Are traditional, high street stores a thing of the past? We don’t think so, but we do think the world of shopping has changed forever.
COVID-19 has upended the retail industry. Stores are closed all over the world, and customers are turning to e-commerce to satisfy their shopping needs.
This shift is reflected in the data — between March 2019 and April 2020 online stores saw a 75% increase in page views and a 95% increase in orders according to research by econsultancy.
So what does this mean for retailers? All it really means is that we’ve arrived slightly earlier than expected at a point that’s been predicted for a while — if you’re a retail company, your website is now your new storefront.
In this article, we’ll show you six tips for how to optimize your ecommerce site experience for your visitors — making a powerful impact and encouraging them to become customers.
Create an Unforgettable Website Experience
The key to surviving and excelling in the world of online shopping is to prioritize customer experience.
There are two key terms here, which are often used interchangeably but are in fact slightly different: User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX). Both are critical to running an ecommerce website.
UX refers specifically to a visitor’s experience of your site and all its technical aspects. CX refers to their experience with your brand and company. CX can exist outside of your website, and companies that lead in CX outperform those who don’t by 80%.
In this article, we’ll focus on both, since both are important when building an effective ecommerce website.
Here are the six tips to optimize your ecommerce experience.
1. Be Conversational and Personal
This approach is central to creating an impactful and effective customer experience, delighting your visitors and guiding them along the path to becoming a customer.
The best way to do this is to get to know your customers. Interact with them wherever possible, with chatbots, surveys, and emails. Make it easy for them to give feedback and share information.
The more you know about your customers, the better you’ll be able to personalize your future interactions. That doesn’t just mean adding their first name to an email — it means addressing their specific problems, suggesting products they’re likely to be interested in, and providing tailored advice and guidance.
A good conversational approach also makes it easy to reach staff. Chatbots should be equipped to refer customers to real team members when needed, and brands should try to reach their followers with human video broadcasts and virtual events on a regular basis.
2. Test and Tweak
To make sure your site is as user-friendly and easy to navigate as it can be, you need to test it constantly.
Doing this will put you ahead of the competition — only 55% of companies are currently conducting any user testing. Plus, improving UX design could lead to conversion rates of up to 400%. There’s a massive upside to this.
3. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
There are 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world today. That means it’s absolutely crucial for your e-commerce site to be optimized for mobile users, or you risk missing out on a huge amount of potential traffic.
It needs to be optimized the right way, too. Mobile users are fussy — 53% of them leave websites in 3 seconds. If mobile visitors aren’t immediately happy with how your site appears on their phone, they leave.
4. Do Content Right
Content is an essential part of growing an online brand, and it should play a key role in your ecommerce website.
Content helps establish a rapport with visitors, educate, persuade, and inform. It builds a brand and a relationship with customers and keeps them coming back. Content is the soul of your website, breathing personality and uniqueness into your brand.
Here are some tips to excel with content:
- Document a content strategy. Only 33% of B2C marketers have one, despite it being strongly correlated with success.
- Use various types of content across multiple channels. Videos, infographics, blog posts, social media, and podcasts are all powerful examples.
- Lean towards longer-form blog posts. HubSpot recommends shooting for an average length of 2,100 to 2,400 words for optimal SEO benefits.
5. Make the Buying Process Easy
If you want your online shopping visitors to become customers, you should focus on removing any obstacles in their way. Prioritize smoothness and eliminate friction wherever possible, so making a purchase is as painless and easy as it can be.
One way to achieve this is through conversational marketing. Use chatbots and video broadcasts to provide visitors with all the information they need to make a purchase and guide them gently towards the buy button.
An omnichannel approach can also be useful here, reaching your customers wherever they are.
6. Improve Speed and Loading Times
Site speed is a crucial factor when it comes to creating a pleasant ecommerce experience. 37% of visitors bounce when a site takes just five seconds to load — showing how small a window of time you have.
On top of that, 70% of customers say site speed impacts their purchasing decisions. The verdict is pretty clear: if you don’t prioritize quick loading times in this era of short attention spans, you’ll pay for it.
Taking the time to make sure your ecommerce website is optimized for your customers is crucial in today’s world. As the buying process moves increasingly online, brands will need to adapt to this new environment and the digital ways of doing things.
At Whisbi, we help companies create a more rewarding customer experience for all their visitors. We use conversational marketing and an array of other tools to make your website perfectly adapted to the digital world to delight your users and drive sales.
To find out more and book a demo, contact us today.