Selling online involves more than just purchasing a domain, finding a few products, and tossing up an e-commerce site. Creating a successful online store involves careful planning and the development of a seamless navigation process which makes it easy for customers to follow through with purchasing from you. In addition to this, it’s also important to establish trust and offer reliable online support in order to reduce buyer reluctance.
Let’s explore ways that you can do this.
Optimize for mobile users
Smartphone usage has increased the rate of mobile purchases over the past 10 years, and this definitely won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Create auto-fill tabs, scroll up buttons, thumb-centered click-through buttons, and other features to make easier for mobile users to make their purchases on your store.
Create a 4-step checkout process
Remember, online buyers want their purchasing to be easy and simple. Complicated or confusing checkout processes can quickly make them leave your online store to purchase elsewhere. Buyers should know exactly where to go and which buttons to click to move through your checkout process. The easier this is for them the better.
Your checkout process should be as simple as the following:
1. The customer views the product page and its details
2. They click on “add to cart” to get a subtotal
3. They submit payment/shipping information and make the purchase
4. The customer receives purchase confirmation and follow-up email
Create exit pop-ups
Take a look at your web analytics to see which pages have the highest numbers of drop-offs. Use this information to create pop-ups to lure visitors back into the checkout process before they actually exit the page.
Accept various forms of payment
Not all customers will have credit cards to purchase with. Try to offer various payment options such as Paypal, Square, Stripe, and Google Wallet to make it possible for most visitors to purchase from your store.
Get rid of purchase barriers
Customers should be able to easily navigate through your online checkout process. Any hindrances to this can result in abandoned carts and high bounce rates. Remove any ads, pop-ups, recommended products, or other content that can distract them from following through with their purchase. Save these items for your confirmation page which is displayed once their purchase is complete.
Ship it for free
You’d be surprised by how much free shipping can affect your sales numbers, and countless studies have shown that it can really make a difference in sales conversions. Depending on your product’s size, weight, and your customer’s location, shipping costs can be a big deterrent to online purchases. Consider offering to ship free of charge for your customers, even if it means tacking a few extra bucks on the product’s price itself.
Show that you’re trustworthy
Identity theft is a huge concern when making online purchases. Reduce buyer reluctance by displaying security badges, trust seals, and SSL certificates to show your visitors that you take guarding their personal information seriously and have the right security measures in place.
Be honest and transparent
Be available 24/7
If you have an online store with customers all around the world, 24/7 availability is an absolute must. New leads will have questions about products, recent buyers may have issues with their purchases, and the list goes on. Chat systems, 24/7 phone support lines, and online ticket platforms will not only help you streamline your support processes, but they go a long way in receiving stellar customer satisfaction feedback and brand loyalty. Be sure that your customers know exactly how to contact you (which should be listed on your Contact page) and how soon they can expect to receive support.
Mapping out the navigation and checkout process for your online store can help you to uncover potential issues that may affect your sales goals. And while every e-commerce store will have their own unique set of capabilities and offerings, all stores will benefit from analyzing their site’s setup and structure in order to continually improve customer experiences.