to broken URL’s, missing descriptions, etc. It just smacks of lack of professionalism which doesn’t make you secure in your online purchase – particularly when buying from higher quality providers
Tip No. 3 – Make it easy to navigate
Keep menus present at the top consistently – so if you want to buy more you can do so easily. Have back buttons. Have great intuitive site organisation. I’d say best way to do this is NOT test the site yourself but ask friend and family with varying degrees of internet saving to go through the buying process, and if anyone gets stuck, particularly in your target market then make changes to make it easier to use.
A really good function of other sites – which creates an upsell opportunity too – is to add an “Other people who bought this also bought this” option, or a multiple offer – “Buy this bundle (which includes original product) for XX” – I am a sucker for that and it adds value to individual sales.
Tip No. 4 – Make sure goods are in stock
Do not advertise products online if they are out of stock, or at the very least say “Out of Stock” on product the page, not when you get to the till. This is VERY annoying indeed! Make sure your webpage shows live inventory in your website – you would lose a sale and future customer for sure if you accepted an order that then you have to process a rebate/refund for.
Tip No. 5 – Have a great search and/or filter (ideally both) function.
Again, I don’t want to scroll through pages trying to find my granddaughter a gift and then not find it in her size. Equally I often know specifically what I want – i.e. “black trainer size 7” – so make it easy for people to find exactly what they want.
Tip No. 6 – Use an appropriate delivery carrier.
Perception in that last mile is important. I recently bought a high end jumper from one of our premium brands and was surprised at who delivered it, and of course the nature of that delivery method was not in line with the premium product. I, like millions of other consumers, don’t mind delivery costs – it saves me a trip to the shops. But I’m less impressed when goods are left in a recycling bin/left in a puddle/not delivered remotely on time, etc. So use a quality carrier.
Don’t get me wrong, our cheap and cheerful carriers do an amazing job which is fit for purpose for lower values goods, but when selling premium think about a congruent delivery experience for your end user.
Tip No. 7 – Packaging is MUCH more important than you think
My key gripe is ridiculous amounts of packaging. I received an eye makeup remover from Amazon and suffice to say I could have fit a one drawer filing cabinet in the packaging! Its so wasteful and I feel fundamentally guilty taking all that packaging to the recycling. It is a gentle balance between adequate packaging to ensure great product protection and obscene amounts of packaging. Make it recycled or recyclable. I recently stopped using a dog food provider after years of asking them when their packaging would become recyclable. Again consumers are savvy to this now.
And make unwrapping the delivery an experience if your brand is a quality one. It’s a mini Christmas for me when I open my weekly online purchases, and I do really appreciate the tasteful wrapping of quality goods, particularly if I am gifting them to others. Again, this can be done for relatively little by a great fulfilment partner and believe you me it makes all the difference. When you get a great item in a plastic bag in a box like you would get a paper punch in, well, just a bit lacking in impact. So think about the unwrapping and reveal for your customers.
I hope these tips help but if you would like me to test your online process and give you a free assessment just give me a shout via the below contact form.